YAFA Office Closed Down; Board Considers Collective Resignation [Archives:1998/25/Front Page]

June 22 1998

The office of the Yemen American Friendship Association (YAFA) was closed down last week by a decision of its Board of Directors. Even worse, the whole board is now considering whether they should tender their resignations collectively.
Mr. Abdul-Wassa’ Hayel Saeed, Chairman of YAFA, told the Yemen Times that they have reached a dead-end. “In the beginning, there was considerable interaction. With time, we became very ineffective. It became a one-sided effort,” he said. He was of course, referring to the lack of interest on the part of American officials and companies in Yemen.
Mr. Mahfoodh Shammakh, Vice President, said that it was not a matter of financial contribution. “We are not asking the Americans to provide financial support. But, we had wished that there was some interest in our efforts to promote Yemeni-American understanding and cooperation,” he said.
Mr. Shammakh was speaking with an eye to the cooperation that exists between the British Embassy and the Yemeni-British Friendship Association. Whenever there is a British delegation, the YBFA is incorporated in the program.
Mr. Alwan Shaibani, another vice president of the YAFA, pointed to the difficulty of even talking to the US embassy. “It is like a wall. You don’t get the feeling of being with friends. You don’t count,” he said.
The YAFA board is made up of top Yemeni businessmen, and opinion makers.
Other friendship associations, which are equally defunct, are expected to follow the YAFA lead and close down.