Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Yemeni revolution.. a due tribute

The Yemeni people
It has been almost 6 months now since the Yemeni youth started demanding their freedom and basic rights. Everyone was skeptic. Yemen has the 3rd highest gun ownership rate in the world. “They will just start shooting each other”, it was said.

But the Yemeni people have proved to be distant from these prejudices. They stress and continue to stress the peacefulness of their revolution, hence last Friday's 5th of August slogan 'Peaceful until victory', & the Friday before 'Be patient and persevere'. Yemeni youth left their arms before going into demonstrations & sit-ins, despite the violence used against them many a times. Even though revenge is an important concept in Yemen's tribal culture, fathers of fallen heroes do not seek out revenge saying this is a revolution of the people and not about revenge. One has come to a better realization of prophet Muhammad's saying

There have come the people of Yemen; they are tender of hearts, the belief is that of the Yemenites, the understanding (of the faith) is that of the Yemenites and sagacity is that of the Yemenites.” -Sahih Muslim of prophet Muhammad's sayings

The Yemeni regime
Like other Arab regimes, the Yemeni regime frantically used the terms “chaos”, “conspiracy”, & “separatists” in its discourse to describe the revolution. It has tried to push the revolutionaries to carry arms and seems to be doing its best to push the country to civil war, dragging tribal militia into fighting by attacking the home of Sadek AlAhmar, head of Yemen's biggest tribe, Hashed. The spitefulness of the regime reached such a level that Republican Guards have shelled residential areas in Taiz, Arhab, Al-Haimah and Nihm. The number of those uprooted from conflict areas is around 390,000, who took refuge with relatives, in schools, and even in caves.

Collective punishment
In the meantime, the hardships the Yemeni people have gone through, and still go through, on a daily basis, are great and continue to rise, amid shortages of fuel, electricity, water and food. It has become customary to queue for long hours, even days to get fuel. UN World Food Programme says that "Yemen is undergoing its worst humanitarian crisis ever” . Food prices are skyrocketing. There has been a 39% increase in the price of wheat over the past five months, making it a struggle for millions of Yemenis just to get bread. The weakest suffer, as newborns & dialysis patients die in hospitals due to long power cuts.

Opposition blames the humanitarian crisis on the regime. The Friday of 2 weeks back was, understandably, named “Rejecting collective punishment”.

The future
The 4th of August was an important day in the Yemeni revolution. It marked the 60th day Ali Saleh has been out of Yemen, in KSA, supposedly getting treatment for assassination attempt wounds. According to the Yemeni constitution, this is equivalent to a resignation & the vice president or head of parliament should assume responsibilities.

What will happen next in Yemen is unclear. Our prayers are with the Yemeni people. Yemen has a very rich history and culture. It is one of oldest civilizations in the world. Its people deserve to be given their freedom & basic human rights, & allowed to build their country & put it where it deserves to be among the countries of the world. I am sure that through their persistence and peaceful struggle the Yemeni people will do just that.

I encourage you to read the following:

Pity my country.. Noon Arabia
A very good description of the current situation and key players in and outside of Yemen. I need to comment on the title and say Yemen deserves respect, not pity

Yemenis protest against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Inspire Magazine
"Ray News reported that the protesters also rejected the state’s slander and use of the al Qaeda “bogeyman” to garner western support"

Advocates: Yemen regime committed 27 crimes against humanity

Yemenis live Ramadan amidst continuous darkness

Ways to help Yemen

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thanks for taking notice. For the record, though, it's been over seven months, not six.

    Will Picard
    Yemen Peace Project