The 22nd May anniversary, a sense of ‘patriotism’?! [Archives:2007/1053/Community]

May 21 2007

By: Majed Thabet Al-kholidy
[email protected]

First of all, 'happy many returns', dear readers. The 17th anniversary of Yemen Union is significant not only for Yemenis but also for all Arabs. All of us, of course, must have celebrated this dear occasion for which huge efforts (including big amounts) are yearly devoted. Since it is yearly celebrated, the authorities hold its festival in different cities as a means of a well distribution of focus-'projects, and stone-foundations', maybe for the purpose of 'racism fighting'.

During the celebration period, the city in which the festival is held enjoys good care, and a lot of projects are officially 'founded'. But it does not last longer. And soon, after this national festival such cities restore or, to be more factual, lose most of, if not all, such a care as well as the stone-foundations and services.

Actually, this has happened many times before. It happened with the city of Mukala two years ago. In comparison with its present status, it has been missing that care for the last two years. Even the stone-foundations of the projects have disappeared. They might have been 'sold' or 'rented' to the other cities in which the festival took place later.

Actually, two years is too long period. We must be impartial. Within such a period, the world has completely changed and it must be expected that all the projects and 'stone-foundations' became only a part of the history especially in a city like Mukala where it is too hot. The situation may differ if the period is only one year and in another city of better climate.

Hodaidah was the place of the 16th anniversary festival. Last year, it was celebrating many services and a number of stone-foundations were spread everywhere. Many people were dreaming to live there to enjoy the projects and services offered by the authorities. Many people also went there to see the new face of the city which was bright and glittering as gold. Its current situation, however, has gone differently since the departure of the guests. People who live in Hodaidah are not as much surprised as those visitors or passers-by. That is because the residents know very well its status before the festival. Though it has gone worst, they are satisfied because they might have known the story of Mukal and other cities in which celebrations took place before.

Those who visited Hodaidah last year in the period slightly before or after the 22nd of May 2006 get shaken by its present status. To their surprise, they may think that they lost the way when they see the absence of the natural and artificial beauty that was gleaming just one year ago. It is now in Ibb city. Ibb is very beautiful by nature. It got more beautiful with the 17th festival. Billions are spent there. The festival is for one day. One week before and another after are more than enough to receive and farewell guests. For this period, the authorities work day and night. But soon after the festival, the story of Mukala and Hodaidah will repeat itself. Nothing supernatural or even natural is expected to happen in the city. It is going to face what other cities faced before. And similarly, this will happen with the city of the next-year festival.

There is a specific budget of big amounts for the festival of the Union. It is ok since no loans would be needed to cover the 'extra' expenses of the festivals. But, it is completely 'not ok' to forget such cities the moment the festivals are over. To keep the achievements, projects, and services offered is a national duty not only of the authorities, but also of the common people themselves. It is a joke to say that the projects, services, and stone-foundations are sold or rented for other cities. If this happens, however, there would be incomes to enhance the general budget and that is 'good'. But no incomes at all. It is just a matter of carelessness which costs the homeland not only money but also beauty and magnificence. The purpose of holding the festival in different cities is to pay attention to all cities, to enhance their tourist cites, and to introduce them to world. This actually happens, but unfortunately, for a temporal period of time.

I do not intend to disturb you, dear readers, on such a national day. Feel happy and proud of this historical occasion. It is only expressing 'patriotism' that everyone; poor and rich, young and old, must feel. It is a 'duty', and a responsibility that must be realized by all through the mind's eye for the sake of the 'dearest Yemen'.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University.