Those who do and those who don’t [Archives:2007/1071/Viewpoint]

July 23 2007

No one can deny that what happened last Wednesday at the so-called “Freedom Square” is outrageous. Regardless of the reasons or the culprits, there is no excuse for attacking people savagely the way it happened, especially in front of the cabinet.

It is also embarrassing for those supporting Saleh President for 29 years that the anniversary of his taking power has been smeared with such ignorance and blood.

While those who don't support Saleh raised their pens as a sign of peaceful protest against the system and its overall behavior.

So those who do support Saleh went against those who demanded for change.

Again, the press took sides as usual. And the minister of interior said his ministry has nothing to do with the crude crowd who went around the streets of Sana'a chanting for the life of Saleh after creating a mess at Freedom Square.

When I enquired about the safety of some of my friends who were among those beaten up, she said: “This is only the beginning of the battle. And we know the road to freedom requires sacrifice.”

Such brave words made me both inspired and apprehensive. Al-Khaiwani is released because of his health conditions. He is one of Yemen's famous opposition journalists who had been in and out of jail occasionally because of his writings that were legal by constitution but illegal from authority's standpoint.

Then there are the public reactions. Those who hoped for a better Yemen through peaceful protest are now losing heart compared to those who feel Yemen is fine just the way it is. And hence, there are several additional reasons why a smart intelligent Yemenis should seek immigration to a better place where human life has more value and where human dignity is respected.

I was arguing with a Yemeni friend who is living and investing in USA, as to why he feel patriotic to a country which is leading the world to one war after the other and a country which has such a bad reputation around the world in terms of justice and respect to human rights. He said: “We in the United States are living the American dream, not so much today as we used to, but it is still a great country to live in. If you are a law-abiding citizen then your rights are respected and you live your freedoms to an excellent extent. How do you want me to compare it to Yemen where even securing a roof over my head is a challenge?”

I understood from him that the USA government provides for its people the best, even if this means it has to take everything from those in the rest of the world, or rather from those in the poor world. Nevertheless, this is not about USA, it is actually about how governments treat their people and how their people respect and appreciate their governments in return. Something that the Yemeni government does not and the Yemeni people don't.