When will we begin making changes? [Archives:2008/1151/Opinion]

May 1 2008

By: Mohammed Naji Ahmad
Countries of the Arabian Peninsula surrounding us are experiencing great changes in the various areas of education, culture, science and economy, while we have been seeing the vulnerable conditions unchanged since Yemen was born at the very beginning of the 20th Century. Political instability in Yemen has not provided a good chance for making radical changes and transformations.

And, due to tribal pressures in the north and escalating outrage in the south, Yemen has entered a phase of political unrest, thereby complicating the task of its patriotic natives to make changes. The one, who observes how things goes on in the neighboring Gulf states, will surely understand the political will of each of these states to overcome the social, cultural, traditional and economic redlines for the sake of making useful and positive changes.

Frankly speaking, the political wills adopted by the Gulf States make us understand that their enlightening changes are progressing at a slow rhythm but these countries develop and prosper. In Yemen, we realize that there is neither notable progress nor enlightening achievements. One can only see that things progress backward until they reach the 'zero point', or as the famous writer Mohamoud Yasin described as “a return to the first alphabetical letter”.

I think that forces and individuals, having no desire to make enlightening changes, but create obstacles to development, are not necessarily official, as they exist within the political extremist current that finds its identity only when returning to the 'zero point'. Changes will appear with a new identity and be liberated from the arbitrary domination practiced by influential persons.

From the viewpoint of these influential persons, enlightening is considered as a contrivance opposing their interests and investments that began from the zero point. As society got rid of the traditional schools or the so-called Mealamas that spread nationwide under the rule of Imamate, this would rather mean that the history of old traditions ended while the history of new public interest began.

The Yemeni authority needs to change its current moves that worse on worsening the notable economic recession, mainly as the nation and people are in an urgent need of stability. This authority is also required to enhance affection and stability among opposition leaders and allocate a considerable portion of the public spending for the enlightening projects. Then, coalitions will go changed on a cognitive ground. A politician will not be a tyrant since he/she is expected to be more concerned about making new identities and assessing new needs.

Such new identities and needs may collide with what is old, but they will eventually produce a modern Yemen, based on public freedoms and comprehensive development in the various areas. As far as I am concerned, living a constant state of conflict between tribalism and regionalism over narrow interests may take the country to an unprecedented catastrophe. Then, the superficial historical selectivity that makes a distinction between the northern and southern identities will be futile and useless. This selectivity may work in France, Italy or Britain, but not in an underdeveloped country like Yemen.

Source: Al-Nedaa Weekly.