Local News OP-ED

Yemen’s Hunger: a Bargaining Chip

Yemen has different concerns surrounding its stability than Tunisia and Egypt. Food and poverty are the weapons to mobilize the street and bring people to such protests or a rallies in Yemen.  This has been seen in several governorates throughout the country in the last few days, including in the capital city of Sana’a.

Last Friday, Mubarak stepped down, which gave the protest movement in Yemen new wind, in which people had a chance celebrate the success of the Egyptian demands to end three decades in power of President Mubarak.

Yemen is a different case entirely, and its characteristics makes such a scenario unlikely.  Here, demonstrations are a political game which is a fight for power, not for people.

The majority in Yemen do not care much of who is ruling or how he is ruling and for how long. The major challenge here is how to eat, and this a goal people will pursue by any means necessary.

The rich people along with government decision-makers are fighting to steal freedom, rights, and basic needs from the community in order to keep them as slaves and fodder for their wars.

The gatherings last Saturday in al-Tahrir Square by the ruling party has proved the need of people to eat.  The same idea applied for Hamid al-Ahmar’s tribe, which hailed mainly from Al-Ousimat and which came to Sana’a for the purpose – to please their food sponsor.

Yemen is not the ideal example for the right to protest, because the people do not even have the rights to a good standard of so living even coming close to that enjoyed Egypt or Tunisia.

People there have managed to oust their presidents, but the competitors in Yemen’s political game are missing part of the story. The ongoing duels are driving Yemenis into markets to purchase necessary foodstuffs on an emergency basis for double the price.

Both sides are doing their best to make the situation worse, and even business people have started to feel the effects of the upcoming food crises, and are looking for ways to capitalize on it.

These empty battles can only have the Yemeni people as their victim.  Only a serious and comprehensive understanding and dialogue on the issues facing average Yemenis, foremost among them food prices and shortages, can give the people what they want.

Professionals, businessmen, and employees in both government and private sectors do not think like those who lack good opportunities and have no jobs.

The strategy of the government is to create opportunity to keep this bourgeois segment of society happy, because they traditionally hate revolutions and changes because it affects their generally adequate lifestyles.

It is in their interest to keep the situation calm, as their way of life and their business relationships depend on it.  Crises which would make them take to the streets can be kept far away with enough scheming by government and opposition patrons.

Yemen would have smooth political situation for President Saleh only if all the concerned parties immediately turn their attention to the urgent crises plaguing citizens’ lives.

Yemen has different concerns surrounding its stability than Tunisia and Egypt. Food and poverty are the weapons to mobilize the street and bring people to such protests or a rallies in Yemen.

This has been seen in several governorates throughout the country in the last few days, including in the capital city of Sana’a.

Last Friday, Mubarak stepped down, which gave the protest movement in Yemen new wind, in which people had a chance celebrate the success of the Egyptian demands to end three decades in power of President Mubarak.

Yemen is a different case entirely, and its characteristics makes such a scenario unlikely.  Here, demonstrations are a political game which is a fight for power, not for people.

The majority in Yemen do not care much of who is ruling or how he is ruling and for how long. The major challenge here is how to eat, and this a goal people will pursue by any means necessary.

The rich people along with government decision-makers are fighting to steal freedom, rights, and basic needs from the community in order to keep them as slaves and fodder for their wars.

The gatherings last Saturday in al-Tahrir Square by the ruling party has proved the need of people to eat.  The same idea applied for Hamid al-Ahmar’s tribe, which hailed mainly from Al-Ousimat and which came to Sana’a for the purpose – to please their food sponsor.

Yemen is not the ideal example for the right to protest, because the people do not even have the rights to a good standard of so living even coming close to that enjoyed Egypt or Tunisia.

People there have managed to oust their presidents, but the competitors in Yemen’s political game are missing part of the story. The ongoing duels are driving Yemenis into markets to purchase necessary foodstuffs on an emergency basis for double the price.

Both sides are doing their best to make the situation worse, and even business people have started to feel the effects of the upcoming food crises, and are looking for ways to capitalize on it.

These empty battles can only have the Yemeni people as their victim.  Only a serious and comprehensive understanding and dialogue on the issues facing average Yemenis, foremost among them food prices and shortages, can give the people what they want.

Professionals, businessmen, and employees in both government and private sectors do not think like those who lack good opportunities and have no jobs.

The strategy of the government is to create opportunity to keep this bourgeois segment of society happy, because they traditionally hate revolutions and changes because it affects their generally adequate lifestyles.

It is in their interest to keep the situation calm, as their way of life and their business relationships depend on it.

Crises which would make them take to the streets can be kept far away with enough scheming by government and opposition patrons.

Yemen would have smooth political situation for President Saleh only if all the concerned parties immediately turn their attention to the urgent crises plaguing citizens’ lives.