Vicissitudes of Arabia Felix’s Lifetime


Fakhri al-Arashi

Happy Eid is no longer happy and healthy food is no longer tasty. These are the common signs of rejecting the dramatic fogginess that left Arabia Felix upside-down, even in what should be a happy moment. People aren’t having fun and thinking of relaxation and enjoyment during a public and religious holiday like Eid in the past. The doubled crises of today has pushed 90% of the population back to the middle ages.

Again, the vicissitudes of time cannot be more revealing. Yemen was known as the homeland of Qahtan, the founder of all “true Arabs”. Long before Christ, it was named “Arabia Felix” – Happy Arabia – by the Greeks and Romans, who became aware of the riches of the land thanks to trade in spices and coffee beans. Although Yemen has often been politically unstable throughout its history, old Yemeni civilizations such as Sheba, Himyar, Hadhramout and Ma’in achieved great power and prosperity.

Those were just a few of the fascinating stories of old Yemen. With the passage of time and the uprooting of Yemenis for various reasons, civilizations in Yemen have reverberated across its region, leaving indelible marks and historical influence as far as the lands of present-day Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, and Syria.

Currently the opposite is happening, despite progress in technology, human nature, and the opening up of people to the rest of globe. After great history and civilization, Yemen is now at the tail of poor countries as a government, not as a people. Yemen is hostage to corruption and individual profit.

It’s really hard to review the prosperous past and compare it to the current mess. The ethics of serving nations have been lost to the demand of an expanding personnel zoo to be remembered on the account of hunger, suffering, and country progress for good.

This is what people are suffering from today on such a festive occasion as Eid. The government does not bother any more for the dying people who lost their opportunity and rights in life. This is a change from good to worse.