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Clashes Spark New Displacement in Southern Yemen UN News Some of the people forced to flee their homes in Yemen Fresh fighting between Government forces and militants has driven thousands of people from their homes in south-east Yemen, the United Nations refugee agency said yesterday, voicing hope that all possible measures are being taken to prevent casualties among civilians. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that the violence has forced at least 4,000 Yemenis to flee from Al-Hawtah village and surrounding settlements, some 400 kilometres from Aden. “Reports indicate that displacement continues to grow,” agency spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters yesterday in Geneva.
Most of the uprooted are seeking safety and shelter in neighbouring villages, while UNHCR’s reception centre, where new arrivals from the Horn of Africa are registered, is some 30 kilometres away in Mayfa’a. A UNHCR local partner reached Al-Azzem village earlier this week, reporting that displaced people are sheltering with host families. The local school is accommodating dozens of people. Initial reports also indicate that some of the uprooted are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, mainly food, shelter and medical supplies. UNHCR is in close contact with Yemeni authorities, who have already begun distributing aid, as well as with other humanitarian agencies on the ground. A UN team is carrying out a
rapid assessment mission today to more accurately establish the size of displacement and identify immediate needs. UNHCR and other agencies are pre-positioning aid for 300 families – or 2,100 people – at the Mafya’a reception centre. “We are poised to scale up our assistance should that become necessary,” Mr. Mahecic said. “We have considerable resources in the country due to the continuing refugee flow from the Horn of Africa and internal displacement caused by last year’s conflict in the north of the country.” Nearly 170,000 Somali refugees have been registered by UNHCR in Yemen while more than 300,000 Yemenis are still uprooted following the sevenmonth conflict between Government troops and Al Houthi rebels. Two Yemenis, one German, and one Iraqi youths, allegedly with AQAP, begin their trial from the inside of a metal cage. They are charged of planning attacks and sabotage against government and foreign interests in Yemen - page 3.
Foreign Ministers Discuss International Stance on Yemen
Sana’a: Political Security Officers Ambushed
Jihan Anwar, N.Y
UK Foreign Secretary , Mr. William Hague, at Friends of Yemen meeting
The first ministerial meeting of the Friends of Yemen (FoY) group took place in New York yesterday, chaired jointly by Yemen, U.K. and KSA. The meeting represented 28 participating countries and intergovernmental organization, comprising of the EU, the World Bank and UN ,that aimed to develop strategic solutions for the critical situation Yemen is facing.
Following the London summit on January in 2010 and the inauguration conference on March, the New York ministerial meeting sought to officially offer the opportunity for all concerned nations to discuss economic, social and governmental resolutions for Yemen. Leading the assembly were William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary; Abu Bakr Al Qirbi, Yemen Foreign Minister, and; HE Prince Turki as KSA Deputy Foreign Minister. FoY was formed in the wake of a failed bomb attack against a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009. The forum has set as its priority the necessity to help the Yemen to build its stability and support its development. Terrorism and disorder in the country are directly linked with poverty and lack of gov-
ernmental efficiency in managing the State. “If we can stop Yemen becoming at its most extreme a new Afghanistan or a Somalia or a collapsing state, then I think we will have done the world a favour,” claimed Mr. Alan Duncan, British Minister of State for International Development who previously visited Yemen and attended the Friday meeting. The Yemeni government has pledged full cooperation in fighting Al-Qaeda, resolving the Southern Movement conflict, and establishing and maintaining lasting peace with the Houthi rebel group in the North of Yemen. HE Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, announced Foreign Ministers Discuss Continued on ( 3 )
Yemen frees 82 southern prisoners Yemeni security forces guard the street in the southern city of Aden Yemeni authorities freed 82 prisoners detained during antigovernment protests in the south in a step towards implementing an accord sealed with the opposition, a local official told AFP on Wednesday. “Eighty-two prisoners were freed in Al-Mukalla,” the main city in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, “on the orders of President Ali Abdullah Saleh after the deal was signed with the opposition,” the official said.
All of those released have “participated in protests” in support of Yemen’s Southern Movement, the official added, referring to a coalition of groups with demands ranging from greater autonomy to full independence for the south. The agreement to embark on a national dialogue was signed on Saturday with the opposition Common Forum, which groups the main Islamist opposition -- Al-Islah (Reform) -- the Yemen Socialist Party -which was once the ruling faction in the formerly independent south -- as well as other
smaller groups. It focuses on mechanisms to implement a February 2009 accord for national dialogue and the postponement of a parliamentary election until April 2011 to allow time to amend Yemen’s constitution and restructure its political system. The Yemeni president said on Saturday that the new agreement was “a positive step towards political detente.” Saleh also renewed calls for the opposition to join a national unity government. Continued on ( 3 )
A bus carrying state security officers was ambushed yesterday early morning by small arms fire, inside Sana’a. The government is accusing Al-Qaeda. The officers were attacked in front of the political security complex in the Madhbah district of Sana’a. Medical sources say that the bus had suffered
small arms fire on both sides, as it was about to enter the complex. The bus wreckage was later moved into the compound. The injured officers were taken to the Republic / Al-Jomhouri Hospital in Sana’a for medical treatment. There are conflicting reports as to how many were injured or killed. The most corroborated reports suggest that the driver suffered
serious injuries and is in a critical condition, and approximately six others were injured. The government is accusing Al Qaeda of perpetrating the attack. However, at this moment, there is no indication or evidence that the ambushers have been caught, or even identified. No further details have been officially acknowledged at this moment in time.
Yemen, EU discuss procedures for opening regional antipiracy center SANA’A, Sep.25 (Saba)Yemen and European Union (EU) discussed on Saturday final procedures for opening a regional center in Sana’a to coordinate and share information to combat sea piracy in the western Indian Ocean area and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somali. This came during a meeting gathered Minister of Transport Khaled al-Wazir and the international expert on security policy and maritime safety at the European Union (EU), Admiral Hubert de Gaullier, and Director of program to achieve stability at the European Commission in Sana’a. The two sides agreed on procedures for receiving modern technical equipments of the center, which its procedures are being completed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). They identified the beginning of the next year as the date for opening the center, and next December for arrival of the equipments required for running the center.
Talks in the meeting dealt with arrangements for convening the regional meeting of member States of Djibouti Code of Conduct, to be held in Sana’a during November 6-8, 2010, to discuss the approval of the regional center’s administrative system and the mechanism of cooperation between the regional center and the national centers in 11 member states, which include Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Somalia, Tanzania, and Jordan. Al-Wazir confirmed Yemen’s keenness to find urgent and effective solutions for the maritime piracy problem in cooperation with the region countries and the IMO and the international community. He reviewed steps and procedures taken for implementing Yemen’s obligations in the Code of Conduct. He commended the support of the EU and the IMO to the regional center, stressing the importance of supporting the Coastguard and Navy of Yemen
so as to enable them to combat the sea piracy that has increased in unprecedented way. The EU’s officials expressed their satisfaction with the rapid actions taken by the government, represented by the Ministry of Transport, regarding the completion of the regional center to strengthen regional and international cooperation to combat acts of piracy and protect the international shipping lines. They confirmed the readiness of the EU to continue to provide the technical support for the center to perform its tasks optimally, noting the importance of coordinating efforts to reduce the phenomenon of piracy. They pointed out that the EU would assist Yemen’s efforts in this regard in coordination with the IMO. In recent years, Somali pirates have stepped up their attacks against merchant vessels off Somalia, threatening one of Yemen, EU discuss procedures for
Continued on ( 3 )
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
of these names. American, British and gulf countries are the players in drawing methods and developing strategies, as well as key financial partners. Yemen is also suffering from terrorism itself; it is a battle field with Yemeni victims too. Since the first conference of the Friends of Yemen in London last January till Friday’s meeting in New York, there has been little substantial progress, and terrorism remains on a gradual increase.
There is no doubt that the entire world is looking to Yemen as a major partner in fighting terrorism due to its strategic location in the red sea, gulf of Aden and as neighbour in the Arabian peninsula, and to the Horn of Africa, and therefore some of the poorest countries in the world too. Yemen has been accused of being a major source of terrorism since September 11th , and other terrorist attacks within Yemen and elsewhere in the world. Poverty and lacklustre education has played a major role in attracting younger generations from Yemen to train them, in the name of fighting the enemies of Muslims everywhere in the world, in a holy mission that may lead them to paradise at the grizzly end. This danger has affected every one and Yemen has been affected many times by this radical mentality. Subsequently, there were many euphemisms for helping Yemen overcome a perceived looming catastrophe. The Friends of Yemen is one
Fighting terrorism should not mean pledging more many for military. Combating terrorism, with a long term view, requires extensive employment opportunities, proper education, a robust economy, financial transparency (in all sectors) and full application of the proper writ of justice. I believe that the gradual fuel increase is part of Yemen’s redirection towards a better future, but I wonder who is truly bears the brunt of this increase: everyone in the country, or just the common citizen? On the other hand, I believe people would be satisfied with truly successful changes that would help us withstand the current inhospitable economic crises. Friends of Yemen, your role should not be to simply throw money at a security problem, but to build the infrastructure here, to make us a more resilient and capable country, and instead to bring a serious investment to Yemen. Through that, you should not merely create jobs in security, but rather, secure jobs for people, and a future for Yemen.
