The way to a capital fenced with flowers and jasmine [Archives:2007/1092/Opinion]

October 8 2007

I admit that I haven't yet known the reality of what is said about prohibiting arms bearing in the capital. I also cast doubt on whether the purpose of this ban is to clear the city of weapons or it, according to some people, aims to only prevent appearances of carrying weapons after the capital city was viewed by residents and visitors as if it is a barracks housing different types of light and heavy weapons while its natives appear as if they prepare themselves for an anonymous war.

The habit exercised by arm bearers in this city, as well as the other cities, is known to everyone as a greater challenge to development. Judicious citizens bear in mind that it is necessary for the government to reinforce the arms bearing ban, and in an event the country is exposed to an external threat, citizens then will be entitled to carry different kinds of weapons and boast their ability in training and shooting.

Some Yemeni cities have turned into exhibitions for various types of weapons and the Yemeni people into an army, thus depicting a situation of an anonymous war in the country with citizens anticipating threats and risks from others. The Yemeni citizens, however, comprise a unified family without any realization of minorities and multiple religions that create discrimination between natives.

Yemeni citizens comprise a unified and cooperative nation, the prominent characteristic of which is its being free of religious and ethnical minorities. It is composed of a unified family while those, who have been trying since a long time ago to play with the moderate sectarianism that has similar formations and thoughts in order to achieve certain political factors and gains, failed to defect people from their unified identity. Even in times of smaller and factional states that emerged in Yemen, the plots of creating fragmentation, fighting and conflicts in the 'Country of Faith and Wisdom' failed too.

From this point, the Yemenis are the only Arab people qualified to be Switzerland of the Arab World and have their homeland free of all the forms of arms, except for the weapons of military and security forces.

Since I explored my personal adoration for this unique city with its unique citizens, nice climate and permanent spring, I have had a dream that this city be fenced with flowers and jasmine. I disliked the mud walls surrounding the Old City of Sana'a, as I felt that they plant fear and create a growing a demand for possessing arms.

Now, we are living in a new era with awareness and education as the only arms of man while dialogue and respect for public opinion are the sole means for coexistence, but not daggers and bullets. In addition, a portion of my dream made me once supplicate the Almighty that another weaponry capital city would be selected in order for this fascinating city (Sana'a) to remain innocent, safe and calm.

Talk about clearing the capital city of weapons is no longer a personal dream. Instead, it has become a dream of millions of people who aspire to led a peaceful life and that their children sleep to the music of birds, not the noise of machineguns and mortars

When we get rid of the phenomenon of arms bearing, those having differences over the newly passed anti-arm ban will ultimately realize that solutions can only be reached by mutual understanding, dialogue and abidance by laws. The use of force or any similar options as a solution to any persisting issues of this type will no longer be acceptable.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh is Yemen's prominent poet and intellectual. He is the director of the Yemeni Center for Studies

Source: Al-Thawra Stat-run Daily