Local News

Ex-President Saleh to open ‘Saleh Museum’

National Yemen

Fromer presidents treasure arms

By Jihan Anwar

On 14 January 2011, ex-Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia with an international warrant issued against him and a sentence for life imprisonment hanging above his head.

Less fortunate was Muammar Gaddafi, who on October 20th, 2011 died at the hands of insurgents.

On 2 June 2012, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was handed a life sentence, while Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is in the second year of his fight against revolutionaries.

Meanwhile, what of Yemen’s deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh? He’s putting the finishing touches on a museum which is to be opened in his honor.

The museum is situated on the second floor wing of the Saleh Mosque, which the ex-president commissioned and had completed in 2008.

Displayed at the museum will be private gifts Saleh received during his 33-year tenure as president, ranging from a model of palm tree made of gold and decorative guns to swords, medals and prayer carpets.

The controversial item on display will likely be a burned suit, including the trousers he was wearing when a bomb exploded and left him injured in June 2011.

Despite the fact that Saleh was ousted following a popular uprising and as many revolutionaries continue to demand that he be exiled from Yemen, the former ruler seems determined to remain front and center in Yemen’s social life.

Blogger and doctor Hamza Al-Shargabi is planning to host a trip to Saleh’s museum on 1 April.

“Ali Saleh is attempting to remain relevant as a respectable figure in the media’s eyes, using his own pants to gain sympathy…we will give him his well-deserved attention”, said Al-Shargabi.

Yemeni citizen Luai Ahmed expressed his eagerness to attend the museum.

“[Saleh] is the only dictator in the world who was dethroned, yet still has zillions of dollars, access to any country he wants, and who still plays a huge role in his political party… Of course, I am going to have a look at his burned pants.”