Traditional craft shop owners protest in Taiz [Archives:2003/685/Local News]

November 13 2003

Tens of traditional handcraft shop owners in Taiz staged a protest last week demanding that they be allowed to go back to their original apartments.
According to the shop owners, who earn a living from crafting ‘jambias’, necklaces, and other traditional goods, they were taken out of their shops four years ago when the government announced it would demolish the building where they worked to construct a new building where the Great Gate Police Station, and hence allow the shop owners to return to the new building.
This took place when Dr. Rashad Al-Aleemi, current Interior Minister, was then the security manager of the governorate.
“Al-Aleemi had promised us that we will return to the new building in six months only, but ever since he gave his promise, we have never been allowed to return,” said one of the shop owners.
Al-Aizari, who is among the oldest handicraftsmen in the protest, also said he had complained many times to the governor and Dr. Al-Aleemi, but had been given no reply.
According to residents in the area, the company that was supposed to construct the new building never completed it, leaving the shop owners with little alternative but to stage protests and send letters of complaints to the government.
“We appeal through the press to our government to look into our case seriously, as we have families to take care of, and this issue has taken its toll on all of us,” said Al-Aizar.