Last week two bomb-ridden packages, sent from Yemen, were intercepted before detonation, causing public uproar both at home and abroad. On this subject, the National Yemen sought a variety of Yemeni views:
Dr. Abdul-Rahman Hajwan, Director of Hajjah Radio Station.
Q: How do you view the package bombs incident?
A: I think that the incident was meant to prove that Yemen is a source of terrorism, which is not true. Allah has brought out the truth despite a fabricated lie that a Yemeni girl sent these packages; the girl was proven innocent. The innocence of Yemen will frustrate its enemies. On the contrary, Yemen is the source of civilizations and can never be a source of destruction.
Q: How do you view terrorism on the Yemeni arena?
A: Terrorism in general is a lesion that has made society sleepless and restless in Yemen and other countries under different rubrics. Some of these rubrics are «religion» and «Patriotism». No wise person in the universe would support a terrorist act whatsoever. Allah has instructed us to co-exist with all nationalities and races.
We pray that God will save Yemen from the evil of terrorism and terrorists and those who are loyal to them or work and support them in their deadly agendas against societies and their attempt to destroy the national economy. The carrying out of these operations by Yemeni nationals is an insult to Yemen and Islam. They talk in the name of Islam, while they don›t belong to Islam.
Q: What is your role on this phenomenon as a media professional?
A: As media people and non-media people, we call all Yemenis to line up and stand together to fight this phenomenon, report it, denounce it and deem it criminal and consider those who support and encourage it as criminals. We as media people by all means attempt to explain this message to the society and to all the people of Yemen.
We have a program on Hajjah Radio that is dedicated to educate the people of the importance of the country and love to Yemen and the importance of fighting terrorism and the damages that result from terrorism which have affected Yemen due to such terrorist acts.
Ms. Samar Ahmed Qayd, a Medical College graduate
Q: How do you view the package bombs operation?
A: Enemies wanted to smear the reputation of Yemeni women, but their plans have failed. Allah and the people always support the innocent. All the Yemeni people have stood by the side of Ms. Hanan Al-Samawi, whose reputation they wanted to slander and through her they wanted to slander the reputation of the Yemeni women in general. The Yemeni woman is a civilized one and is a builder of the fatherland. She is a student and an educator to generations and can never be a destructive woman to the peoples and countries.
These terrorist acts and explosions have spread in Yemen recently and cause a lot of panic amongst the Yemenis and non-Yemenis. They have also led to halting the investment in Yemen. The European Union and other organizations which used to support Yemen economically have suspended their support. Also, these acts reflect a bad image about Yemen and that it is an unsafe country. We are against terror and we are Muslims who are peaceful with any peaceful person who works for the interest of Yemen, whether this person is a Yemeni or non-Yemeni.
Q: Who is it that you think wishes to smear the reputation of Yemen?
A: Those people are abnormal and have irrational plans and thinking. We do not know if these people are religious extremists or they just have interests with people outside Yemen to shake the stability of the country. We are in a critical situation because of persons acting irrationally and unreasonably, making Yemen unstable. We are in need for development in Yemen, but unfortunately, due to the acts of those criminals, the process of development has faltered and deteriorated.
Q: What would you like to say to the foreigners in Yemen?
A: I would like to say to them that we, the Yemenis, love their existence in Yemen, which greatly helps the country economically. We welcome everyone who loves Yemen, whether they are Yemeni or non-Yemeni. Foreigners and investors in Yemen must stay and we will defend them against any terrorist operations and terrorists.
Ghaida› Mohammed Abdu, a researcher
Q: How do you view the package bombs operation?
A: The Yemeni woman has delicate feelings; she is passionate and kind and could never be a blood-shedder or a destroyer. If we read Yemeni history, we will find that women build civilization and development. For example, Balqis saved her country from the war with Solomon, and Al-Saydah Arwa Bint Ahmed Al-Suleihi›s reigned in a peaceful Yemen, built dams and schools. So, how could their grand-daughters be terrorists? However, thank Allah our sister Hanan Al-Samawi has been proved innocent and her innocence is the one for all the Yemeni women.
