OP-ED

Yemen’s Problems are Neither New or Surprising

Fakhri al-Arashi

Since this serious government has come to power to solve the ten thousands of problems in Yemen, the number of problems have actually doubled.

Since the Hirak group decided to escalate their demand for separation last October, I knew that none of their calls would come true.

When I heard about the Islah initiative and their visit to the Houthi leader to end the media and written confrontations, I immediately recognized it wouldn’t solve the two parties problems. It will only serve one party’s advancement, which is the Houthis.

I was recently reading a statement by Yemen’s new Information Ministry about the state budget collapse and the inability of the government to pay salaries. I was very unsurprised by such a statement.

When a friend of mind called me two days ago to give me exclusive news about a corrupt international organization, it did not attract me. He said one of the experts working at this organization has resigned because of the corruption. I told him all international NGOs in Yemen are involved with corruption. This is nothing new and it is not news.

An owner of a typical Yemeni restaurant approached me with a list of complaints, including blackmail by the Tourism Office in Sana’a. I told him the matter is very normal here in Yemen, and this is also not news.

But when I was reviewing the front page news about Yemen’s first national oil company, Safer, I felt very disappointed, not just for the oil company, but because I want to see a successful example of an operation without problems.

I still feel very optimistic about the new Prime Minister planning for a new economic matrix. All of us should work for improving business opportunities. With no new investment, none of our daily grievances will be solved. The stories I listed above are emblematic of all Yemenis daily lives. They are neither new nor surprising. In fact, such daily struggles are not even news.