By: Aref Abdullah Al-Selmi
As I was browsing the Al-Arabiya news website, I was surprised to find a piece of strange news with an awful picture under the title of “Marketing Dog Meat in Yemen.” This awful article stated that police at Bait Al-Fakeh, in Al-Hodieda Governorate, had captured three people who deceived people there during the Eid holiday, selling them dog meat at cheap prices!
This news reminded me of something I heard before but couldn’t believe. One day, I was eating fahsa (a Yemeni dish consisting of meat and soup) with a friend from Amran. He said that once in his governorate people had discovered that a fahsa cook had been using dog meat! At the time, I didn’t believe my friend and I thought it was just a joke. Yet this latest news of the selling of dog meat in Yemen has forced me to believe in the possibility.
Such behaviors and acts are against Yemeni traditions and beliefs, and indicate that poverty will lead people to do stupid and awful things in order to survive. The government hasn’t been able to do anything with its prices hikes, so it’s become normal to hear that poor people have gone on to eat such strange things such as locusts, dog meat, expired food, garbage, etc.
Who can predict what we will eat in future if such a difficult economic situation continues.
Expired foodstuffs are the main reason behind many diseases and illnesses such as food poisoning and diarrhea – afflictions which could lead to death. Therefore, I think that those who deceived the poor people in Hodeida and sold them dog meat are more merciful than our government, which allows such behaviors to occur without real actions and control over the market. Also, the Ministry of Trade and Economics has no serious role in or any positive effects on people’s daily lives.
The ministry’s role – as we have become accustomed to it – is simply to speak to the media about strategies, policies, procedures and quality control… yet in reality, there is no action.
Is the National Consensus Government going to stand by its people? Will it activate its official authorities’ roles regarding market control, quality control and price stability? If so, people won’t again be deceived when it comes to the meat they buy… and eat!