Youth: Unrealized rights [Archives:2006/947/Community]

May 18 2006

Ismail Al-Ghabri
The absence of youth issues in the media clearly indicates there is a crisis in this society. Undoubtedly Yemeni still lack the proper realization, exploration and investment in its youth's potential. The young of Yemen need to have their faculties sharpened; they must be socially and educationally qualified and protected against modern life's illnesses and intruding cultural trends. Yet, despite strategies adopted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in connection to this, the problem remains unresolved. The malady is still cureless, since the essence behind it is not theoretical or philosophical in nature; it is based on solid, measurable social and educational deficiencies.

The Republic's president has realized this fact for quite some time and has ordered the establishment of the Union of Yemen and the Student's Union. He further declared the year of 1987 as the landmark for an actively functioning student Scout Camps. His aims explicitly interpreted the need for proper qualifications and the need for necessary mechanisms implemented to help realize Yemeni youth creativity and productivity in this society.

However, one of the major challenges to all this is the annual rate of population growth that is inconsistent with development measures in all sectors. The other is that those of the older generations, having already received their opportunities to become part of this developing society, are not themselves helping to pave the way for those that are coming fast behind them. Instead the new generation finds itself in the grasp of a monopolization of work opportunities, hindering any role that the youth could portray effectively in society.

This cuts across all sectors and areas of employment. In the media this can be seen in the way writers and columnists barely concede space for a new comer to explore creative writing and its outlets. Just take a look at the unobservable changes in some media sectors in the past fifteen years beyond the superficial decorations and updated modern equipment.

But the concept of monopoly goes beyond this and has developed into a type of philosophy even in the political arena. This has then deprived the Yemeni youth from actually realizing their full potentials and rights that would allow them to contribute in the overall development of our society. The scarcity of work and the few opportunities they are allowed have been exploited by and older generation bent on achieving their own self-centered goals and maintaining the status quo.

There is no denying this older generation's contributions to the progress of this country. However, the up and coming Yemeni youth of today must be given the opportunity so that it may adapt the pace of development in the country to new and up to date requirements in this modern world.

Unless practical steps are taken from now on, the tangled youth issues will remain unresolved. Specialized institutions must be set up to meet all the requirements of this generation, offering real outlets for their energy and initiatives to increase productivity and creativity. These institutions however, must first be purged of traditional restrictions in such a way to enable the younger generations to implement their modernized visions of the future of this country.

Despite the government's efforts, projects fall short of the mark and do meet the real needs of our youth. The difference lies in that in Yemen as opposed to other nations of the world, the strategies to address the needs of the younger generations are all short-lived and do not tackle the issues in the long term.

More comprehensive, detailed planning is required to handle the various aspects of the youth in this country. We must provide for them all the means possible to enhance their capacities, sharpen their capabilities and skills so they may go on to play a vital role in this society.