A Day to Remember: March 18th


By Fakhri al-Arashi

It has been almost three years since the fate of 52 martyrs who died on March 18th, 2011, after Friday prayer, hence the name “Karama Friday.” The massacre is still unsolved, and guilty killers have not faced their fate which is unknown. It’s a funny thing, really: even the justice needed has been turned into a sort of politics that frees the killers and leaves the martyrs families completely unfulfilled.

It’s kind of a sad story for those who lost their lives for the sake of freedom and justice, because that has still not come to pass. The lives of the revolutionist population all over the region, especially in Yemen because of poverty, have dominantly gotten worse without much sympathy from those in power. They deserve both that and our pride, which is how they will be seen in history books.

The events of March 18th escalated the youth revolution in Yemen and they’re worth remembering. President Abd Rabou Mansur Hadi announced this date last year as the start of the National Dialogue Conference, which is a step in the right direction. It will end with the new federation of six states, which marks wider reforms that will hopefully dominate Yemen for the next few years.

Change is taking place very slowly, though. The objective may be excellent: reforming the country for better. However, extensive political movement is required to improve the fragile situation, which has not sufficiently happened yet. People are still paying the fine for change through destabilization, damaged infrastructure like oil pipelines and power cables, low security, and political insecurity. However, these payments have yet to translate to something definitively better, which is a shame on the memory of these martyrs.

As people regret the daily losses of each martyr, political victim, and military soldiers who have been assassinated, they have yet to see the change that they died for. However, it will come later as a prize for good faith and authentic protest. For now, we should celebrate the day of those who have done that, and pray for them, as well as their country that must escape a seemingly never-ending series of conspiracies and troubles.