Yemen between two scenes [Archives:2006/984/Opinion]

September 25 2006

Abdulaziz Al-Hayajim
News reports in various Arab and international media talk about the electoral scene in Yemen and they focus on the rallies, propaganda campaigns and the status of the woman regarding the local councils elections. The image of Yemen abroad is now no longer dark or confused because this country is no longer held responsible for harboring terrorist elements and groups, as some foreign countries were saying. Rather, the Republic of Yemen is bearing the responsibility of spreading democratic dialogue in the world, as member of a tripartite committee including Yemen, Turkey and Italy. The committee emerged from the G-8 summit held in the United States of America in 2004.

What I have already mentioned above is meant to hold a comparison between the situation of Yemen during and after the events of 9/11 in the United States in 2001 and its state nowadays.

Five years before in the wake of those events Yemen was in the forefront or in the muzzle. We used to read daily reports by western officials, or reports by centers of research and studies and intelligence offices as well as leakages, backed with some facts and a huge amount of wrong information casting Yemen as an incubator of terror and liken Yemen to the Torabora Mountains in Afghanistan and classifying some Yemeni areas as strongholds for terrorist groups. According to those reports Yemen was considered the next country after Afghanistan to receive a military strike.

Against all that we remember the intensive movements of the Yemeni political leadership and the government to rectify the image and dissipate fears of the international community and the influential powers. It was imperative to convince the international community that Yemen is not incubator of terror but rather among the first countries which suffered from terror and sustained political and economic damage from terror acts that happened on its territories, prominent of which the incident of the American destroyer Cole. Consequently Yemen is keen to be an active partner in the international war on terror. Yemen in this regard managed to achieve big successes by virtue of its adoption of two paralleled and sticking together pursuits in fighting terror based on security measures on the one hand and ideological dialogue hat resulted in the return of many deceived youth to the road of right and reason and their abandoning of violence and extremism.

Thus, while we observe the fifth anniversary of 9/11 we remember the success we have achieved to prove we are capable of being an example to be followed in discarding violence and adoption of the democratic choice and peaceful work to realize goals and ambitions of the people of Yemen.

It is now the duty of longstanding democracies and the active powers fighting terror and the call for political and democratic reforms to support Yemen's efforts intended to enhance the course of reforms by offering the necessary support for the achievement of big rates of growth and improve the economic situations as well as providing job opportunities as a way for ending unemployment and poverty that form fertile environment to produce extremism and violence.

Abdulaziz Al-Hayajim is a Yemeni journalist working at the news department at Al-Thawra Newspaper.