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Khalid Al-Mawiri and AbdelRahman Barman from Allaw Foundation, a law firm. The lawyers requested the immediate release of journalist Abdul Elah Haidar, as there is no risk related to releasing him, with the guarantee of his place of residence. The prosecution acknowledged the request, but postponed making a decision about it until a later stage. The Secretary General of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate demanded that Haidar must be seen by a forensic doctor to ascertain the state of his health
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The Criminal Court, headed by Judge Ridhwan Al-Namer with the presence of the chief prosecutor, judge Mohammed Abdul-Raqib Al-Himyariand the defendants, held its first session for the trial of four people accused of belonging to Al-Qaeda. The four defendants were: 1 - Badr Ahmed Rashed AlHusseini, a Yemeni national. 2 - Saddam Ali Abdullah Saleh Al-Raimi, a Yemeni national. 3 - Rami Hens Hermoz, a German national with a German father and a Yemeni mother. 4 - Abdullah Mosa’ed Abdul-Aziz Al-Rawi,15, an Iraqi national. The defendants were indicted during the period from 2008 to 2010 and were alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of targeting tourists, foreign interests, vital government struc-
tures and military facilities. They were also indicted of confronting the State in the governorate of Ma’rib, endangering the safety and security of society and that they had the will to carry out those tasks by training on weapons and forming of secret cells and their willingness to carry out the tasks entrusted to them in suicide attacks, as per the details mentioned in the case file. Such acts are punishable in articles 31, 129, 133, and 134 of the Republican Decree No. 12 of 1994, regarding crimes and penalties. As per the implementation of Article (221) Criminal Proceedings, the public prosecution brought the defendants mentioned above before the competent Criminal Court for trial to be sentenced to the maximum penalty prescribed by law and the confiscation of their seized belongings. When confronted with the
charges against them, the defendants denied the charges entirely. One of the defendants even said that he was recruited and assigned by the Political Security to go to Marib to meet with Al-Qaeda and provide the Political Security Office with key information on what was going on. The German defendant requested that the German Embassy coordinate his release, and return him to his German father, whom he has not seen
for 16 years. The lawyer of the defendants, Faisal Al-Majeedi, demanded a copy of the case file so that he could present his defense at the next hearing. At the end of the hearing the judge decided to continue confronting the defendants with the charges against them in the next hearing and allowing for equal distribution of the case files for the defendants’ attorneys. The case was adjourned until next week.
International Stance on Yemen ( from Page1) that the GCC country would allocate a special fund to recon struct the conflict-affected areas in Sa’ada. Qatar also hosted peace talks between the government and the Houthi group in Doha last month. Two international working groups were chosen chaired by Germany and UAE for “Economy and Governance” and the Netherlands and Jordan for “Justice and Rule of Law”, which were assigned to analyze and report on the respective subjects in Yemen. The conference evaluated the progress of the last eight months in the country. The chairmen noted that there had been encouraging advancements represented by the acceptance of the government of ap-
plying a strict IMF reform, the reduction in fuel subsidization, the development in the WTO negotiations to include Yemen and the ceasefire since February 2010 in the Northern region. Future strategies were also discussed for a 2011-15 Development Plan. Yemen representatives agreed to contribute to sustain a fair multi-party execution of the next elections, with a National Dialogue to be hold with the opposition. Moreover, accords more directly aimed at social development were outlined to boost and improve the Technical and Vocational Training sector and to tackle the Water Scarcity in the region. A ten year development plan was designed for the Yemeni coastguard and the Maritime Information Center to of-
fer a better protection to the country. Since bribery is a major issue in Yemen, a ‘First Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’ report regarding corruption in the oil sector, was programmed to be produced and validated on February 2010 when a second ministerial level meeting has been scheduled in the Saudi city of Riyadh. The Friends of Yemen process has the potential to become an important step toward the progress of the country, yet concerned organizations advise a watchful eye at the political and human violations perpetrated by the government. While the meeting was taking place in New York, a group of human right activists collected to protest outside the hosting building. Since the ‘Counter-Terror-
ism” policy was put in play by the Saleh administration, a concerning number of human rights violations have been reported on in the country. Human Rights Watch stated in early April that media representatives, political dissidents and protesting civilians were summarily jailed, often tortured and repeatedly intimidated by the national security. People were arrested or detained without any clear proof of their guilt on the ground that they were allegedly “endangering the national security”. The International Federation for Human Rights –FIDH wrote an open letter suggesting Head of States and Ministers present at the meeting to “rethink international support for Yemen by placing human rights at the forefront of the agenda”.
Yemen frees 82 southern prisoners ( from Page1) In May, he invited all political groups inside and outside Yemen to a “responsible national dialogue, within the framework of constitutional institutions.” Officials in the region estimate that some 300 southern activists are in custody. South Yemen was independent from British withdrawal from the region in 1967 until it
united with the north in 1990. The south seceded in 1994, sparking a short civil war that ended with the region overrun by northern troops. Residents of the south, who complain of discrimination by the Sanaa government in the allocation of resources, have held repeated protests in recent months, periodically resulting in deadly clashes.
and investigate the bruises and wounds that are clearly visible on him. In the investigation session, Haidar exercised the right to remain silent and not answer questions from the prosecution. He later stressed that he is still subjected to interrogation sessions by the Political Security that last for hours. During some of which he reports that he has lost consciousness. The lawyers registered their objection of those sessions. Haidar also showed the lawyers the bruises in different parts of his body sustained during his arrest
and detainment, as well as fractured teeth. Hatiham also complained about having been subjected to psychological torture in detention, and incommunicado detainment, as well as delivery of false information to him and depriving him of access to adequate food for the whole of his detention. He said he had not been allowed anything but water and dates for more than thirty days. According to a doctor who has recently checked him in prison, Haidar is suffering from anemia.
AQAP Specialist Journalist Trial Begins The Criminal Prosecution a preliminary hearing session with the journalist Abdul Elah Haidar, a specialist in the affairs of Al-Qaeda, was held on Sunday 19th September 2010. According to the recommendation of the National Security, he was confronted with charges of plotting sabotage, criminal acts affecting the security and integrity of the country, and providing information for the Al-Qaeda leadership. The hearing session was attended by the Secretary General of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in addition to lawyers
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opening regional anti-piracy center (Page1)
dents registered. The surge drew the world’s attention with countries topped by the U.S., the European Union, Russia, China, Japan and others whose ships pass in the region dispatching anti-pirate missions into the region. Many pirates were arrested and handed to Yemen. Some of those handed went on trial in Yemen, getting sentences after confessing to hijacking and attempted pirate attacks.
The review of the political caricaturist, Kamal Kamal Sharaf, who was also arrested with Haidar, was delayed until tomorrow, Monday. It is expected, according to Yemeni law, that the request to release both will ruled upon no later than next Tuesday. In case the prosecution decides not to release them, it is anticipated that they will be transferred next Tuesday to the State Security Court and a request of an extension period of their confinement for adequate investigation. Sharaf and Haidar were arrested on the sixth of Ramadan,
or 16th August 2010, by two security units belonging to National Security, who stormed into their homes in Sana’a and took them to the agency’s prison where they stayed, without acknowledgement. The Criminal Prosecution (the State Security Prosecution) confirmed on 22nd August 2010 that the arrest of journalist Abdul Elah Haidar and caricaturist Kamal Sharaf was carried out upon its orders, but the National Security refused to allow their visit or giving any details about their health conditions.
