OP-ED

The Road Ahead

National Yemen

Bilal Ahmed Homran

By: Bilal Ahmed Homran

for National Yemen

The boundaries and the walls that separate Yemenis from each other have not only created a divide in understanding, but have caused the Yemeni nation to drift into a dark oasis of no return.

Freedom ends when it is used to force another people’s rights to alter its rooted beliefs under the banner of change.  Change does not erase the historical creation of a people but builds on it through understanding and convictional power of wisdom bestowed by a higher being: God!

A government that is unable to help its people find a solution to poverty is unable to maintain successful economic stability.  No one should worry about where their next meal will come from.  And most importantly no one should be without shelter.

It’s not a complex situation to uplift all from poverty.  The problem I have been forced to discover is without poverty, economies won’t be able to balance the playing field.  This disgusts me.  Humans are dying everyday because they were unable to find shelter and food.  These are two basic rights that governments have unfortunately failed to solve. This is a complex situation with a simple solution: Governments must build an economy based on the people not the nation.  National-based economies fail.  And today many nations are beginning to realize that.

I blame some of the failures in the Middle East on the United States foreign policy.  The United States has failed and has created a Middle Eastern foreign policy that has no interest for the United States, and does not serve the everyday Arab either. The United States should change its foreign aid strategy for the Middle East, with the aid mostly going to democracy and the betterment of the everyday person on the street.

The lack of educational opportunities in my motherland has kept Yemen as the poorest country in the region. Most of American aid that is given to Yemen is taken and provided to the armed forces of Yemen. This is wrong, and distasteful. The United States aid to foreign governments is not only charity, but an investment as well. No anti-American sentiment is going to go away in the Middle East unless if the United States stands firm on its democratic values by ending or redirecting its aid to countries with regimes that oppress their own people.  The United States should not, and must not, try to alter the real demands of the people in the region.  Regime change only creates a different picture to an already ousted government.

Change is not easy in any society.  The Yemeni people continue to this day to battle propaganda of a backward community.  I ultimately believe the only way for the Yemeni people to progress will be to end the tribal norms that contradict Islamic and modern day beliefs.  This is something the late President Ibrahim al-Hamdi (may the Almighty Rest his soul in peace) aimed for.  We as a Yemeni nation must realize a society that wants to shutdown 50% of its society cannot prosper and it will not.  But I am truly optimistic that after the past year of undergoing a revolution that broke many barriers for women, they will no longer be forced into the shadows of Yemen society.

Terrorism should take a center stage conversation as well in Yemen.  I am very disgusted that many clerics in Yemen have failed to speak out against terrorism.  Terrorism has no place in Islam.  And it has no place in the Yemen.  I believe of the newly elected government fails to bring into light the wrongs from the terroristic values that few have in Yemen, then Yemen will not be able to prosper.  I say this because if the Yemeni people are going to be burdened with attacks as they did on election day and over the past week in the south then how can the daily lives of the average man continue? Terrorism is an ideology that has taken the hearts of many vulnerable people.  And this is due to the lack of knowledge that no one religion or people stand for heinous acts of killing innocent people.   I also believe trust is also a factor in terrorist recruitment.  Trust in government has faded in the past centuries and this is due to the wrongs being committed by our officials.  If we as a people internationally can rebuild the trust in government then not one person can force others to take actions into their own hands.

Governments are built for the people, by the people.  And this gives the people the right to rebuild, change, and alter its government whenever they see fit.  Revolutions should never be out of sight as I believe it is the cause of an evolving society.   The so called, “Arab Spring” has brought to reality that when the people demand change, change will come!

The Southern Yemeni movement in my point of view is a lost cause.  A united Yemen shall never be shattered and I believe the majority if not all of the Yemeni people might also agree.  It is in the interest of the region and the world as a whole that the Yemen remains united.   The world is undergoing an economic meltdown, and to create two states with failed economies will only add to an already failing world economy.  Peace is also an issue here.  Civil unrest is not a great cause because the outcome will be defined by the loss of life.  It will be the vulnerable ones that will suffer as others try to strive for a separate state in the Arabian Peninsula.  Ali Salim Al Baidh is a hypocritical human being who embezzled millions, if not billions when he fled Yemen.   And I don’t know why he thinks he has the right to rid the Yemeni people of a more prosperous united future.

And to Yemeni people, I would lastly like to say an educated society is a more successful society.  Allow your son’s and daughters to dream of becoming doctors, astronauts, teachers, nurses, lawyers, engineers, and mathematicians.  And allow them to achieve those dreams by bringing to reality a more attainable and successful educational system.  Educational reform should and must be a top priority to any society that has decided to begin anew.  Once again I say I wish Yemen nothing but the most peaceful and prosperous future!