Viewpoint [Archives:1999/45/Viewpoint]

November 8 1999

Time for Solidarity

We in Yemen are in a situation that forces us to join hands and try to unite our efforts in favor of our country. We might belong to different political parties, to different sectors of the community, and to different areas in Yemen, but we all have one thing in common, we are all Yemenis. Being a Yemeni has to force us to work hard for the interests of our nation as a whole, and not only for our political party or region. We must work together to develop and improve a country that needs our joint work now more than ever.
Being the leader of the country, President Saleh must always look for ways to gain the public’s trust. He must show that he is sincere in his efforts to get the country out of its current situation, so that the rest of the people would join hands with him. It is impressive to say that there are signs that the president is indeed beginning to gain more trust from the public. 
No one can deny that our president these days seems to be pushing for change, determined to have a modern country by getting rid of whatever holds us back from the main stream that is heading to a new millennium. This fact is undeniable even by the people who disagree with the authorities. It is like trying to hide the sun from appearing in the sky. The strongest oppositionist of the authorities and government can not but admit that the president’s steps taken so far within the last few weeks indicate a will to change for the better. The opposition members should not favor their party over the interest of the country by opposing every good effort the president makes. Such people would not only be opposition members, but they would be enemies of the whole country. We should look at this issue from a clear, logical, and fairly neutral perspective. If the government is doing something good, we should always hail it and ask for its continuation, rather than insulting or accusing it of making a propaganda for the president or so. After all, encouraging it would push it to do even more good things, while discouraging it would most probably give it an excuse not to continue. 
Today, we are feeling the hope in the people of Yemen for change in the near future. The president’s determination to destroy this evil drug (qat) that has been destroying our economy and resources must be appreciated. 
The president’s efforts to crack down on terrorists, prevent the carrying of weapons, and implementing other strict measures are truly paying off. 
The steps that the president took in this regard have disturbed many people who are benefiting from poisoning our people by selling qat grown in their vast farms. These people are prominent figures that own hundreds of hectares of this destructive plant, and they were truly disappointed by the president’s move. These sheiks or individuals unfortunately do not think of the country, but rather of their own interest. How wonderful it would have been for them if they were the first to support the president instead of trying to invent obstacles in an attempt to slow down the implementation of the orders that decrease the level of qat in our community. 
There are good indications around us coming from the leadership, the government. In return, as Yemenis we should not stay still, but we should join hands in solidarity to implement these rules and try to have every good measure taken by the president appreciated and implemented. I believe if we do so, the ones who will most benefit from this is the people of Yemen. Let us join hands and stand beside our president in these moments of faith and courage to build a stronger Yemen. 
Walid Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf 
Chief Editor