Reports

A Comedian’s Take: Youth of Change Square Continue to Reject Saleh

By Fakhri Al-Arashi

All the initiatives of President Saleh have been totally rejected both by the opposition parties and by what is being called the revolutionary youth of change square in Yemen.

For Seven weeks, the volume is gradually being increased against Saleh, calling for him to dismiss his family members from key positions and to step down according to the youth’s demands.

National Yemen had a chance to investigate the attitudes of some individuals on the ground of change square, and how they plan their day to sustain their enthusiasm and, ultimately, achieve their mission.

The change square nearby Sana’a University became the favorite place for many people to express their attitudes of the ongoing situation. At the Friday Qat session, more than 35 people of different ages were gathering for this social habit of Yemenis in a corner that did not exceed four meters square.

They discussed their interest in making change as well expressing themselves with their friends and relatives. The tent is owned and financed by a group of well-educated young people.

The ten name is important illustration of the number of disasters and failed initiatives throughout the past 32 years since Saleh take over power in Yemen.

Like many other tents in the square, written upon it was “No parties nor partisanship, our revolution is a youth revolution.”

This was the slogan of the so-called Friday of departure among all tents. Talking to one or hundred attendees, you come up with the same answers that insistently agreed that Saleh should leave Yemen sooner than later.

The protestors believe that Yemen will be safer and better with a new government which would offer them a higher standard of living and new opportunities for investment that would promise a better tomorrow.

Mohammed al-Udra’ee, a well-known star comedian to the Yemeni community, is distinguishing himself with his aggressive style against the regime.

Counting down the days of the president, he said, “I’ve been here for five weeks and I will not leave this place till Saleh step down.  My kids are waiting for me and he should understand that.”

“We never encouraged violence against soldiers and we will not allow corrupted hands to steal our revolution. I have been injured in the last bloody Friday on March 18th, when professional security snipers killed 52 martyrs of our brothers.

“Those corrupted or criminals personalities who joined the change square will be questioned for their crimes and they have already apologized and announced their support to the youth,” said al-Udraee.

“The president was totally dishonest in his talk about the “corrupted hands”, because he should be talking about himself and his entourage who participated in the awful Friday crime.

“We advise Saleh to reveal the identities of the criminals rather than accusing neighborhood dwellers or the Houthis.  The President and his intelligence security have trained snipers for this day.

“For more than 32 years Saleh, continuously created new crises to keep the people and the international community busy with emergent crises.

“He is skilled at increasing the number of poor people, destroying economy, fighting investors and misusing the resources of Yemen.  He should resign for making us poorer and poorer during his long stay in power.

“The new transitional government should consist of five member, four civilians and one from the military side. The ruling party will collapse and their current leaders are looking to form a new ruling party. Saleh is seeking any kind of opportunity to stay in power, but he is a little too shy to say it in public.

“The people who still back Saleh are the old people in villages who compare his ruling period to the imamate era or those who derive direct benefit from his position in power,” said al-Udra’ee.

According to the comedian, who delivered his withering criticism in characteristic ironic style, the president has created more local conflicts among tribes, terrorism, and wars. “Neighboring countries and the international donors are behind the structure of power in Yemen, and the president gets his commission.” said al-Udra’ee.

“Usually revolutions started by revolutionary people and it sustain and protected by educated, politician and so on” Said al-Udra’ee. The revaluation approached the end and become more comprehensive than before. Those who says they start before others they are not better than  martyrs who sacrifice themselves for the success of the revolution.

“The ruling party is trying create a conflict among the youth by using his methods and styles to publish news here or there about the disagreements over ideology, or that the events are being monopolized by the Islah party, and that they have supposedly taken over the media.

“There is one committee and those who issue individual statements sometimes don’t properly seek consensus. The misunderstanding of a common platform is because this is the first time for the youth to arrange such protests.”

“We are here as if we are home and I spend most of my time visiting the protestors and  encouraging them to be patient. Throughout the night, me and other comedians entertain protestors and I have produced special skits for the revolution.

“No one can say how long it will take or when it will end. What we are looking for is to achieve the objective of our revolution.  It’s a peaceful revolution.”

“The president did not announce directly when he will quit, and he is a big sneak. Dismissing the government is a game to help him stay longer –  he is not legitimate, and he enlisted people, the law, and authority for his own personal use.

“The president is arrogant and he is not like Bin Ali or Hosni Mubarak – his problem is that he listens to the wrong information from his entourage.

“The Americans back Saleh and he is their agent. They want him to feel safe, but they know that he will fall shortly.

“For the sheikhs, party leaders, and other decision-makers, they cannot talk on our behalf and they want to over control the change square.

“In the era of Saleh there was no unity.”  Ali Salam al-Beidh is the one who accepted to make the unity happen. In spite of the later bad will of al-Beid in the war of summer 1994.

“The two million who have gathered last Friday are all the supporters of Saleh and they are the same group who elected him in 2006. Saleh has tasked the military to solidify his supposed legitimacy.”

As for Ali Muhsin, we know that he loves the president and he usually backed up Saleh in times of crisis, after the current dispute and the direct killing to the protestors, Mohsin resigned from the ruling party and he decided to protect the protestors.

“Suadi Arabia attacked the soldiers in Sada’a with the approval of Saleh. The Houthis were created by Saleh and they are not as the President describes them to the public.

“It’s known that Ali Mohsin fought the Houthis bravely with his solders, not Saleh or his sons.”

“I will return home once Saleh steps down, we do not have jobs and the TV and Radio they could not give us the right opportunities.

If there will be a new president, we will have new opportunities.” I believe in partisanship, and partisanship better serves our interests. I do not believe that the new government will kick out the old employees, or that the opposition parties will have a civil service that will do the job.”