Yemen’s National Days and allegiance [Archives:2008/1217/Opinion]

December 18 2008

Dr. Suad Al-Saba
September, October and November are pondered upon as the most important three consecutive months in lives of Yemenis as they remind them of their glorious victories over the rule of Imamate in the north and British Occupation in the south. Only the senior veterans, who lived during the time period preceding the two revolutions in both parts of Yemen and the independence and suffered their aggressive rules, value how important these National Days are.

Born after the two revolutions, we feel frustrated when we see that one of those senior veterans, who suffered a lot under the rule of Imamate and British Occupation as they hear the national anthems, sung by the Sana'a and Aden radios. We question ourselves why such anthems prove this kind of feelings in the hearts of our fathers, and why we consider them as normal traditional anthems.

The satisfactory answer to those questions may be that we did not suffer like they did, nor did we live under oppressive regimes. Also, unlike our fathers, we have good access to education, thereby helping us learn everything with the exception of national allegiance. Moreover, we seem to be upset with any national speeches using certain terms related with national allegiance.

In fact, we suffer the problem of being isolated from all what is national, and therefore find ourselves attracted toward with is foreign even harmful it is. This can be simply proved through a considerable calculation of our necessities, foods and wears, as well as our artistic, news and cultural observations.

Strangers inside our homeland

We turned out to be strangers inside our homeland and amid our domestic environment and national culture. The clearest evidence of this is that we know much about the U.S. President-elect Barak Obama and enthusiastically observe the accurate details of his life. On the other hand, we know nothing about Al-Qardai, Laboza, Al-Thualay, Al-Loqaya and other great revolutionaries, who faugh hard against oppression and tyranny in the southern and northern parts of Yemen.

We naturally talk about Himalaya Mountains while in fact, we cannot identify names of plants in Yemeni mountains. We predict how the United States of America will look like after a dozen of years while we never care about potential negative consequences in hour homeland as a result of continuing indifference on the part of the government, coupled with the state of chaos and lawlessness. We don't feel our responsibility toward the homeland.

How it is possible for a homeland suffering hostility of its sons to prosper. We only conserve what remained from our patriotism only when we leave Yemen. Others put us in a dilemma of cultural questions about Yemen. Therefore, we attempt to retain our cultural identity and patriotism by citing small glimpses of the history of our homeland and struggle of patriots.

Regretfully, our children imitate us. They look odder than us in our homeland as they imitate real imitators. If this is our condition of weak national allegiance although we are closer to generation of our veteran fathers, how our children will look like. The answer to this question can be found through the knowledge gap between us and our fathers. If we feel frustrated, our children might have got rid of their frustration, and therefore discover other homelands to settle in through their electronic games and observations of satellite channels. Our children turned out to be isolated from what is Yemeni and have nothing relating them with Yemen with the exception of birth certificates.

We should admit the fact that we are people with a missing national identity. We need to think together in order to restore our national identity. We need to plan how to work for the sake of our homeland in order to develop a sense of national allegiance among our children.