THE MUWALLADEEN: A Shameful Yemeni Practice [Archives:1999/13/Front Page]

March 29 1999

A paper researched by Professor Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf and to be presented to the Consultative Council hearings on immigrants to start on 10th April, 1999, shows that since the September Revolution of 1962, Yemenis abroad have transferred around US$ 65 billion to the ‘homeland’. The paper also points that it was the immigrant communities in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and the UK that financed preparations for the Revolution and the Free Movement in Aden. 
Yet, the children of Yemeni immigrants are dealt with in an ugly and racist way, especially if they are born of African mothers. A shameful term muwalladeen, denotes the policy of discrimination that has become a standard practice in Yemen today – officially and socially. 
This practice reflects primitive urges based on notions of tribal purity which exist in the northern governorates. 
This discrimination did not exist in the former PDRY. Southerners adopted this ugly practice after unification so as to show that they share the same values. 
Saqqaf notes, “The practice is against Yemen’s constitution as it creates a 2-class citizenship. It is also a violation of basic human rights which must be corrected.”