Tragedy of The Yemeni Politicians Post 1994 [Archives:2001/34/Law & Diplomacy]

August 20 2001

Farouque Hammoud Alsheikh Abdullah Al-Hakeemi, 54 years old. A farther to three daughters. He assumed the following positions: Manager of the News Desk at Aden TV, Deputy Manager of the Development and Information office at the African and Asian Nations Solidarity Organization in Cyprus, the plenipotentiary minister and charge d’ affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic in Cyprus, consultant of the former Secretary General of the YSP and Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism in Aden till the day of unity, after unity Vice Minister of culture and tourism in Yemen Republic up to summer of 1994 which marked his turning point.
His grandfather is the well-known Yemeni Sheik Abdullah Ali Alhakeemi, the first Yemeni herald who called for the education of women in Yemen, and one of the prominent liberal leaders who spent most of his wealth to build his nation.
The Civil War, which leaders of the Yemeni Socialist Party have been accused of igniting, erupted in Yemen by the end of July 1994. It left the most heartbreaking tragedies not only for the families of the victims who sacrificed their souls to defend a nation for others to enjoy with its benefactions, but also the lives of the survived politicians, especially from the South part of Yemen, has turned gloomy. Both those participating with the separatists and those who were helpless were the victims of the most hated war.
Q: Would you mind talking about the wide section of the people who have been suspended from their work at the public sectors under the political motto which reads “Just stay at Home?” What are the reasons behind detaining them?! Are they politics? What kind of negative social and psychological consequences have such irrational practices left on the helpless citizens? What solutions do you suggest to end the grievances of these people who are Yemenis after all?
A: First of all I want to assure you that the new political motto which reads ” Just stay at Home,” adopted after the victory against the separatists, did not one hundred percent apply to me, for I have spent the last 7 years post the civil war running after the senior officials from one authority to the other one, demanding my rights as an ordinary Yemeni citizen and as a human being. I have never asked them for more than providing me a job to provide my family with the minimum necessities which could hardly sustain our life. I have exerted endless efforts to let those in power understand that I am not opposing their regime, and I used to avoid speaking about the role I have played to achieve the unity of Yemen because I have never expected to be rewarded on my nationality a thing that I should be proud of until I meet my doom. I will never ever change my ethics and morals to please others. I believe that I have a right and I should struggle to gain it, which is also part of my national duty. After all, I am a Yemeni citizen and no one has the right to deny this or to deform the heroic battles we have gone through to unite our beloved nation. After crossing long distances searching for a phantom my health declined, because in addition to my former heart disease I suffered from rheumatism. Within the last seven years my health has moved from bad to worse. I reached the climax with angina pectoris which almost was ending my life. When the news reached his excellency, the President of the Republic Ali Abdullah Saleh, he generously made instructions to the government to supply me the sum of YR. 300.000 and tickets to receive treatment abroad. The heavy debts and burdens which dominated my life hindered my traveling abroad for treatment and I preferred to allocate the money I had to cover the costs of my daughters’ education. You know they are the granddaughters of the late well-known Sheik Abdullah Ali Al-Hakimi, the first herald for the education of women in Yemen and one of the prominent liberal leaders. He sacrificed his life and wealth for the sake of the nation’s freedom, progress and justice. He never paid attention to the great wealth he was spending to build a well- developed nation. As a matter of fact I have been dreaming of enrolling my daughters at a private school, seeking to provide for them better education than what is available at the public schools, but it was just a dream and nothing more than a dream. The separatist leaders who fled out of the country with huge amounts of money never paid me a penny nor did the pay any detained politicians who are still living in hell post the 1994 war, who have been accused with false crimes just to confiscate their rights as nationals and bury their heroic achievements under the soil. Let me take the opportunity to appeal to our president who is known by his tolerance, nobility, generosity and responsibility as the leader of the nation, to pay more consideration to our case and to solve it in a way not harming the national interest and unity. I want to inform that most of the qualifications urgently required by the nation to achieve a sort of development are left behind the curtains.
Regarding the reasons resulting in the detention of the Yemenis who are highly qualified in different fields after the 1994 catastrophe, I want to address the question to the officials here. Is it rational to exercise such a practice against humanity?! I do not think so, especially under the umbrella of his wisdom, the President of the Republic Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Q: What solutions do you suggest to end the gloom of these helpless people?
A: The nation is in urgent need for all the highly qualified people to make the development process a real success. Yemen is rich with its natural resources which could provide for all the Yemenis if it were distributed fairly, conducted with good administration, and hatred were placed with mercy. The only goal we should work towards is to gain is a strong nation to preserve its unity. We should cross the barriers to make our dreams a reality .
Q: What are your visions about the future? Are you optimistic that the future of Yemen would be better?
A: Frankly speaking, even looking from behind the frame of medical eye glasses, I cannot have a transparent glimpse at our future and this is what is increasing my worries. I do trust the Yemeni people who are known for their endless patience, continuous struggling and their love of work. The history proved that after depression the Yemenis are making miracles.
Q: Do you have political visions which might guarantee more social and political stability in Yemen to enhance its unity the land and people?
A: I do not want to speak about politics anymore, and I do not claim to have visions which suggest solutions. This is the office of high dignitaries and big politicians. As any citizen I believe that the most transparent problems in our society are the dominating poverty, illiteracy, and deteriorating standard of education which lead to the increase of unskilled workers unable to build a nation. Without consideration to improve our professionalism scientifically, culturally, ethically and socially, we will never attain the status of a developed nation. Our economic and social development plans should focus on the quality of education. We ought to start where the others have ended. We have to expand the bases of vocational training and education to provide the markets with the required skilled hands more able to deal with the latest developments, and this requires a highly qualified administration. Yemen is a country of natural resources that could provide for all the Yemenis all over the country, the in and out, but only if distributed fairly.
Q: How do you evaluate the solutions adopted by the government in retiring those people driven back out of their posts after the 1994 civil war? Do you expect they would be enjoying all rights which guarantees them a stable and honorable life with their families? What kind of obstacles might they be faced with during the new life imposed upon them?
A: No doubt the new procedures would worsen their living standards to drive them back to join the helpless living under the level of poverty that now are forming the majority. Their social and economic life would be more complicated . The continued expansion of the poor class in the society is narrowing the scope of the consumers which by the end lead to the decline of the commercial and investment activities. The government should support the middle class to sustain itself longer and should create more job opportunities to enhance purchasing power. The polices of stinginess imposed upon us would double our burdens and mishaps. I hope that the government would change its mind in using such barren policies. We hope to be treated as humans in our country.