the world’s busiest waterways in the region. 2008 witnessed the large number of recorded attacks that reached more than 140 incidents, out of which 42 hijackings. In 2009, about 46 hijackings were registered along with 210 attempted pirate attacks, while 2007 was the year of less pirate attacks and attempted hijackings, with only 20 inci-
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Hope for Madness in Yemen Jihan Anwar, N.Y “Hi, I’m Mansoor,” he introduced himself lending his hand friendly, “Mansoor Al Majnoon [Mad Mansoor]!” the charismatic man added with a bright smile. Mansoor is terribly young and at first sight might be difficult to detect his illness; you could have thought he was kidding had you met him in a place other than a psychiatric clinic. Al Amal Hospital, in Sana’a, is the principal and most equipped psychiatric hospital in the region, with an availability of 200 beds to hospitalize patients compared to the average 20-40 present in the other mental care centers in Yemen. Mansoor is one of the 170 patients currently housed who are undergoing treatment. Despite the major frequency of occurrence of mental illnesses in women, in average there are only 30 of them as inpatients. A few cases have found their only home in the hospital since no parent was willing to provide for them, stated Iazen Al-Qais, the clinic administrator. He explains that the clinic was originally an orphanage and switched to female mental center in 1991, while the males section saw its inauguration in 2004. Today it’s run jointly by a private and public system jointly. Typically, duration of clinical stays ranges from a minimum of two weeks till an extension of up to three months. The most recurrent psychological diseases in Yemen are psychotic problems accounting
usually patients resort to hospital treatment only after a long period of doubt and hesitancy when their psychological condition has worsened and somehow affected their daily life. This fact alone seriously jeopardizes the chance of a complete and prompt recovery for the majority of patients, for 46% of all patients at AlAmal, followed by mood disorders and neurotic issues (anxiety, depression and hypochondria) at 27% and 17% respectively. The Psychiatric Center also has a separate department to receive less severe cases, such as those requiring counselling, psychoanalytic therapies or drug prescription. Of course, sometimes, people just need to be listened to and have the opportunity to relieve themselves from the weight of the daily preoccupations and responsibilities, explained a nurse. The capital city of Sana’a ranks first in term of mental cases, followed by Sana’a gover-
norate, Ibb and recently conflict affected areas such as Amran and Sa’adah have seen an increase of mental disorders due to posttraumatic disorders or war related experiences. The precarious condition of health care in Yemen unfortunately also extends to the field of mental health, where psychological disorders are poorly treated and, more alarmingly, are hardly recognized by people as illnesses that a cure or treatment must be sought cure for. Dr. Mohammad Amer, a psychologist operating in the Al Amal hospital, states that usually patients resort to hospital treatment only after a long period of doubt and hesitancy when their psychological condition has worsened and somehow affected their daily life. This fact alone seriously jeopardizes the chance of a complete and prompt recovery for the majority of patients, and nullifies the potential of preventing the onset of the psychiatric disorder by treating it after indications from its early symptoms. The delayed approach to specialized mental care has various underlining causes. Among them are economical issues-a prescription drug could cost up to 40 thousand dollars; distance from or inexistence of psychiatric facilities in the area; skepticism toward modern medicine and a general ignorance towards psychological illnesses and its symptoms. A ulterior significant cause for postponing treatment is the social stigma associated to mental problems, which are viewed as a shame, for the individual and their family. Families are quite against letting their kin, daughters especially, living outside their house and make public the presence of a mental case amongst their family. In general, an ill individual is kept at home, often prevented from venturing outside and kept locked in the house or in a particular room if guests are expected for the fear that s/he would behave in an embarrassing or inappropriate way in front of strangers. It would only seem logical that these very families, the ones that are most concerned by psychological conditions, should be the very ones hurrying to psychiatric hospitals attempting to cure their loved ones in the fastest time, but the risks that elatives could be forever labelled as insane is a real and serious concern that prevents the majority. Besides this, of course, only a minority are informed about the presence of therapies. It’s quite unique that claiming to be possessed by an evil spirit is more acceptable and sympathized with by Yemeni society than openly admitting to be suffering from mental disorders. A practitioner at the mental health facility remarked, “The community seem to automatically think that someone who has psychological disorders, regardless of the kind or stage of the illness, is hopelessly insane ... a crazy person to keep at distance”. This is a kind of prejudice that recurs frequently while there is in fact difference between these two terms (crazy and insane). The term ‘insane’ is used to describe people who are rendered incompetent by a psychiatric illness; it’s derived from the Latin word ‘insanus’ mean-
ing ‘unhealthy’. Whereas the term ‘crazy’ was borrowed from a middle English term meaning cracked, referring to someone behaving in a particularly irrational manner. In Arabic a term commonly adopted to address people with mental dysfunctions is Majnoon (e.g. Mansoor Al-Majnoon).
It’s quite unique that claiming to be possessed by an evil spirit is more acceptable and sympathized with by Yemeni society than openly admitting to be suffering from mental disorders. The root letters (which dictate the general meaning of all derivations of the word in Arabic) are jeem and noon, and together they read jann. Etymologically related Arabic words include jinn-demon, jannah-paradise, janeen-embryo and jnoon-madness. Since time immemorial the underlying causes of mental diseases were related to supernatural and physiological events. Certain Chinese philosophies maintained that unevenness between Yin and Yang was responsible for mind corruption. The ‘imbalance’ theory is a factor cited by numerous cultures throughout times and locations. In an ancient Indian book describing aspects believed to be leading to psychological problems were included unbalanced diet, unhealthy life style and the absence of a spiritual fulfilment due to weak relationships with God. Greeks also put forward the ‘tetra humorous’ hypothesis: the disproportion in the interaction between these four fluids in the body was pointed as the principal reason for mental deficiency. The Islamic doctrine too promotes moderation and balance in every aspect of the individual life, carefully regulating or providing solutions for every detail of it. Any imbalance, excess or extremism regarding nutrition, self-concerning and social behaviour as well as connection with God, is viewed as sufficient in Islam to lead to mental disorders. The first Muslim scholar rejecting the culturally accepted view of patients suffering from mental issues as possessed by Jinns was Ibn Sina, known in the west more commonly as Avicenna – the medieval Muslim Persian polymath, who theorised the necessity to consider mental disorder as real illnesses demanding appropriate treatments, instead of strange exorcism ceremonies. As a matter of fact, the first psychiatric hospitals were built in the Muslims cities of Baghdad (705), Cairo (800) and Damascus (1270). In Yemen medical institutions repeatedly lament that ill patients are referred to hospitals only after their mental and physical health has been severe-
ly compromised by all sorts of exploitation by a common phenomena of a village witchdoctor practice, calling himself a Sheikh. ‘Traditional’ cures are preferred to therapies; unfortunately these so-called remedies usually cause further damage to the already unstable mind of the person. Culture has dictated that the exorcist should be sought before any medical institution for what has become quite a lucrative business for profit seeking frauds who authorize themselves through pseudo-religious reference. Religious reference, however, is a source of complementary treatment in Yemen. Qur’anic recitation is known to sooth and calm restless or disturbed thoughts, but resorting to unholy prescriptions of potions, amulets, spells and rituals is considered by proper religious authorities as an act of heresy, since the Qur’an clearly reminds Muslims that if they rely on an inanimate object or the “supernatural skills” of another human being. Recitation of verses fron the Qura’an, and a revival of Iman (Islamic faith) are supposedly particularly effective. There is a clear connection between weakening of faith and mental disorders. Also, studies have proven that suicidal thoughts, depression and lasting anxiety were seldom experienced by a firm follower of any religion. To cite some practical examples, in depression some common beliefs are worthlessness, self-denigrating ideas and desperation. In a psychotic subtype of depression, the individual has delusions of being guilty of unpardonable sins and is tormented by a constant sense of insecurity. Firm belief, they say, would absolve such feelings. At the very core of the Islamic message sits the concept of the great purpose of humanity in this world as worshippers of God through good acts and righteousness and that human beings are the most sublime and honoured of the creations, especially valuing their ability to think and be self-conscious. Furthermore, a recurrent theme is to seek forgiveness since every single sin will be forgiven to a repentant soul and that none but unbelievers will despair. Also countering the feeling of insecurity, men are reminded that nothing happens except by the will of the Creator and nothing can harm them nor benefit them except by His power, and they should fear no one but Him. A persons firmly believing and acting along such premises could not ever feel depressed. In the case of schizophrenia, researchers noticed that there were several common factors - other than biological ones - that made individual more vulnerable to the onset of the disorder. It should be known, however, that the fact that substance abuse is the main responsible for schizophrenic manifestation in 50% of the cases. Although intoxicants are illegal in Yemen, there have been registered cases of psychological disorders attributable to alcohol and drug addiction. Additionally, qat, which has energizing properties, is chewed generally by teens in combination with sleeping pills. This combination causes hallucinations and ‘trips’ that results in a reckless conduct and impaired
judgment. Also, first behavioural signs that favour the emergence of the illness are poor social skills, eccentric or odd behaviour, reduced self-care and heightened paranoia. From both the Qura’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) a great emphasis is given in minding our character as a prerogative on restraining from any extreme or eccentric behaviour. Self-care is a must in Islam in which every Muslim should always maintain his tidiness and hygiene, especially when praying. This directive is applied, for example, through the obligatory wuduh (or mandatory ablutions before prayer). Suspicion in any form is specifically ordered to be avoided. Use and abuse of any substance that could remotely impair our minds and judgment is clearly discouraged or forbidden. In the clinic, qat consumption is not allowed because it disturbs the effect of the medicines. The patients are seen to improve simply due to the absence of qat, despite their many requests. Researchers suggest that qat users are more susceptible to developing mental illnesses, attributing this to the similarity of the effects of the leaves to those of the amphetamines; others explained the psychological problem to be a consequence of the often household-damaging economy and insomnia caused by chewing habit. “In some cases their [the patients] degree of addiction to qat moves them to chew the leaves of some of the trees present in the clinic courtyard”, remarks Katibah, a hospital worker. “Some of the patients are unwilling to leave the hospital even after we made understood they were cured on the ground that they feared to return to their chewing routine and be subject of manic disorders”. Regarding non-genetic illnesses their cause is usually a shock, trauma or a particularly stressing life style.