The Sana›a University›s demonstrations against terrorism are a proof that the Yemeni people condemn terrorism and terrorists of all forms and kinds.
Q: What is your personal opinion as a woman about terrorism?
A: If terrorism exists in a place, it leads to insecurity and non-safety.
Q: How do you view the impact of terrorism on the Yemeni economy?
A: Terrorism in general has a major impact on the economy. It restricts it from developing as terrorism stops investment basically. Who would come to an unstable and insecure country?
Despite the laws in Yemen, terrorism is prevalent and the economy is deteriorating whether in investment or in tourism. Tourists are abducted and this affects the Yemeni economy.
Q: How do you view those who carry out terrorist acts?
A: Certainly, terrorism is a dreadful thing. If it exists in a country, it affects the psychology of the population. It affects the psychology of women. People don›t feel safe on the road. Women have their respectable status in Yemen, but if the course of terrorism develops, then it becomes an epidemic in the society of Yemen.
Q: What would you like to say to the foreign minorities in Yemen?
A: Yemen is a safe country despite existence of some problems. The Yemenis still love and welcome their visitors all the time. Yemeni is a beautiful and safe country and those who try to destabilize and threaten its safety will be eliminated. They exist in a few regions only.
Saleem Al-Ghaberi, a young supporter to the issues of rights and freedoms
Q: How do you view the package bombs operation?
A: The operation of the package bombs was run by terrorist organizations which want to hurt Yemen and its reputation and associate it with terrorism. Those organizations sent the packages and reported them. The purpose is to slander the reputation of Yemen in the eyes of the world and also impose an economic sanction on Yemen to worsen the situation.
In this operation, Yemen has lost millions of dollars, whether by preventing the Yemeni airplanes from reaching some countries or through scaring off the investors and scaring off tourists.
At this time every year, tens of thousands of tourists should be pouring into Yemen. This terrorist act is the work of international terrorist organizations. It could also be the work of international intelligence, which might be supported by powerful countries that have ambitions and interests in the deterioration of the situation in Yemen so as to facilitate their control over it and its wealth. The world citizens must think deeply about this act without judging the peaceful Yemen and people, who condemn terrorism and terrorists.
Q: How do you view terrorism?
A: I believe that terrorism is largely a product created by intelligence agencies in oppressive regimes to find justifications to strike oppositionists or those who demand reforms and political freedoms and basic human rights. They create terrorism to find justifications for interfering in the affairs of others and to oppress the oppositions.
Q: How do you, as a young man, view what happens in Yemen?
A: The inevitable consequence to a government that ruled Yemen for the past thirty years of Sa›ada, the southern movement and Al-Qaeda is an accumulation of mistakes committed by the regime which does not find drastic solutions to problems. This regime does not care about what threatens national security as much as it does for what threatens its own security and its regime›s safety.
This is the problem that created Al-Qaeda and the Houthis. What is the relationship between Al-Fadhli and the southern movement›s supporters or between the government and Al-Qaeda?
The confessions of the defendants in the case of the British Ambassador reveal their connection to intelligence agencies and give a sign that Al-Qaeda itself is the creation of intelligence agents.
The Yemeni government invents these events to silence the opposition and those who demand reforms, either to bring powerful states into the country or to obtain support and finance under the rubric of «Counterterrorism».
Q: Do you think that these aides support the Yemeni economy?
A: In my opinion, what is more important for such aid is to build the national economy because the aid comes with conditions and stipulations, and the assistance that comes from the United States or from other countries consolidates the current national sovereignty, which is well-known.
But aid also comes in return for allowing US aircrafts to kill Yemeni citizens on Yemeni soil, which is a violation to the national sovereignty and the rights and dignity of every Yemeni. This will direct Yemen to the wrong path and to the shores of destruction and will lead it to death, with Al-Qaeda and religious extremism, which are fabricated problems.
Young people have to think big and denounce violence and terror because this is the era of peace and the era of obtaining rights with peaceful and civilized manners. We do not need to terrorize, nor do we need a weapon.