Silver LiningWill Taiz be off the neglect now?! [Archives:2006/994/Opinion]

October 30 2006

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
I have spent my Eid vacation in my home town Taiz. Every time I pay a visit to this city, I find it gradually falling into the neglect of the government and thus its situation goes from bad to worse.

The city is suffering a lot of problems like shortage of water and electricity. The power disruption continues for over three hours a day, expect during the Eid vacation as the city was blessed by the presence of President Ali Abdullah Saleh who spent his Eid holiday this time in the city.

It is also polluted by the noise and fumes of the motor bikes; they are really terrible and maneuver in the streets without any control. At least their owners should be asked not to remove their silencers to avoid disturbing the people who complain a lot of the trouble caused by these motor bikes.

Another issue which remains a pain in the neck for the people of Taiz is that of the damaged and bumpy streets. I understand the project of protecting the city from the flash floods has been really wonderful and even helped creating new even and asphalted streets.

The outlets of the city have been made well. However, there are some main streets which have remained rough like that leading to Usaiferah, Wadi al-Kadi, and other zones in which the damaged roads have been neglected. Some of these streets have been recently built and asphalted but they were very quickly damaged because of bad construction. The city has expanded but this expansion has seen no government services introduced into these new areas.

Taiz should not sink again into the oblivion of the president; it is no more a disobedient city; it is no more an enlightening city as it used to be; its intellectuals have been controlled to the extent that even Taiz university professors took to the streets and shouted loudly “We sacrifice ourselves for the life of Ali” and to the extent that the university rector has to appease and exercise lip service to the intelligence chief on his son's graduation through running a congratulation advertisement in al-Jumhuriyah newspaper which might be paid for from the university's budget; to the extent that the university professors exercise hypocrisy and talk to the media on the vital significance of Saleh's stay in Taiz during the Eid vacation. What a perversion and what hypocrisy! Everything is now under control and Taiz has no more a soul of insurgence and self-esteem; it has been sold to the devil.

This governorate has been the source of enlightenment and elucidation throughout the country. It has been known of its civilized citizens who cherish pens instead of guns. Its schooling was the best and its students were always ranking first and high positions.

Now, I was really shocked to see a number of youngsters carrying Kalashnikovs and hanging around in the streets. Why does not the police ban this practice. The culture of revenge which was rare in Taiz has been encouraged to the extent that killings have been a daily routine in the outskirts and the countryside of Taiz.

Taiz which organized the biggest elections rally for president Saleh is waiting for him to pay this back as he promise. It needs an urgent move from him and his government to address its main problems and get back its glory which was put off on purpose. Taiz has been loyal to Saleh during the elections and he needs to demonstrate his gratitude through getting it off the disregard of his governments and governors which turned it into a village. It appeals to him to restore its brilliance. Will he do that?!

# Last week, we lost another good journalist, Hamid Shihrah, the editor of Annass newspaper. He passed away in a car accident. Shihrah was a hardworking and ambitious journalist who was able to make his newspaper one of the best and biggest circulated papers all over the country. His death was a great shock to all of us and loss to the media community. May God rest his soul in paradise.

Mohammed Al-Qadhi is a Yemeni journalist and columnist.

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