Although intoxicants are illegal in Yemen, there have been registered cases of psychological disorders attributable to alcohol and drug addiction. Additionally, qat, which has energizing properties, is chewed generally by teens in combination with sleeping pills. This combination causes hallucinations and ‘trips’ that results in a reckless conduct and impaired judgment.
“We actually encourage people to attend Qura’anic reci-
“We actually encourage people to attend Qura’anic recitation as it has proved to be a successful treatment, with the condition that they shouldn’t seek witch-doctor ‘sheikhs’ that take on impressionable ill patients through fighting the affecting jinns (demons).”
tation as it has proved to be a successful treatment, with the condition that they shouldn’t seek witch-doctor ‘sheikhs’ that take on impressionable ill patients through fighting the affecting jinns (demons).” Islamic religion doesn’t conflict with, or supplant, the medical approach – it complements it. A famous hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) informed us that there is no illness on earth that does not have a cure which we should not try to obtain. Psychiatric clinics in Yemen also recognize the positive effects gained by recitation of the Qur’an and countless are the anecdotes of patients cured by it. The WHO strategy for Global Health by 2000 acknowledged the importance of spirituality for a sane and balanced life. What both Islam and mental health professionals despise are witch doctors who pretend to healings, often extorting their naive patients who trust too blindly. A medical cure and professional treatment should be sought, but the patient should bear in mind that the ultimate power resides with God. Psychological treatment is largely an ignored possibility or a misunderstood matter. Consequently, mentally ill patients are often victims of mental disorders and social prejudice. Often, traditional healing is confused with Islamic prescriptions and justified as so. Otherwise rational and learned believers are sometimes doubtful or unsure on how to deal with mental disorders, frequently simply conforming to the unjust ‘traditional’ witch doctor sheikhs. The solution to prevent this tendency could be quite simple. Knowledge. Awareness rising. More people familiar with the subject would result in a better chance of promoting better public understanding for a problem that cripples families and communities, as well as the individual patients. Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital might be the place from where a modern understanding of mentality should begin. Al Amal, in Arabic, means ‘hope’, and perhaps its name is even more meaningful to patients like Mansoor, and their families.
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
Al Qaeda in Abyan: Authority Confirms, Opposition Denies A Tripartite Narrative
While the central government and the opposition exchange spurious claims and charges about the penetration and influence of Al-Qaeda, and their games of political one-upmanship with every such accusation, the security situation in Abyan becomes ever more delicate and vulnerable to confrontations. Only the people of Abyan will suffer the consequences of the rhetoric exchanged on security. Citizens of Abyan live through a permanent anxiety and fear, in addition to the daily difficulties and high costs of living, and the difficulty of access to basic necessities of life because of counter-terrorism operations. Even though Abyanis have only known about Al-Qaeda through what they heard from different local and international media a few years ago, they are now required to deal with today’s events with extreme caution, especially now that Al-Qaeda’s doctrine had permeated amongst youth, and most security incidents are connected with it, as reported by the media of the State. On this basis, international news outlets have had to explore the views and analyses of a number of intellectuals, politicians and ‘experts’ specialized in this issue that disturbs and haunts the people of this governorate. However, despite international efforts to dig into how this issue originated and its impact on security and social peace in Yemen’s governorates, most local leaders refrain from discussing it completely. In a rare interview however, Abdul-Mejeed Al-Salahi, Member of the Local Council in the governorate of Abyan, spoke his mind, an insightful, local, narrative, about what was really happening. Scapegoats & Criminal Culprits Al-Salahi said, “After the fall of Kabul at the hands of the Afghan resistance that was backed by the West, and after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces in the late eighties of the previous millennium, groups of young Mujahedeen (known as the “Afghan Arabs”) had been amassed.” “Many were recruited in a number of Arab countries by the CIA in order to fight the tide of Communism into Afghanistan and into their own countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and other countries.” “Their return to Yemen created an appropriate opportunity for the regime in Sana’a to contain them and use them as a pressure on the leaders of South of Yemen to accelerate the declaration of the Yemeni unity, which was achieved on 22 May, 1990.” He added, “the period after the unity had witnessed a significant administrative and political and security vacuum, particularly in the southern provinces suffered public discontent against the Yemeni Socialist Party regime, which ruled at the time.”
Shukri Hussein, NY Abyan Correspondent
Heightened security measures and checkpoints provide an unprecedented disruption and intrusion into the lives of Abyan’s citizens “This encouraged the jihadi groups to launch an attack tactically against the former regime in the south. Training camps were set up with the blessing of the military leadership and the tribal dignitaries.” “Once the indications of loss of confidence between the two partners in government (the General People’s Congress GPC, and the Yemen Socialist Party YSP), these groups started to execute the scheme of killing the most prominent YSP leaders under the pretext of political vendetta which led to exacerbation of the Yemeni crisis, leading to the war in the summer of 1994.”
[I]nternational news outlets have had to explore the views and analyses of a number of intellectuals, politicians and ‘experts’, ... however, despite international efforts to dig into this issue originated and its impact on security and peace in Yemen’s governorates, most local leaders refrain from discussing it completely. “These jihadi groups played a prominent role in winning the battle for the forces of legitimacy, and then entering Aden on 7th July of the same year. That was a new starting point for the work of these groups in terms of unifying their ranks and renewing their allegiance to their leaders.” He said, “the war ended with the defeat of the YSP and the fleeing of most of its leaders abroad after being removed from power, which enabled the armed groups to have control over the areas of the YSP, especially Abyan, Shabwah and Lahj and taking into their possession some government buildings and camps, thinking that they will replace the YSP in the
governance of these provinces or to be given a percentage of the taxes from these areas as they were deluded.” “However, the unexpected happened. Shortly, these groups became target of the military campaigns, especially in Abyan, and some of their leaders became wanted for security issues. Amidst these confrontations, new names of jihadi organizations began to surface, such as “the Army of Aden-Abyan, “Shabaab Al-Mujahedeen” and others, and adopted the approach of violence in their dialogue with the Authority.” “They began to launch several attacks on security camps and tourist groups, as is the case with Abu Al-Hassan Almihdhar in the popular incident of kidnapping German tourists in Mudiyah in Abyan province in 1998.” “These groups expanded their activity to include attacks on Western interests in Yemen like the attack on the destroyer Cole in Aden in October 2000 and the French oil tanker Limburg in Hadramout after the events of September 11 in the U.S. Al-Qaeda’s influence grew in Yemen and thereafter large groups returned into the country from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to threaten Western interests in the region. The Authority’s attempts did not succeed in taking the dialogue course to resolve the crisis.” “Al-Salahi went on saying, “All of the above forced Al-Qaeda to operate in another way based on some rugged areas of tribal influence and the weakness of the State’s power in Marib, Abyan and Shabwah after the integration of the Al-Qaeda’s two organizations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.” “Shortly after that, the new organization “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula [AQAP]” emerged, which the authorities tried through official media to relate AQAP activity to sabotage and criminal highway robbery practiced by armed groups that have nothing to do with the Al-Qaeda organization, as is the case in the provinces of Lahj and Abyan.” “These groups took advantage of the chaos and the weakness of the local authority to carry out acts of looting, which is still a drama series in place until today. These groups were helped by the activity of certain forces of the so-called the Southern Movement which abandoned its peacefulness and exchanged it with violent and sabotage acts paid for by the provinces of Al-Dhale’, Lahj,
Abyan and Shabwah.” He noted that such acts would undoubtedly have an impact on security and peace. The violent acts that took place in Laudar town during Ramadan bares testament to that; the situation in the towns of Ja’aar, Zinjobar, Al-Hisn, Batis and others have fared no better. Those acts prompted large numbers of families to flee to the province of Aden nearby, especially after the incidents of repeated attacks on security men and military check points, in addition to the damage inflected on the economy, investment and the major service projects whether those belonging to the private sector, such as cement factories, or to the government projects, such as roads and the Gulf 20. He said that these acts still raise many questions in the minds of simple citizens such as: Who supports these groups? What is the cause of the weakness and vulnerability of the security services? And why is the State unable to disclose the perpetrators of these crimes? At the end, he wished that the state can impose the prestige of law and order and fight those who disturb the peace and bring the perpetrators of those incidents to justice, so that the citizens feel secure. AQAP: The Authorities’ Instrument Dr. Saudi Ali Obeid, Professor at the University of Aden, had a different take to Al-Salahi. He said, “Historically, ‘political Islamic organisations’ never existed in the south or in Abyan. It certainly hadn’t happened between the beginning of the second half of last century until the beginning of the Republic of Yemen in 1990, and most especially nothing was seen in the period from the beginning of 1950s of last century until Nov 1967, which represents a period of flourishing for political action.” “Several nationalist, leftist socialist, and local parties existed and the Muslim Brotherhood movement was weak, if not absent. Similarly, we can say that the period between the establishment of South Yemen on November 30, 1967 and May, 1990 was entirely free from the Islamic movements. By looking at the Yemeni post-unification period we can say that the Islamic movements, both moderate and extreme, had spread to the southern territories that were known as the territory of the Yemen Arab Republic in
particular, a host for the Islamic groups and the different ideologies that had a close relationship with the authorities at the time because they benefited from each other under the terms of the stages of the political action” He added, “Because the unified state had been tinged with the content and form of the political system that prevailed in the North, the authorities in Sana’a has been keen to transfer a lot of disadvantages and drawbacks to the South, most important of which is the transfer of Islamic movements and currents at all levels and ideologies moderate and extremist.” He added that perhaps everybody knows that Sana’a was one of the regions that was used as a front for supporting and mobilizing the Mujahedeen who participated in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan with the blessing of West and U.S.A under the banner of the liberation war from the occupiers. After the summer of 1994 and ‘the fratricidal war’, the expertise and capacities of the participants in the war in Afghanistan were made use of under the
Wrong beginnings produce wrong ends. The Afghan war resulted in the establishment of an extremist religious state under the leadership of Taliban and the more political, religious and more even more radical organization Al-Qaeda ... The friends of yesterday are the enemies of today. banner of jihad against the “infidel atheists”, the apostates and communism. Invigorated by duff religious fatwas, these groups took part in the war alongside the forces of Sana’a.
