Political Analysis

New political party includes Jewish and Ismaili adherents

National Yemen

Yemeni Parliament

By Bushra al-Amri

For the first time in Yemen’s political history, a party –which goes by the name Al-Karama – has been announced which includes Jewish and Ishmaili adherents.

The party’s name is in reference to the day known as Juma’at Al-Karama (“Friday of Dignity”), when, on March 18, 2011, a number of youth protesters were killed by forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In a press release, party members rejected the sponsorship of “so-called international, local and traditional powers which seek governmental power.”

The party, which was officially announced last week, so far contains more than 3,800 members, among whom are Jews and adherents of the Ismaili branch of Shi’ism.

Mr. AbdulMalik Al-Hajri, Chairman of the party’s Preparatory Committee, said the Al-Karama Party had derived its principles from shared Ismalic and Arabs goals, and also from the aims of Yemen’s popular revolution.

“The party will announce its general establishment conference following the month of Ramadan,” said Al-Hajri.

By NY Staff

The new party has stated that Yemen’s political capital should be moved to Aden or Ta’iz, to serve as a geographic guarantee for a civil state, as party members believe the above two cities are the nation’s most civilized cities.

Party members have also called for major military restructuring, in a manner that distances military institutions from narrow loyalties. The removal of militias, heavy military equipment and soldiers from major cities have also been cited by party members as key initial steps towards the establishment of a civil state.

The party has also called on the national media to represent all people in the country, and for it to give equal opportunities and coverage to all people, thereby “enhancing an awareness of the culture of dialogue, love and peace.”