Yemeni family values slipping…. [Archives:2005/849/Culture]

June 9 2005

By Sameerah Ahmed
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

People say that Yemenis in England are wealthy but there is something many don't realize about what's happening and has been happening for years. I realized this disease occurring at a very young age. As the years went on, though I live in England, and opportunities are plentiful for those who have courage to be entrepreneurs, something is going wrong within our communities today. And it has divided many of us and it has come to such an extent, that this disease is growing faster than one can imagine.

Today, in the 21st century, Yemenis in Yemen may envy Yemenis in England, but I lived in England since the 1970s and they need to really understand that what you see or hear, is not what it seems. Family is breaking up, sisters and brothers, relatives filled with envy. Today, I saw how one Yemeni sister trying to destroy her own brother's business by spreading rumours that he sells bad products when in reality, he is part of a 7 billion dollar business in which, it has the best products in the world and has 50 million clicks a day on their website in 100 countries and doesn't need to sell a thing. How stupid can someone be to hurt their own brother's business and not realise, they end up looking stupid when people find out what he really does is amazing.

That same brother works in a full time job while he runs the business on the side because he dreams one day to help his four sisters and two brothers, who are blind to even see, that the government system and its pension schemes will not avail them in the future. Nor will it avail their children. So this Yemeni brother works, battles not just struggles within the business world and wins, he has the best products in the world and can get products through wholesalesas well as works with the most successful business men in the world, but they are so far away from his world through their own choice. They only live 20 miniutes away. Amazing then, how Yemeni families, not all, but many in the Yemeni community do not support each other, really. All their talk about family values is just tale cause check out some of places in Sheffield, like Burngreave, and you see a house full of men eating Qat, wasting money instead of joining this brother in business and do something worth while.

I remember, I sat with this brother in Sheffield, and he was smiling away and yet, I saw in his eyes that deep sadness and I asked him what's wrong, and he replied:

“I swear, I wish my parents never brought us to England. My sisters have changed, my brothers have changed. So selfish they've become like some people here. I build for them, I struggle for them because I am the eldest and I know, their jobs can take them so far. They cannot see, that families should work together. All I dreamed and worked for is now coming true and I cannot even share it with those I love. I cannot even share it with my own damn, foolish, jealous people.”

I listened and stared at his dark blue suit. He has changed so much, growing successfully as the months went by and his attitude always strong, positive but his heart weighs heavy and I wondered how ungrateful his sisters and brothers are. He turned round to say his final words before he was picked up by a silver Lexus;

“There is always a price to pay for success. I knew this from the beginning, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my own sisters, brothers, my own blood would spread rumours, lies, and not even support their own brother. It is now that I am so ashamed of being a Yemeni because instead of them putting my head up high, they have disgraced the name 'Yemeni' and the meaning of being 'Muslim' and family.”

I suppose, what I am trying to say is, you don't know how beautiful, and amazing Yemen is, and what we once had there. We lose so many talented Yemenis in England who have warm hearts, work to one day give to our ungrateful community in Sheffield but then grow cold inside because they never receive support, and in the end, they turn their back on their community that deserted them. I have a feeling, this brother will not be seen when he grows even more successful.

What on earth happened to family values, supporting each other? It went straight into the trash the day they stepped into England. But it is not the chosen few but the few who choose to keep their dreams alive no matter what families do or what communities do, that will be the future of our community. The rest are cynics, educated derelicts, accounatnts, I.T administrators, Deveoplemnt or finance workers who are full of themsleves and with hire purchase of cars, mortgages and a mouthful of Qat. I really see what the brother meant when he said, our people are growing lazy instead of building dreams. I never knew what he meant till now.