He said, “Wrong beginnings produce wrong ends. The Afghan war resulted in the establishment of an extremist religious state under the leadership of Taliban and the more political, religious and more even more radical organization AlQaeda. Because atheism and polytheism is not limited to the Soviet Union only, the jihad obligation remained a duty that must be done everywhere. The friends of yesterday are the enemies of today; Europe and the U.S. have become a target for Al-Qaeda. Afghanistan has become a strong ally and a secure haven for Al-Qaeda.” He added, “The September 11 events were a major cause of the conflict between Taliban Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda on the one hand and the US, Europe and their allies on the other hand, and the consequences of that conflict are well known to everyone. When the Taliban regime was overthrown and replaced by another regime, the majority of Al-Qaeda elements made their exit from the country and now our country has been one of those states preferred and safe for many of them.” He went on to say, “The Sana’a Authority’s close relationship with these groups enabled it to use them in what it sees appropriate for it, before they fall out. It has been able to control work and activities of these groups, including their movements and elements under the surveillance of the Republican Palace in Sana’a.” “The Authority used them as a tool of pressure on all of those who oppose it; however, the atmosphere of accord between them has soon vanished after a number of various events, which made the authorities reconsider the relationship but in following the policy of turning a blind eye on their movements.” “At this stage we can mention two important events: the invasion of Iraq and the Southern Movement. In the first event, the authority facilitated transportation of many Al-Qaeda elements or those wishing to participate in the jihad against the Americans and their allies in Iraq under the pretext of jihad against atheist. In the second event, the situation is complicated.” “The authority underestimated the Southern Movement, considering it a temporary event that will end soon. But that did not happen. The authorities used all possible means to eliminate the movement in the south, which became stronger with the
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
New School Year, New Standards Mohammed Al-Qiyari
tives will be present in schools and directorates. Wherever there is something wrong, measures will be taken. You as media are also the tongue and eyes of the people. You have to notify us of the truth. Q: Absent teachers and a lack of teaching ‘cover’ greatly detriment national education. How will you handle this problem this year? A: the Ministry of Education has respected decentralization and given power to the local authorities. I’m sure that today there is no shortage of teachers. However, there might be a poor distribution of teachers within provinces, districts and schools. The local authorities are responsible for supervising and monitoring the educational process as well as the other activities in the provinces and directorates. They have to follow up and re-distribute teachers; if there is a surplus in a school, there is a shortage of teachers in another school. Local authorities should rethink its policies in this respect. We, too, are a monitoring body and the local authorities will report to us during this year. We believe that it would be a busy year that is full of achievements and we will follow this process closely. Q: What about the unqualified teaching substitutes? A: There is no such a thing as replacement. This is a corruption phenomenon. We, in the ministry, disapprove of it totally. Why should there be a replacement for a teacher? This corruption is related to the teacher who brings another person to teach instead of him or her. This corruption is teacherrelated. If we received such information, or we found about it upon our field visits and we did not take action to deal with it, then it would be our responsibility. Today, we have more than 250,000 teachers (male and female), and more than 16,000 schools. Therefore, if there is something wrong anywhere, then it is the responsibility of the local authority. If you saw it and did not report it to us, it
becomes your responsibility. But, who does this? And where does it happen? It is the school. We warn all school directors and any educational institution from using the replacement system because this is dishonesty, fraud and cheating. Q: The percentage of passing high school students has dropped, and there are accusations that the ministry has skewed the results in order to be allocated more funds. There have been reports of student suicides because of poor marks – what is the ministry’s position? A: The high school results that have been announced are true, that’s first. Second, before, we had been accused of raising the grades to pass students; today, we are accused of decreasing them. This is a very serious social and moral issue. Why would I betray myself and my mission by reducing the grade of a student and raising the grade of another? We neither intervene in raising grades nor do we intervene in decreasing them. These are false rumors. I am the chairman of the Supreme Committee of Examinations and during the whole period of the process of scoring the exam papers, I was monitoring and watching. No one can add or decrease because the scoring process happens through coded numbers. When the result comes out as 80%, people say we have increased the percentage for students to pass. When they hear that it is 69%, they say we have decreased it. This is false information, and I consider this issue a menace to society. Q: What about the suicide attempts? A: What happens in any society must be analyzed. I have haven’t heard about these student suicides before. I have just heard it from you, but let’s assume that they exist; in this case, they must be studied and analyzed. They may be psychologically related. There might be family problems that led to the unfortunate suicide. Or it could be related to failure in learning. This issue must be analyzed before we cast blame.
Q: We have heard that you are going to change the marking system from the traditional 20 point rating system. What are the new procedures going to be? A: This year we found that the students ignore revising their lessons and study throughout the year because they only both learning for the final exams, which begin in July of the second year. They would rather relax and exert little effort in learning, until immediately before their final exams. When they fail, they invent excuses and justifications. This year, we have come out with the solution that both the preparatory and secondary school students will sit for two exams: a mid-year exam and a final exam. Now, they are equal with their colleagues in all different stages. The advantages of these two exams are that the grades of both exams will be included in the final grade. Also, the students will continue to learn and revise for both exams. Therefore, they will be ready for the final exams when they are due. There will be no marks granted to them by the ministry. The students have to work hard. This is a chance for them. As long as the students are present at school and follow up their lessons regularly, we
expect that the results would be better this year. We will make sure that no student sits for the final exam this year, which will begin in June 20th for the preparatory school and June 21st for the secondary school, unless s/he takes the two exams (the mid and final) at school. Learning is the basis for success, not the grades. The students have to earn marks through hard work. I believe that the results will be better this year and through your newspaper, I call on all the students to study hard. Q: What about teaching standards. Is training adequate? A: We hold training workshops for teachers. The schools which do not have unqualified teachers are supposed to give them training. We have intensive training programs. We had come out with a plan that the teacher do not come to Sana’a or to training centers but rather they go to a ‘pivotal’ school. That is to say, for every seven schools there is an eighth school nearby (the pivot school), will be the training center for all the teachers of the eight schools during the whole year. By following this plan we will have trained and reached all teachers. Q: The Ministry of Education
holds the responsibility of building the country’s academic ability, public knowledge and general education standards for the coming generations. However, the level of learning is weak. Why? A: There are several reasons. Some of these reasons are: the luxury of satellite channels distracts students (and their parents) from studying. Also, the schools and classrooms are overcrowded with students – we are struggling to meet an uneven population boom. Nevertheless, the procedures we are following are meant to improve the quality of education. If there is something wrong, we should not turn a blind eye to it - we’d better fix it. Q: Do you have a message for students’ parents? A: The students’ parents must follow up their children day by day and support them throughout the year. If the students as well as the parents continue their daily follow-up, the students will need no corrective action from us. We hope that all our students get 90% because eventually they are the future of this country. We do not intentionally increase or decrease grades. The media has to disseminate this information honestly.
