Social & Community

Government Injustice Leads to a New Revolution

Asma al-Mohattwari

The unemployed and illiterate people are not the only ones whom suffer from poverty, but also those whom have a bachelors or master’s degree struggle with the difficult living situation and are trying hard to stay away from the poverty line. Hani al-Maslmani, 40 years, is a great example for those who suffer with their family in order to live a dignified life. He obtained a master’s degree from Iraq in 1998 with big hopes that he will find a great job making his family and him a comfortable life.

Optimistically, he came back to Yemen and got married. He began to look for a job saying that “I will find it easily because I am more than qualified.” Fate was against his expectations where he could not find a job as he expected. Days passed and his father died leaving Hani with nine sisters and two grandchildren to take care of. For a moment, life blackened in Hani’s eyes “how can I feed them without job.” The look of sadness and anxiety vanished from his eyes, then finally he found a job in the Tehama Body Tower. He thought that his suffering would stop there, but actually it did not; he knew that his salary will only be 58,000 Y.R and they dealt with him as a holder of a bachelor’s degree not master’s.

Nine sisters, two children and a wife, it may be too difficult to provide them a good life with that salary. After a lot of thinking an idea came to Hani’s mind to improve their life but it was so difficult for him to apply it, for he was a person with knowledge and certificates. He ignored the idea of having a bus and working on it for a while but then he recognized that certificates will not feed them, so he bought a bus and began to work on it with his free time.

“It is better to work on a bus than begging in the street. Hodeida is suffering from the economic situation and these conditions can have citizens revolt,” he stated.

Hani said that people in Hodeida are so peaceful and all there thinking was how to make a living but the discrimination that people live in now like; southern, northern Houthi, Islah and so on and also the unfair decision of the state itself can all make an end for the peoples silence and make them wander out to the streets to demand for their rights. “People in Hodeida especially Tehama have been exposed to different ways of injustice where their lands were taken, marginalized, youth in the street looking for jobs and lack of education opportunities.”

Hani added that before, the Tehama people did not have the right to join military college, but now after the revolution they began to accept them, and he registered his son there. “When my son saw me working on the bus he refused to continue high studies for he thought that there is no benefit of the certificate if their end is inside the drawers, but I tried with him to join the military college.” He said.

The most vital reasons that led Yemenis to participate in the revolution and join the change squares in and around Yemen in February 2011 were the economic issues such as poverty and unemployment.

A study made by Human Rights Information and Training Center (HRITC) issued that the majority of the participants in the change revolution in February 2011, aged between 15 and 35 years old, suffering from problems and economic difficulties experienced by Yemen, and that the economic factor was strongly present in the reasons of demanding regime change.

According to the study, all the participants in the revolution confirmed that the economic causes of poverty, unemployment, low level of services, low investment in human capital, corruption, the absence of justice in the distribution of income and wealth was a strong motivation to the revolution.

Also the new government failed in the economic and security sides. In February 21st 2014, Yemeni people went out again demanding the downfall of the government and refused the extension for President Hadi. A number of components involved in the February 11th campaign “revolution against corruption ” rebuilt their tents in Change Square in Sana’a.

The life returned to Change Square after the falling of the revolutionary activity during the past year. Youth confirmed that they will continue their sit- in and escalation till the falling of the government and the formation of a new government. As they say, people revolt when they have nothing to lose.