By: Asma’a Al-Mahatwari
In a recent family meeting, we discussed Ramadan. What surprised me was that everyone spoke in a sad tone filled with worry.
The requirements of Ramadan, and rising prices, were the concerns.
I thought to myself, if families with a good income are complaining of rising prices and can’t muster up all the supplies for Ramadan, what about people with limited incomes? What will happen to them this upcoming holy month?
Truly we miss the old days. Let our minds recall Ramadans of the past. Before, we eagerly awaited the month and our thinking was concerned with how to celebrate it and how spiritual it would be.
Children used to play outside after having dinner, but now many can’t because their parents prevent them from going out in the street because things are not safe. Meanwhile, some take their children to chew qat with them… such strange parents!
Now, millions of Yemeni families receive Ramadan with big worries about the costs that will accompany the month. Some say they will buy only what they need, that they must pay two months’ worth of salary just for food.
Looked at honestly, rising prices have stolen the joy from Ramadan. What is the cause behind this stolen joy, and who or what stole it from us?
The answer is simple: poverty!
But why are people poor? We must have asked ourselves such a question.
Maybe the answer we came up with was this: because Yemen doesn’t have natural economic resources… Saudi Arabia is always there to remind us of what we lack in this area.
But we would be mistaken. Yemen has natural economic resources in different areas, like minerals, oil, fish and agricultural products.
The cause of our poverty is the misuse of these resources by the ruling authorities. If these resources were properly utilized and were distributed equitably to all residents, poverty would vanish and Yemen would elevate to become a wealthy country.
When this will be happen? When will the joy of Ramadhan be returned?
No one knows.