passage of time.” “When the authorities felt that things might be out of hand, it turned its back to its old / new ally and started to play the tone of the threat of Al-Qaeda in the south. What helped the authority in this respect is the panic of the West in general and the various European countries from this terrorist organization and their attempts to eliminate it scrutinizing details of where and how.” “Therefore, the authorities allowed Al-Qaeda elements to move towards the south, but with caution. Thus, it was not surprising that the authority declares that it discovered movements of Al-Qaeda in a particular area where there is activity of the Southern Movement.” By doing this, the Authority wants to achieve a number of objectives including: 1) create a permanent state of terror and panic among citizens, particularly amongst Southern Movement activists, in order to quell it; 2) take control of the area and set up checkpoints where it can
stack the cards and play the relevant ones with regard to public and foreign opinion, particularly those involved in combating terrorism in order to refrain from giving any positive attitudes towards the issue of the South Movement, if not to contribute in striking the Movement and dumping its cause. He pointed out that the impact and damage of Al-Qaeda is undoubtedly enormous as long as the authorities continue to play this card, which it uses whenever there are crises.
training there to confront the regime in South Yemen before the unity and then their presence doubled after the events of September 11. In the 1994 war a lot of them fought against the YSP and the South in general.” “After the war ended, these groups claimed a number of rights from the victor in return for their standing beside the authorities.” “The conclusion is that AlQaeda is largely present, but under the control of the authorities. That is, it is in harmony and concord with the authorities which use them whenever and however it wants, especially that it facilitated their going abroad to carry out a number of attacks in Iraq and fight against the Americans and some operations against Western interests in Yemen. The most recent of which is the attack on the British Embassy almost two years ago.” He added, “The government’s claim that Al-Qaeda is present in Abyan is groundless, but there are some jihadist
groups under different names whose purpose was to target and destroy the remaining institutions of the State of the South and to target the YSP under the blessing of the Authority which provided them assistance.” “These operate under the directions of influential civilian and military forces and centers in Sana’a and the Authority has direct contact with these groups and talk with them in presidential palaces and headquarters of security units.” “A lot of them received generous assistance and were granted buildings and government institutions in the province. Perhaps the recent killing of soldiers and the targeting of the headquarters of the political security in the cities of Ja’aar, Zinjubar and Laudar has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. It is well-known Al-Qaeda carries out more prestigious operations, and don’t usually resort to skirmish attacks against military checkpoints or detonating an explosive device.” He added, “These groups
have long been in public view, and the authorities know this well. I am confident that there is no such thing as the Al-Qaeda as we are told about. These are just groups operating under the direction of known military and security commanders and we can simply say that the conflict within the government put these groups at risk.” “Perhaps everyone is fully aware of what the citizens of Laudar town said to the Governor after the recent events. They said, “You know very well that those are not Al-Qaeda elements. They belong to the government and they follow certain people in Sana’a. This is utter fallacy.” Dahmas said, “A very important question is why has the Al-Qaeda presence coincided with the recent events and at this particular time, as the government claims. The answer is, certainly, to eliminate the peaceful rising Southern Movement, especially in central areas of the province (Laudar, Al-Wodhai’, Mudiyah and Mukayras).”
“The Authority wants to suggest to the U.S that the southern provinces have become a haven for Al-Qaeda and so it can get approval to strike the Movement under the pretext of combating terrorism. It also wants to invent new ways to beg and request money from the U.S and the European Union under the same pretext.” “What is more dangerous than that is that the government is not honest in protecting the unity in its national project. The authorities believe that the demands of the Southern Movement are only claims to rights to national partnership and no more.” “The Authority has, for some while, resorted to turn the southern provinces to war spots and dispute areas under the pretext of combating the terror of Al-Qaeda and jihadi groups and to cause rabble-rousing and tribal vendetta. It provided these groups with the necessary weapons for silencing the voice of the South and practicing a policy of ‘scorched earth’.
Scorched Earth Policies Yet another viewpoint from the south of Yemen should be taken into account. Ali Dahmas Ali, a central member of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), said, “Actually, no one can deny Al-Qaeda’s presence in Yemen in general and its presence was because a number of young Yemenis went to Afghanistan to fight against the presence of the Soviet Union forces.” “Some of them received
More than six million students in all governorates of the Republic, at various levels of public education, in more than 16,000 schools, will return to a new school year in the next few days. The Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Abdullah AlHamidi, oversees the 250,000 teachers that will receive them. NY journalist Mohammed Qiyari interviewed the minister for his appraisal on the situation and its complexities. Q: Teachers and textbooks are the core of Yemen’s education, and the supply of both is notoriously bad. Where have your reached in your ministry’s preparations for the new school year in regards to their distribution? A: The textbooks have already arrived at the centers of the governorates, districts and schools. You may have noticed that a few minutes ago I signed a field visit assignment to schools and districts to supervise the availability of teachers and all the textbooks to schools. We are making great effort to do so. The problem is that some of the students do not register in Ramadan, as directed, and this has affected the precise schedule of the educational process where arrangements for registration have to be accommodated after Eid, between 18th and 30th September. Resultantly the schools begin their year late, and we can’t react properly to distributing resources effectively. In sha Allah, the educational process will begin to settle this week. Therefore, we will be in the field. Q: Education authorities in rural areas are publically complaining about the lack of teachers and textbooks. What is your response? A: I assure you that 95% of textbooks have already reached all schools and the remaining 5% will reach schools during the next few days. This is significant progress. In the past it was said that even by the end of the school year the textbooks had not arrived. However, now we are certain that textbooks have reached schools; if they haven’t, then it is a corruption-related issue. Today, our supervisory representa-
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
Investment: 32Bn Riyals in First Half Faoud al-Kadi
A GIA report says that the investment projects in Yemen has generated 32 billion riyals ($148M USD) in the first half of the current year. The General Investment Authority (GIA) has granted permits for a number of investment projects during the second quarter of the current year at a cost of more than 19 billion riyals ($88M USD), an increase of 7 billion riyals ($32M USD) from the first quarter of this year. The report issued by the GIA said the industrial sector was the most costly sector for investment projects, as investment capital has reached 7.78 Bn riyals, that is 40% of the total capital invested, created almost 500 jobs. The tourism sector came second with an investment capital of almost 6.25 Bn riyals, 31% of the total, generated 426 posts. The Agricultural sector ranked third with an investment capital of 2.88 Bn, by 14% of the total capital invested, creating 174 additional jobs. The tertiary services sector came last with an investment capital of only 2.73 Bn riyals, by 14% and 214 work opportunities. The report pointed out that the investment projects recorded at the GIA for the second quarter of 2010 had been distributed among 13 governorates, including the different economic, service and production sectors, where Hodeida had achieved the highest investment
capital of 34% of the total capital, by 6.58 Bn riyals. The most important projects in Hodeida are two tourist resorts, and a factory for producing fodder. These projects have created around 311 work opportunities, while Hadramout ranked second with an invested capital of 4. 471 Bn riyals, by 23%. Among the most important projects in Hadramout for the second quarter are a power station and a project for transportation of merchandise, equipment and fuels. The capital secretariat ranked third by 16% of the total invested capital, which is estimated at 3.24 Bn, generating 379 work opportunities. Among the most important projects is a project for internal and external land transportation. Sana’a province ranked fourth by 4% of the total capital invested with 1.675 Bn riyals, providing 88 job opportunities. Taiz governorate ranked fifth with an investment capital of almost 1.25 Bn with 58 work opportunities. Among the most important investment projects in Taiz is a project for extension of recycled materials. The investment capital in Aden was 860 million riyals, by 4.4% and of the most important projects in Aden is a project for producing gravel, while the remaining percentages were distributed among the rest of the provinces: Amran, Shabwah, Marib, Dhamar, Al-Baida, Lahj and Ibb. Foreign projects In relation to the foreign in-
vestment projects recorded at the GIA during the second quarter of 2010, the investment capital for this period was 2.08 Bn, by 10.72% of the total investment capital of the second quarter that reached 19. 42 Bn riyals. The report said that Jordanian projects came first with an investment capital of 824.48M riyals, by 39% of the foreign investment capital in our country and amongst the major projects is a project for producing fodder. The Saudi investments ranked second with an investment capital of 620.28M riyals, by 29% for the project of transportation of merchandise, equipment and fuels, followed by the British investments with an invested capital of almost 456.76M, by 21% of the total foreign investment capital in our country for the project of recreational tourist resort. The Lebanese investments came fourth with a capital of 130 million riyals, by 6%, while the Canadian investments ranked last with 2% of the total foreign investment capital of 50 million riyals. As per the legal form of the projects recorded for the second quarter of 2010, the report revealed that the projects recorded individually ranked first with an investment capital of 6.32 Bn, by 32% and generating 802 work opportunities, while a limited company came second with 5.54 Bn, by 28% of the investment capital and 264 work opportunities, followed by an individual institution with 3.36 Bn
Mr. Salah Al-Attar - GIA Chairman riyals, by 17% and 63 work opportunities. A joint-stock company ranked fourth with an investment capital of around 2.78 Bn, by 14%, creating 96 work opportunities, followed by a company under establishment with 1.27 Bn riyals, by 6%, creating 61 work opportunities. A joint company came last with a capital of 158M riyals, by 0.82% and 20 work opportunities. The report pointed out that the investment projects recorded for the first half of the current year 2010 from January to June recorded an investment capital of 32 Bn riyals. The industrial sector ranked first with an investment capital of 14 Bn riyals, by 43%, followed by the tourist sector with 9 Bn riyals, by 29%, while the service sector ranked
third with an invested capital of 5 Bn riyals, by 16% and the agricultural sector came last with an invested capital of around 3 Bn riyals, by 10% of the total investment capital. As part of the promotion for the various investment opportunities in our country, Mr. Salah Al-Attar, Chairman of the GIA, is heading to Germany and Vienna at the beginning of October on a visit to offer the investment opportunities to businessmen and investors. Montaha Ali Mothanna, Chairperson of the Promotion Sector in GIA, said that, during the visit, Expo Real Exhibition will be visited. Major European and German Tourist Investment companies are taking part in the exhibition to exhibit the investment features in Yemen in addi-
tion to displaying the new investment law in our country as well as exhibiting the investment product that Yemen has. She pointed out that a workshop will be held in the exhibition in Munich. German businessmen will be visiting the exhibition. Also, the chairman of the GIA will hold a TV interview with German media, in which he will promote investment opportunities in Yemen. The chairman of the GIA will also meet Austrian businessmen during his visit to Vienna as planned with the Ponuda organization that follows the UN. He will discuss with them ways of cooperation with the GIA in the field of services offered by the GIA to investors.
