WhispersTender hearts [Archives:2005/863/Culture]

July 28 2005

By Fahmia Al-Fotih
There is a saying of our prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings upon him) says that the Yemeni people have the most tender hearts and are the most considerate and passionate people. However, the events of the last week that happened in various Yemeni governorates and as a result of which a number of Yemeni people died, made me remember this saying and ask myself if we really deserve that description. When I ponder about the latest events and realise that a Yemeni could attack and kill a Yemeni under the excuse of venting up for furious feelings against the government, I have a doubt that if we, Yemenis, have tender hearts at all. And find that the prophet saying could have been for other people or another generation of Yemen who lived in another time but certainly not today.

After a forced 4-day stay at home, I went out to streets and the view made me startled and distressed as I saw all the pretty things I used to see everyday deformed and the trees that were beautifying the streets were cut and disappeared. I felt sad about the lack of civilized behavior in the Yemeni society. I felt that Sana'a city along with other cities in Yemen cried for going through all that destructions and disorder and I imagined that cities mourned all the innocent people who fell in that day and they did not commit any fault but they fell a prey for malicious and uncivilized actions.

All the people in the world have a right to demonstrate and protest and we have heard and seen from time to time some demonstrations took place in various countries. But they do not protest in the way the Yemeni people did last week. The people in those countries march peacefully rising some slogans that express their opinion and let their voices be heard without even smashing a glass. They shout and strike without hurting themselves, without hurting each other, and without destroying their cities. But the protest that happened last week in Yemen can be called the first of its kind and revealed a bad image about the Yemeni people.

When we demolish our beautiful city, smash all the facilities, destroy and loot others' properties, we actually destroy ourselves, destruct the city we live in, the streets that we everyday walk on and moreover distort our image in front of ourselves, our generations and in front of the world.

In fact, the price hike has had a strong impact on all of us and we can realize and expect that more people will live below the poverty line. The government claimed that the decision is a part of reform program and to save the shaky national economy and it will bring about good, positive results that we have not seen any, yet, the situation still gets worse and worse and the public gets more resentful and more aggressive!

Throughout the latest actions everyone realizes that the government and the public were mistaken and dealt with situation wrongfully.

The question I would like to ask is what are the benefits the trouble makers get after their savage actions? Did the smashed streets and destructed city change the government decision?

After all, do we still deserve to be called “Tender hearts”?