Where is Yemen heading? [Archives:2004/766/Letters to the Editor]

August 23 2004

Abdussalam Hidarh
[email protected]

It hurts so bad to see Yemen fading in front of our own eyes while we are abroad. Things have changed dramatically. Honesty and trust are lost; phones are widely used to call to every house for flirting and phone chats. Not long ago we used to complain about satellite dishes and the emergence of new media that could affect the new generations and could potentially brainwash. A lot of people from teenagers to grown up men go to hotels and rent rooms to view x-rated channels and people come up with the money for it, but not for something useful. Now we have phones ringing in every house with the only objective of flirting. As if that is not enough, more and more young Yemenis are becoming addicted to cell phones and express pride of using them continuously, thinking that they add value to themselves, but all they do is end up with huge bills to pay in a time when there aren't many job opportunities.
Instead of sending their children to school or internship to gain valuable knowledge, parents are now distant from their children, letting them do things that could destroy their lives.
Parents have become so obsessed with making ends meet and just climbing above the poverty line, resulting in neglect of their children and a potential collapse of a generation.
I remember once I was on Saber Mountain in Taiz and saw dozens of poor children facing an extremely harsh life of poverty. I cannot imagine how they will face life when they become adults.
Such poor children cannot reach out to the government for their right to proper education and a decent living. Even if they do, the government never answers. The government is in most cases relaxed because it knows that most of the poor population thinks that it is a shame to ask the government for their rights and for help or support.
I fear that this mentality of staying silent and just observing the deteriorating conditions of the country, would only lead to a disaster. It should be understood by our people in Yemen that they have the right to ask for what is theirs. They can go on strikes and ask for free medical services, proper education, and an acceptable living standard. They should not be ashamed of doing so because only then could they save their future.