The hidden revolution of Yemen [Archives:2007/1053/Opinion]

May 21 2007

By: Abdullah Al-Faqih
They are a group of young people without a specific address in the city. Most of them stay in a hotel for only one day and move to another, in a friend's residence or in the roadside. The only address, known to the public, is that their website on the Internet. In a letter to the writer, they say: “We started our work in the form of dream without facilities” and overcame difficulties posed to our progress with a capital represented by the idea and the good will. “We turn the light on and went directly, hid and found, and over time the capital increases,” they say.

The website was launched in 2006 and immediately drew the attention of a group of veteran politicians like Faisal Bin Shamlan, candidate of Joint Meeting Parties in Yemen's most recent presidential elections, Yasin Sa'eed Nu'man, Secretary-General of Yemeni Specialist Party, Mohammed Qahtan, Member of the Islah Party's Higher Authority, Haidar Abu Bakr Al-Attas, former Prime Minister, Mohamed Haidarah Masdous, Lutfi Bishara, and others. As most of those dialogues found their way toward the printed press, the website made for itself a name and a status since the very beginning.

The members of Hewar Forum, who exceed 400, constitute one of the mainstreams for a political, social, and cultural movement, reflecting a new generation of Yemenis, who write bravely with their real names. Everyone of them raise a slogan through which he sign every message posted on the website. “The Rule to overcome the Wrong is Insisting on the Right” is one of the slogans raised by one of the members on the face of a regime described as “Wrong” from these members' viewpoint. “I have an Apology if I Exaggerated my Death” is another slogan raised by another member while a third member has this slogan “We may Hide the Reality but Cannot Kill it”.

They discuss everything. There is no redlines standing in their way or interrupting the progress of discussing their issues. They discuss Sa'ada fighting, sectarianism, inheritance, corruption, the new cabinet, the Republican Decrees issued for the sake of relatives, acquaintances and friends, the season of plane crashes, Al Salem Jews, the fraudulent elections, and Qaragoush's Democracy. They protest everything because if the political security decided to search for them, it cannot find any address for them, and if the political security found them, it cannot found enough rooms to accommodate them. They have no lands, no huge palaces, no cars and no shops. They are citizens in this country but have no place in the citizenship register.

Their names are not included in any of the lists, to which the regime pays closer attention in terms of arranging scholarships to Europe and America and good jobs after graduation. For an entire year, the Hewar Forum members discussed more than three thousand subjects, postponed more than 21 thousand participations and lit millions of candles in a country, which could not put an end to darkness 44 years now. All that the political and national security organizations can do to confront the opposition generation that has no address is to conceal their website and prevent interested visitors from having an access to it, as they do against other websites. What the regime can do to confront them is to shut down the window of hope before them. Nobody of them can possess a company to provide the internet service (bread of the poor in the developing countries) because the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information technology monopolizes the internet and provides it for high cost, which is the most expensive price worldwide. The regime in Yemen fears that citizens may invent, be rich, creative, or famous, or become prominent figures in the world's map. Also, the regime fears that the Yemeni youth may find a new window, other than that of corruption and hypocrisy that doesn't add anything to the national product.

They are enraged and furious. They defame the ruling party officials when they get closer to them with expired eggs and tomatoes. Nobody of them expect a Republican Degree to be issued for his sake. Although writers and artists they are, nobody of them write a complimentary poem praising the new rulers of Yemen, who possess everything in the country including, lands, palaces, accounts and military power. The Hewar Forum members take from Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab this statement “I am what you want me to be, I am the underdog who paints the invaders' shoes.” From Amal Dangal, they take this statement “No reconciliation even if they grant you gold” and this statement “I shall say in the investigation the theft has turned to wear the uniform of the warrior.”

Those who come from all the zones and lanes of Yemen, belong to the Yemeni public, dream of a borderless world and a homeland free of disease, are deprived of technology and investment, as well as deprived of being contractors, tradesmen, military leaders, professors, directors, and actors. Hardships and deprivation were their share. They are the makers of the coming revolution please wait for them, they are coming with their rage and revolution against their oppressors and the corrupt officials who suckle the national wealth.

Abdullah Al-Faqih is a well-known political analyst and Professor of Political Science at Sana'a University.