THE MISSING BLOCK [Archives:2001/26/Focus]

June 25 2001

Tawfeek M. al-sharaabi 
[email protected] 
The situation of our country is a baffling puzzle to many people. It is a fact that our country has passed through distressing times and has suffered devastating wars. However, the fact remains that Yemenis have made great sacrifices in their quest for peace and a dignified life. Every time Yemen passed and overcame an ordeal we used to say that it was time the people stopped suffering and felt the fruits of their struggle. However, so far Yemenis have never felt a time of relief and peace. 
Yemen is a country with great potential. It is an oil exporting country. It has a great gas reserve. It is also a country with great historical and tourist attractions. Many a country of the world envies Yemen for its tourist and unique facilities. It has also a deep rooted civilization. It has a strategic location overlooking the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Arab Sea. Through its ports it’s a station for refueling and anchorage between the east and the west. It has also a very long coast lines reaching to 2500 kms. It has a large fish wealth. It has fertile lands and magnificent variable weather which can be utilized to produce various agricultural products throughout the year. 
Obviously, Yemen has all the means to be a developed and rich country. However, it is such a paradox to find our country among the least developed and backward countries. Almost all the sectors of the country are handicapped. This has direct bearing on the people who are leading a miserable life. The latest report of the human resources of the country assessed by the UNDP indicates that Yemen occupies 151st rank, 23 places above the last numbering 174. 
What is the point then? 
The point is not with the potential of the country. Rather it is with those in charge of handling affairs of the country. No wonder this potential would be wasted if there is no sincere and committed leadership to utilize them for the well-being of citizens and the welfare of the state. For this to happen a long term planning vision is a must which must be given a top priority. As we lack this our country is registering development. However, it is certain that this development too will crumble as it is not sustainable. A committed leadership with proper planning future can usher in sustainable development of states. It is exactly the missing block which Yemenis are in dire need of. It is what they actually deserve and have right to aspire for. Our government has to seriously mark this issue provided it places Yemen and Yemenis on the top of its agenda.