Third Government Oil Price Rise Faoud al-Kadi
The government raised the fuel prices on petrol, diesel and kerosene through the circulation of a communiqué to all petrol stations, last Tuesday, for the third time this year. The Yemeni Oil Company (YOC) approved raising the price of a liter of petrol to 75 riyals (a 20-litre gallon now costs 1500 riyals [approximately $7 USD]) and a liter of diesel rose from 45 to 50 riyals, (a gallon of diesel costs 1000 riyals [approximately $4.5 USD]). The government approved the first increase in February and the second in May. This increase represents a 14% rise for kerosene and 8% for both gasoline and diesel. The World Bank has recently linked the continuation of offering assistance to Yemen with the implementation of a number of economic reforms,
first of which is implementation of Sales Tax laws, and reducing the substantial government subsidies on oil derivatives. Since the beginning of this year, the government has started gradual lifting of subsidies and began applying the sales tax law and other reforms. However, Dr. Mohamed Al-Afandi, professor of economics in Sana’a University, considered these price rises a continuation of the authority’s incorrect policies. He called instead for cancelling the support paid in the form of oil allocations to influential people who sell what is left of those allocations through smuggling and manipulate the wealth of the country in general. Al-Afandi said, “These increases ensure more poverty, and a remarkable decline of Ye-
meni citizens’ purchasing power, high costs of agricultural production and prices increases in all commodities.” Estimated state subsidies for oil derivatives in 2009 totaled between 249 and 397 billion riyals [approx $1.1 – 1.9 Bn USD]. Diesel received the most of the support, a subsidy to the tune of 251%, which came at a cost of about 250 billion riyals [$1.1 Bn USD]. The rest of the support went for gasoline kerosene and diesel. The government justified the reasons for the lifting of subsidies that a large portion of diesel is smuggled abroad as a result of price difference between Yemen and neighboring countries, especially in the Horn of Africa.
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
Yemen Wins West Asia Tennis Tournament Ghassan, Sameer and Omar qualify for the eighth round, and Shaima’a ranks first in her category Yemen’s National Youth Team has qualified for the eighth round of the West Asia Tennis Tournament which is being held in Aleppo (Halab), Syria from the 21st September until the 2nd October. An elite selection of 32 players representing the Arab and Persian countries including: Syria, Yemen , Kuwait, Iraq, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Jordan. The success is largely due to star Yemeni tennis player, Ghassan Al-Ansi who tri-
umphed in the tournament. He was classified as the first champion in the tournament against the Lebanese player Hadi Habeeb 6/1 – 6/1. He also won against the Jordanian Mosa Hamzah Al-Aswadi 6/3 - 6/1. Similar successes were echoed by Sameer Sanad won against the Syrian player Adnan Dayar 6/0 – 6/0. Sameer has also won against Jordanian, AlAswadi, 6/4- 6/3. Another Yemeni player, Omer Mohammed, won against Abu Gasem, from Kuwait by 6/1 – 6/4, and also against the player Na’eem, from Lebanon, 6/2 – 6/3. In the female events, Syrian
player Sausan Jamal, won overall. Notably she scored victory against the Qatari Ola, 6/2 – 6/1 and subsequently ranked first in her group without any losses. She became the first female player, out of an original twelve players (who also represented all the same countries), who qualified for the eighth round. The female players competed in three groups of four. Our national female player is working hard to keep her title, which she achieved last year from an excellent rung of tournament wins. The Secretary General of the Yemen Federation for Tennis, Nabil Mahdi, Chairman of
the delegation, said that “our players have demonstrated excellent technical abilities and are coming first in the tournament, despite the stiff competition from players representing the other countries.” “They have demonstrated the vigor and readiness which has characterized our team. The early preparations for the tournament, which were made through an internal training camp that was held before the tournament, have clearly paid off. They have given our individuals the skills they require to dominate the tournament, and allowed them to become champions.”
Gulf 20 Announces International Referees The Yemeni Football Association (YFA) confirmed yesterday that it had received a letter from the European Football Federation, including the approval of the nomination of three international referees to take part in the management of the Gulf 20 Cup, which will be hosted by Yemen during Nov. 22nd to Dec. 5th, 2010. The list of referees who have been nominated included: Michael Dean from England, Christian Jacobsen from Iceland and Alexandru Dan Tudor
from Romania. Michael Leslie Dean (Mike Dean) refereed the 2008 UK Football Association (FA) Cup Final match. The YFA also received another letter from the Asia Federation that included nomination of a Thai referee for membership in the panel of judges of Gulf 20, while previously FIFA had approved appointing the international Algerian referee Bel’eed Lakranas Chairman of the panel of tournament referees.
National Yemen Air Bridges, Floating Hotels of Gulf 20 Taher Hizam Yemenia Airlines, with the participation of Saudi Arabian Airlines, has proceeded with the implementation of a plan to establish an ‘air bridge’ (an Arabic term for shuttle flights) between Sana’a and Aden, and vice versa, for the guests of Gulf 20 to make the guests from the Gulf as comfortable as possible. Mr. Nabil Al-Faqih, Yemen Minister of Tourism, said, “The Airlines are the official carrier for the tournament and flights will be operated between morning and evening from Aden to Sana’a for those who wish to stay in the capital Sana’a whilst enjoying the Gulf 20 games in Aden.” Mr. Al-Faqih also responded to rumors that Gulf companies would procure a cruise ship to be harbored in the port of Aden port to host guests. He commented that any prospective plans to launch a ‘floating hotel’ would serve only as a temporary investment. He said, “If a cruise ship from any company arrives, it’s up to that company. However we would require the ship to
stay away from the port, which will not have room to berth such a vessel during the days of the tournament.” Al-Faqih proceeded to say that 884 rooms had been provided with the highest specifications to host the participating teams as follows: 230 rooms in the Palace Hotel, 190 rooms in the Aden Hotel, 174 rooms in the Mercure, 120 rooms in Gold Mohur Hotel, and 170 rooms in Core Beach Hotel all have been furnished according to the FIFA specifications.” He also said, “Aden is also home to more than 115 hotels equipped with more than 5000 rooms, and 10,000 beds to receive the incoming masses of people that are expected to arrive at more than 30 thousand.” He also noted that Yemen will host 14 countries to participate in the Asian Basketball Championship which is hosted by Yemen from 22nd September to 1st October. Notably, the Asian Basketball Championship teams outnumber those of Gulf 20.
