The story of UAE-donated wheat [Archives:2009/1227/Opinion]

January 22 2009

By: Nabeel Haidar
It is not the first time for facts to clash with lies and false rumors, nor will it be the last time for the same thing to occur. The fact has been accustomed to wears of the victim while false rumors are put on the perpetrator's dress. This is the story.

In last May that coincided with the climax of the global food crisis, the price of grains, most notably wheat, skyrocketed in a non-imaginable way due to efforts to obtain energy sources at the expense of certain agricultural products. At that time, United Arab Emirates (UAE) took an initiative by announcing its food assistance to some Arab states. It approved to donate 500 thousand tons of wheat to Yemen as part of the assistance.

It was only few weeks since the story was published until numerous questions about fate of the UAE-donated wheat were raised. Other questions asked about where the donation is stored.

It was not a long time for the story until it turned out to take the form of top priority reports published on front pages of some local newspapers alleging that the donated wheat might have gone to the unknown.

Through the manner of fast foods that needn't more spices, a crucial part of the fact was exploited irresponsibly by some politicians to serve irresponsible political purposes, like what happened recently during one of the partisan festivals.

As most of us are not familiar with investigation and examination of facts, we turned to believe that the UAE-donated wheat has already disappeared or gone to the unknown. Even after the government declared this past Ramadan its plan to distribute the donated wheat to those vulnerable cases registered in social welfare offices, which implied that the donation hasn't disappeared.

The plan, declared by the government, was exploited to deny lies committed in this regard as we used to jump forward without considering the numerous gradual stages of discussing issues.

Numerous stages in this regard were never considered like some people's attempt to bury real facts on the ground due to their being living in vacuum or their being unable to live except amid controversies.

The stages, which were not considered by some local newspapers and some their misled readers, are those related with the consecutive arrangements for the consignments of donated wheat to reach Yemen. Such arrangements are not that simple or easy.

We are all misled

Before explaining such arrangements, I would like to frankly say that I believed that the UAE-donated wheat might have disappeared having heard a lot of rumors in this regard. Having realized the real fact, I turned to ask some of my colleagues, mainly those following the wheat donation story and found that we are all on a misleading track. I discovered that we all learn nothing about the fact, as nothing of the donated wheat reached Yemen, and that the first consignment of the assistance is due be transported to Yemen soon.

In order for some of us not to jump over the numerous stages of understanding how facts proceed, I would like to say the following:

The UAE-donated wheat was delayed up for reasons that are even unrelated with the donor. The quantity was not available in the UAE local market. Being reliant on the international market, provision of the wheat quantity must undergo several purchase and procurement procedures, as well as is governed by factors of available quantities in the internal market.

This is the real story of the UAE-donated wheat, which by itself denies all the baseless and false rumors promoted for the sake of serving certain political purposes. Here, I don't defend the government, which is the side being targeted by such fabricated lies and accused of manipulating the assistance.

I rather accuse it of being careless about clarifying facts to people and rescuing them from being misled.

Source: Al-Thawra State-run Daily