By Tamjid Alkohali
As a result of its cultural significance, Taiz has imposed itself as a capital for Yemeni culture in January 2013. It’s considered a meeting place for poets, artists, writers and scientists in various stages of the Yemeni history.
This government decision gavehope to the people of Taiz to get a little of the government’s attention to develop the province and make it a real cultural capital.
Unfortunately, since announcing it as the capital of culture, Taiz has not experienced any real cultural work that translates the government’s decision on the ground.
According to an official statement working in the field of cultural, there is a marked stagnation in all cultural institutions and deterioration of archaeological sites. They said that the only thing achieved is the slogan.
another source referred to the weakness of the physical capacity and the delay of spending specified financial budgets for achieving the various cultural projects as a main reason.
The Deputy Chairman of the Executive Office for Cultural Projects in Taiz, Rashad al-Maqtari, he said, “Taiz lacks to the simplest cultural events. It has only two libraries, one belongs to the private sector and another to the public sector, both are in a poor condition.”
According to him, the basic infrastructure of people’s lives such as electricity, water, sanitation and cleaning is very weak too.
Al-Maqtari added, the Yemeni government, represented by a ministerial committee consisting of the governor and a variety of agents and ministers, has specified a financial budget of about 21 billion YR to achieve a set of the projects during the years 2014-16 to make Taiz a real cultural capital.
The Cultural Projects such as holding cultural events, festivals, and activities, implementing infrastructure projects in the cultural and intellectual field like the theaters, cinemas, libraries, and channels, restoring archaeological sites and historical schools, developing the appearance of the city and build parks and gardens, and providing security and stability.
“To achieve all these projects the committee divided the 21 billion YR among nine sectors,and each sector should contribute in specified amounts every year,” explained al-Maqtari.
Al-Maqtari confirmed that the Executive Office for Cultural Projects didn’t receive any specified support for the year 2014 from any of the mentioned sectors except a very small amount from the Heritage Fund which helped to hold some of the cultural events.
“The committee has chosen these sectors for it found them able to support the Cultural Projects. However, until now all the sectors escape of offering any support saying that their budget is weak and doesn’t allow,” he added.
Al-Maqtari pointed out poor planning from the beginning with the selected sectors. He said, “The committee had to coordinate with sectors very well before issuing the decision of support.”