Revolutionary History Fuad Al-Qadi The Yemeni people in the north of Yemen have lived for a long time under the tyranny of a xenophobic Imamate’s rule. The people lived in complete isolation from what was going on regionally, let alone their knowledge of what is happening in the wider world. It was a terrible time of oppression. The people of North Yemen suffered illiteracy, death from diseases, hunger and extreme poverty. The gates of Sana’a, which were surrounded with tightly closed entrances, were closed at seven o’clock in the evening. No one went in or out of the town. The tribes residing outside Sana’a were surrounded by the soldiers of the Imam under the control of an Imam-appointed governor, who controlled the agriculture and the trade of farmers. South Yemen however, was under the influence of British colonialism, and had been united for a long time. The Imam Yahya Hamid Al-Din followed a policy that alienated the Yemenis in the north and south alike. He did this in agreement with the settlers in the south who have welcomed the policy. Both the Imam and the British settlers were aware that such a scheme would guarantee their continuity in their rule in order to preserve their own military and trade interests, and the madness of the prevailing hegemony. They did so by force; in the north by sword, and in the South by modern weapons and an air force of which quelled rebellions and uprisings along a coastline which controls one of the most important sea passages and ports in the Red Sea. Perhaps this was a brief introduction to discuss the nature of the ruling family of Hamid Al-Din whose injustice and tyranny in the north of the country at the time caused the tribes of Yemen, along with the enlightened elite, to feel that the situation was unbearable and prompted them to start prepar-
ing for the first attempts of a revolution. Although these elites were close to the Imam and their living conditions were good, so to speak, by virtue of their political leadership and proximity to the Imam Yahya, their conviction was that the continued life of the people in that way was more like a living hell. They subsequently rebelled against the Imam in 1948 but the revolution failed because it lacked good and precise organization and because the people were illiterate and influenced by the backward ideas that the Imamate had nurtured. When most people heard about the 1948 constitutional revolution, they considered that the word “constitution” is a “heinous crime”. To intimidate the other tribes not to think of any revolutions or movement, the Abbasid Imam Yahya ordered the tribes near Sana’a to loot Sana’a and violate its sanctities under the pretext that the people of Yemen supported the revolution of 1948 to murder his father. This was, in fact, a heinous crime perpetrated by a Hamid Al-Din royal family member.
When most people heard about the 1948 constitutional revolution, they considered that the word “constitution” is a “heinous crime”. Yet, awareness began to de-
velop, although very limited, in the revolutionary personalities’ minds which led to the rebellion of 1955, which also failed.
erhood movement in Egypt, arrived from Cairo on a British boat to Aden, and then went on to Sana’a to take part in the kill-
The martyr Al-Tholaya was executed in front of everyone to continue intimidation of the people and further instill the idea that the sovereignty of the Imamate rule would last forever. Repeated attempts to change the situation also met with similar success. The rebellion of 1959 followed and failed as well. An individual attempt that was carried out by Al-Olofi, Al-Loqayah and Al-Hindwanah to assassinate the Imam Ahmed in Hodeidah hospital also failed. Later, however, the Imam became very sick and unable to rule and the people feared him no more. In reference to the killing of Imam Yahya Hamid Al-Din in 1948, the killing came at the hands of his own men and allies, his nephews and in-laws, to implement a legal sentence. The Imam Yahya was sentenced by the Imam Abdullah Al-Wazir, Mr. Hussein Al-Kibsi and others. At the same time, Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Wazir, who was associated with the Muslim Broth-
ing of the father of his wife Taqiyah, the Imam Yahya. The meeting was held in the house of Abdullah Ali Al-Wazir, where an agreement to kill the Imam on the second day of the meeting was reached. AlQarda’ee and Al-Husseini were chosen to kill the Imam Yahya. Despite the failure of revolution of 1948, and the death of Imam Yahya, it nonetheless shook the throne of the Imamate, which sensed the danger of their demise. Unfortunately, in spite of the movements of 1955 and 1959, and the assassination attempt against the Imam Ahmad in 1961, the tragic situation in Yemen remained the same. Meanwhile however, the Free Officers organization was working in total secrecy to prepare for the revolution. There were many precursors that came prior to the revolution. Many factors led to the break-out and victory of the revolution of September 26, although it was confronted with fierce resistance. The tripartite
aggression against Egypt in 1956 caused wide condemnation by Arabs around the world, most especially in Yemen, where the people of Yemen condemned and denounced the aggression. Students in Sana’a staged demonstrations for three consecutive days denouncing the aggression against Egypt. The Free Officers organization took advantage of this momentum and directed it against the regime of the Imamate. The fear of the Imamate was palpable, and so imprisoned 11 of these students. Later, a high level Egyptian delegation paid a visit to Sana’a. The delegation was received by the Imam Al-Badr, who was the heir and Minister of Education. Al-Badr held a reception ceremony in honor of the Egyptian delegation and delighted and impressed them with shows of culture and sport. After that, the jailed students were released and groups of students were allowed to join the police, military and aviation colleges. Egyptian officers and noncommissioned officers were called into Yemen to conduct military training. Alongside these efforts, the Egyptian officers were educating college students about the national spirit. The Free Officers in Egypt infused Yemenis with a spirit of revolution and its values. This prompted the organization of the Free Officers to search for a source of support the continuation and triumph of the revolution after it breaks out. They coordinated actions through the Egyptian charge d’affaires in Yemen at the time and after he got approval from the Egyptian leadership, which confirmed its support for the revolution, Abdel Nasser fulfilled his promise and sent troops to stand by the Yemeni revolution forces. When the confrontations were intensified by the enemies of the revolution to abort it, the revolution command asked the Egyptian leadership to send ex-
tra troops. The Egyptians deployed many reinforcements, which played a major and crucial role in supporting the defenders of the Yemeni revolution in several fronts controlled by the enemies of the revolution, especially in Sa’ada, Hajjah, and some other areas. They made great sacrifices that are remembered by all Yemenis with pride and thanks. In 1967, Egypt had to withdraw its troops from Yemen as a result the setback of June in the war with Israel, in defense of their own country. However, the withdrawal affected some areas where the enemies of the revolution were stationed. The Yemeni armed forces, along with the civilian groups which had often received military training, held their positions and fought fiercely. Many were killed in fierce battles in some difficult places and areas in terms of geographical nature, especially in 1968 and 1969. The fiercest battles took place, as we noted, in Sa’ada and Hajjah. The September 26 revolution vectored, and its enemies lost heart in confrontation and realized that the revolution and the Republic were solid and stable. In 1970 peace prevailed throughout the Republic and work began towards achieving the six principles of the great Yemeni revolution by the successive leaders who ruled the free democraticYemen, the country of development and institutions in the era of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic. Today, celebrating the anniversary of 48th anniversary of September 26 revolution represents a fresh start and renewed building, progress, development and prosperity in Yemen. Yemen’s re-unification has been achieved and the course of Yemeni history was freed from all an unsavory past, that of the era of the Imamate and colonialism. It is united forever.
Sunday, Sep 26, 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com
National Yemen NATIONAL YEMEN VACANCY NOTICE Role
JUNIOR NEWS / NEWS ANALYSIS JOURNALISTS
Number of vacancies
03 October 2010
$250 USD monthly salary + benefits
Full-time (45 hour weeks) / irregular shifts (journalists will be required to travel)
The NATIONAL YEMEN (NY) newspaper requires two staff journalists to cover ‘breaking news’ and ‘news analysis’ articles. Journalists must be prepared to travel frequently, and at short notice, to provide coverage around Yemen. Our news journalists will be required to write approximately 1000 words of ‘news’ articles, and 2000 words of ‘news analysis’ articles each week on pre-agreed topics, meeting appropriate deadlines. Journalists will be required to attend two weekly staff meetings at NY HQ, and also to complete our journalism training packages.
We are looking for young, reliable, articulate journalists. No specific background in journalism is required, as training will be given. This vacancy will be most suitable to recent Yemeni graduates. Journalists will be expected to be punctual and to meet both our deadlines and our standards. Failure to meet either our deadlines or our high professional standards may result in instant dismissal. Advanced English language competency is required. Journalists will be expected to be competent computer users.
In time we will offer an improved salary, commensurate with the journalists’ competency and professional development. This job is also an excellent opportunity to begin a promising career, and will provide excellent professional training. It also may lead to international coverage of a journalist’s work.
Applicants should send a covering email, their CV, including all contact details, and also a sample of their written work. The written sample should be 800 words long, in a ‘news analysis’ style, on a subject of their choice.
Applicants will be contacted within three days, if they have been successful. The applicant will be expected to attend an assessment day and interview within one week, and will be expected to write a further article, of our choice. Selected applicants will work for one month on a non-paid probation status after being selected. If the trainee journalist meets our deadlines and reaches our standards over the probationary period, they will be fully welcomed to a permanent position with us, with full pay.
Sunday, Sep 26 , 2010 Issue 15 www.nationalyemen.com