Yemen has gone a long way [Archives:2004/700/Opinion]

January 5 2004

Ahmed Almass
[email protected]

No doubt that the achievements and the developments happening in our Republic of Yemen are great and remarkable. And this goes to the credit of our government headed by our beloved President Ali Abdulla Saleh.
It is true that there are a lot of gaps and wrongdoings here and there, which happen everywhere in the world; but compared to our Yemen, I believe, they are minors, if we take into consideration the great differences between the period in the early 60's and now, from every angle, say for example the standard of living, education, transportation and the most important thing the thinking and the minds of the people (we Yemenis).
No one could deny that all these huge projects and these big schemes happened during the regime of our President, Saleh.
In fact, that a political issue or law when passed, could be implemented immediately as it is mentioned in the issue or the law. For example, the Government passes a law stating no more political relationship with so and so country; all the ministries will, without fail implement the law and will cut relationship. The same thing applies to economic law. For example the Government passes a law stating that next week the tax on cigarettes shall be 50% more. All Departments concerned will take action and prices will rise immediately and more than 50%. But, it would be rather hard and not the same with the law passed by the Government related to the Yemeni society. For example, if the Government passes a law stating that all Yemenis should start eating with spoons with effect from next Ramadan. I believe, not all the people will implement that, because this law is related to customs, habits and traditions etc., etc. Then, we come to a fact such laws related to society need very long time, patience and perseverance. This type of laws needs ages of generation.
Let me take Democracy law in our country, which was presented courageously by our great President. A few learned people cruised bitterly and said what this Democracy for Yemen at this stage? Practically, they are a lot of misused here and there. Additionally, a lot of violations are happening every day and night, not by Government Departments only, but also among the citizens themselves. Democracy is not only a subject to study, or a course to attend, or a book to read, it is also the practice since childhood. But, we are glad that our President Ali Saleh presented it. And we are quite sure it would be better and better in he near future. We are proud to mention that all countries in Middle East and some in Africa are missing what we gained in our beloved Yemen.
Finally, let me come to the conclusion of what I want to suggest. From my close contacts in Europe with my countrymen and the great number of them outside our Yemen, feel it is high time they should share in voting for Presidency in the near future, (inshallah) through our embassies and internet too. Of course, this is not easy; it needs a lot of hard efforts and time to arrange. There would be certainly a lot of wrongdoings and mischievous things too here and there at the beginning, never mind, let us start and then will improve and push forward our Yemen Democracy. Let it take 5 to 10 years.
This comes as credit to our President.