Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The two Yemenis released by US received as heroes

By Nasser Arrabyee/11/08/2009

Sana'a- The two Yemenis, Mohammed Al Moayad and Mohammed Zaid, who returned home after about seven years in US prisons for terror charges, were received as heroes in the streets of the Yemenis capital Sana'a on Tuesday.

The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh received the two men at the Presidential palace in Sana'a.

A big official and popular welcome ceremony was organized at the international airport of Sana'a.

Clerics, tribal sheikhs, senior officials, and supporters and members of the Islah party, the Islamic party to which the two released men belong, received the two men as heroes and newborns.

The cleric Abdul Majeed Al Zandani, tribal sheikh Sadek Abdullah Al Ahmar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abu Bakr Al Querbi, Minister Human Rights, Hada Al Ban, Minister of Endowment, Hamoud Al Hetar, and the General Prosecutor Abdullah Al Olofi, were the most prominent of the thousands of receivers at the airport.

The receivers were carrying pictures of Al Moayad, Zaid, and President Saleh and many placards reading warming welcome to the two men. Al Moayad and Zaid were waving with their hands from inside a long bus that took them from the airport to a hospital before they went to the Presidential palace to meet President Saleh.

The organizers, mainly from Islah party, distributed posters and badges with the photos of the two men and written on them the "Day of Freedom"

The three American lawyers who accompanied the two men to Yemen were also warmly welcomed and cared for especially by the family members of the two men.

The oldest son of the Al Moayad, Ebrahim took the three lawyers, Tina Foster, Lamis Al Daik, and Robert Boyle to his luxurious car and drove them in the procession.

Some of the receivers who queued along the road to the airport were beating drums and dancing to express their joy with the return of Al Moayad who they described as the father of the orphans.

They also burnt incense in the streets as a sign of good reception and hospitality.

The tribal sheikhs of Khwalan where Al Moayad comes from, topped by sheikh Mohammed bin Naji Al Ghader, and Sheikh Ali bin Ali Shulan, demanded compensation from the American government for the two men.

Generally speaking, people in the street are very happy with the return of the two men and they can not hide their joy and thanks for the new American administration that, they think, played a key role in the release. But they also wonder why the two men were jailed.

"I would like to thank the President Obama who deserves thanks and who returned the hope to us, but I'm not completely satisfied until the two men are compensated," said shiek Abdullah Abdul Azeez Al Daba, tribal sheikh from Khawlan.

The government and all political parties and civil society organizations expressed their joy and happiness with the return of the two men.

The return, however, was sometimes politically employed by the media of the ruling party and the Islah party, the largest Islamist opposition party, to which the two released men belong.

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