With due respect [Archives:2005/830/Viewpoint]

April 4 2005

As intellectuals, defenders of human rights and activists, it is our responsibility to push development forward and to enhance the attitude and convictions of Yemeni people. Yemen Times was founded for the sake of making Yemen a “Good World Citizen,” a better place for people to live in. This includes being just and objective and eliminating discriminative thoughts, beliefs and practices at least within our close community and most important, through what is written and portrayed in our newspaper.

Talking about Yemen and Yemeni culture, with its versatile structure we have to be careful not to fall into the stereotyping that majority of the society's practices as regular tradition. We have to do this for two reasons, first because we are supposedly “change agents” striving to make this country better and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, because it is wrong. It is wrong by all measures to discriminate against anyone.

A friend of the Yemen Times, called Jamal Khalib in the UK, brought my attention to this point. And he told me about the mistake we made in our previous issue No. 829, we mentioned about the tragic fire outbreak at the a shelter of marginalized people in Assir in Sana'a. Thanks to Jamal and all our readers, we feel that there is someone who will guide us when we go astray, and who will remind us when we forget. After all, the Yemen Times belongs to all its readers and not just to us the people who work in this organization.

I hear you Jamal, and I believe you are right. We will do our best to present sincerely the best of Yemen and in the way we should. There are many traditions in Yemen that need correction. The journey is long, and it isn't easy to make change cultures, but if we really want to make a difference, the place to start is home.