Yemen and foreign aid [Archives:2005/865/Opinion]

August 4 2005

By Nabil Al-Sofee
The world has never stood in baking a country as it did with the modernization of Yemen. When modernization started in the sixties, no one used to know Yemen, except a few of the tourists who long for knowledge. In spite of the disasters that changed the Yemenis into international expatriates, the world didn't use to know a country called Yemen. This led one of the diplomats to say that if Yemen drowned bit by bit into the sea, no one would have cared.

With the progress of the cold war, Yemen began to take its place in the international agenda, but unfortunately as an agent to others.

The Southern Yemeni state made direct alliance with the Eastern bloc, but not as an active member, or a sovereign state, but as a tool used against others for the good of others too.

When President Ali Abdullah Saleh overstepped Saudi Arabia and led Yemen into the new international arena, knocking on the doors of the new superpower (America), at the wake of the collapse of the old power of Istanbul, he made the world take heed of new Yemenis, introducing concepts, which were new to them and to their surroundings. These are the concepts of democracy and the peaceful exchange of power. They came along side with the Yemeni unity in 1990.

Unfortunately the Gulf war was a great blow to the Yemenis dreams. There were some factors that contributed to the aggravation of this crisis. Among these is their government's stance which was backing Sadam though it used to declare that it is against occupation of Kuwait.

The gulf crisis didn't take long when the Yemenis found themselves amid another plight of the civil war that broke out in 1994.

The Arabic Stance was shameful, at that time, because when the superpowers, with the USA and Russia on top , were ready to forgive Yemen and work to keep it unified.

The European countries, UAS, Japan and Russia continuously declared their readiness to support Yemen in its efforts to fight retardation.

The War against terror came to confirm the international interest. This was crowned with the participation of the president in the G8 summit, last year in Sea Island.

When the last riots broke out in Yemen because of the lift of the oil subsidies, without any governmental logistics to support the people, this again turned the world's head to renew their pledges in supporting Yemen.

Mr. Johan Blacken Burg, the Dutch ambassador told me that the world is not charity societies. They want to support Yemen so as to achieve their own benefits, by supporting stability in an area which has the aptitude for the biggest reserve of destabilization in the world.

That is why they have got agendas, that if the Yemenis didn't agree to them, they would be obliged to defend their views in front of their tax payers. Their tax payers that often say, “Leave the Yemenis alone, and help them only when they come to ask for it. I really feel that I am in a plight.

If we don't use this international concern to support us, we would be losing great chances, and we will be drifting against the ambitions of the Yemeni people for which they have struggled for a long time.

Can we demand more support and patience from the world? It is time that we impose more patience and action on ourselves. If we are not able to develop our daily activities, the world won't be ready to guarantee our existence.

The international language today is: If you are not going a head, it is obvious that you are going backwards.