Yemen says elcome home! [Archives:2003/644/Opinion]

June 23 2003

By Yazan Al-Saghiry
[email protected]

Sometime ago, I read an article by Nadia Al Saqqaf, ''It's time to come back home''. In fact I was really touched, because the article was very deep .And after that; I read another one titled 'Not quite the time to go home”. Also, Abdullah A.S – the writer of the article – had his reasons which might 'sometimes be true. So, this made me confused. Both titles were shiny and true. I couldn't make up my mind. Eventually, I decided to combine between both of them by taking all positive sides from each point of view. Anyway, what happened on Sunday 15/6/2003 killed 'all positive sides in me about the idea of coming back home – but it didn't make me agree totally with Abdullah-!
My brother 'Ibrahim' was coming on that day from an Arab country to Sana'a International Airport. It was a long vacation for him after that brilliant decision of not giving the high school gladiators their certifications until one year passes. So he stayed there for 10 months and spent the time by submitting a course on computer maintenance.
After his arrival, he submitted the SARS test, and it seems everything is Ok. But, when he was getting out looking for the luggage, an officer stopped him and started reading his passport slowly. Then, a shock came out of his mouth: ok Look Hummm, we will have your passport for couple of days until we make sure of something my brother said innocently-:
'What thing?!'
No definite answers were taken, but the real important notice was that; my brother was not the only one! Every Yemeni student was in that trip got the same lion share of this amazing welcome'!
Then, all of them were taken to an office- at the airport- and the officers started asking them one definite question: Have you been to Iraq recently? One of the students answered bravely: I would be honored, but unfortunately I didn't'!
Only luck saved Ibrahim from spending more time in the political Security generous entertainment. What helped him was the certification of the course he took during period of the aggression on Iraq. They let him go after they copied his certification as well as his passport. The sad thing was those who by chance were students in Iraq because the officials at the ministry of Higher Education And Scientific Research chose Iraq for them!
And when those were asked about mot coming back when the government ordered them to do before the aggression, one of the students said a very touchy statement. We thought that Arabs and Muslims will do something at least to stop this filthy aggression'
So, my bother could make it, but the others stayed on hold and I don't know if they spent the night- or the nights- there. But there was a source of relief, that the officers were very understanding and polite. And that is a normal conclusion because all of them – as Ibrahim told me-were full of sympathy for the students. They were not convinced about the whole idea of treating the students this way. He even told me that one of the officers shouted during the investigation 'What the hell are we afraid of; they are Yemeni citizens in their own country'.
On the other hand- I have to be very accurate- it is not a matter of criticizing someone or something, because there are other positive aspects in such investigations. At least, it helps us to know the names of the Yemeni martyrs in Iraq. We know that, the coalition forces bombed civilian locations hundreds of times using 'Cluster Bombs' and other 'Mass Destruction' Bombs. So, there might be some Yemenis among the casualties. As well as, there are some Yemenis who responded the sacred call of many Muslim Great Mosques-such as Al Azhar ALSheriff- of defending Iraq against the invasion, and most of them are lost there. Looking at the subject from this angle, there are really very positive aspects behind the investigations.
But, don't you agree with me that there are other ways to do any kind of 'necessary' investigations?
Isn't enough for those students that were in very critical situations of suffering and scaring?
In other places of the world, the citizen is a very 'restricted' area. No one whoever he was can ever arrest any citizen unless there is a real condemnation. USA after September 11the can be considered an exception; but this is 'restricted' to some races and some religions, otherwise there are many ways to conduct any kind of investigations. They can open, go through and close the investigation without the knowing of the suspect!
As for me I believe that we do have some security sectors in our country who are very qualified to do this kind of job, especially it is not that dangerous case because the students are suspects for nothing!
Most of Yemeni students in Iraq were dead for the moment they come back home because they missed their country, and they wanted to feel the smell of security. And as for the others who where out of Iraq if they could prove that they didn't go there, 'the shock and horror' were enough to make them cry for that security. I hope now, after they come back home, they have the security in their houses; not in order places!
Going back to the introduction, I discovered the real solution between 'it's time to come back home' and 'not quite the time to go home'. Yes, it might be the time to go back home, but seems it is not quite the time for home to receive us!