Taiz, Has It Become Stage of Violence? [Archives:2000/33/Focus]

August 14 2000

Imad Al-Saqqaf
Taiz bureau chief
Realizing its importance and its position in the political life, late Dr. Al-Saqqaf, founder of the Yemen Times, asked me, a few years ago, to be in charge of the paper bureau in Taiz.
The first moments I got into contact with it and its people I loved it. In this short period I have lived and experienced the joys and sorrows of its people. I have seen hundreds of students quitting schools owing to lack of funding, patients sleeping on the ground in public hospitals, children feeding on garbage, homeless beggars and lunatics. It is really a miserable city which despite everything bad still holds some beauty.
As if the above is not bad enough, daily clashes have become common to hear about here. Five people were killed in Mawyah in a clash over a tree, fighting over water springs re-erupted between Quradhah and Al-Marzooh villages in Sabber, a teacher was killed in Djabal Habashi by students who were caught red-handed in a cheating attempt during examinations. Similar bloody stories are heard from time to time as happening in Sharaab, Djabal Habashi and Al-Rahidah.
What is going on here? Why do conflicts last for ages and never come to an end without bloodshed? Why do the executive authorities keep silent towards such issues? Why do officials live in the ivory towers while ordinary people live in miseries. It is hoped that governor and director of security will join hands to settle down such disputes that make havoc of the city.