Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011, Year of Change in Yemen

By Nasser Arrabyee,29/12/2011

Yemen witnessed unprecedented and great events during 2011 like some other Arab countries which were swept by  the so-called Arab Spring.

The events changed almost every thing traditional in terms of thinking of the social and political life of people.

Dreams and aspirations and ambitions of almost every one were more than ever before over the recent history of Yemen.

Generally speaking, almost everyone wanted a new Yemen, new State, and new life with freedom,justice and dignity.

Though very little of these general things have been achieved,but the way of realizing dreams and reaching ambitions has become  at least clearer and smoother than ever before in history also.

The determination and desire of people  to keep going in the same way until all goals and objectives are achieved is still standing after one  year of arguments and conflicts at all  levels of life.

On November 23rd, 2011, almost all conflicting parties agreed to end the  long standing political crisis and they immediately started a long and difficult but allegedly  correct  road to build the  new Yemen where all dreams and ambitions of better life can come true. 

On February 21st, 2012, the Yemenis will elect a new President instead of the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

The new President will run the country only two years during which a comprehensive national dialogue will be conducted for paving the way for the modern State. A new constitution will be formulated, and referendum on ir will be held. 

Then, new presidential elections will be held during 2014, and the elected president will set a date for parliamentary elections.
It's been more than one month now since they started  implementing  a step-by-step two year long  road map for reaching the promised  modern and  civil State that almost every Yemeni   is talking about, though with different views. 

The road map, locally called the scheduled  implementation plan, was based on an internationally supported deal initiated by the Saudi-led six gulf nations and the UN resolution 2014 on  solving the Yemeni crisis.

But different people  look differently to what happened during 2011, and what  was achieved so far and what might happen and might  be achieved during 2012 and after that. 

The Weekly interviewed on Monday December 26, 2011, many Yemenis in the Yemeni  capital Sanaa on what happened so far and what might happen more from the protests of one year.

Adel A Arrabeai, leading protester and political activist, said that the year 2011 divided the recent history to 'before' and 'after'  this date. 

" 2011 was   the year of the birth of our historic change movement," said Mr Arrabeai.

" It was the year during which we faced major challenges and we achieved major achievements including overthrowing the regime," he added.

The 2012 will be  the year of planting and sowing the seeds of the  modern and civil State, the long standing  dream of Yemenis, Arrabeai expected.

The activist Naif Al Buraiki, disagrees,however, with Mr. Arrabeai, saying the political solution will not work and the conflicts will continue.

"The GCC initiative will fail and more conflicts and more violence and blood shed will happen," said Mr Al Buraiki.

The political analyst, Abdul Khalik Alwan , on his part, said two things might happen during the 2012 in the Arab world in general.

If the Arab Spring was made by the Arab themselves not dictated to them, Mr. Alwan expected a stage of genuine democracy and human rights after removing the rest of the Arab rulers during 2012.

"But if the Arab Spring was not made by  the Arab will, and Arab were only actors, then the year 2012 will be the end of hope that Arab can do something," Mr Alwan said.

Mr Baleek Mohammed, political activist,said what happened in Yemen during 2011, was unprecedented uprising against poverty and financial, administrative and political corruption.

Mr Mohammed expected that Islamists in Yemen would dominate because they have  more organized members than the other  parties.

However, the vice  spokesmen of the Yemen ruling party, semi-secular party, Mr Abdul Hafeez Al Nehari excluded any domination of  the Islamists in Yemen saying they  are not like their counterparts in the other Arab countries like Tunisia and Egypt.

" I do not think the Islamists here in Yemen will dominate because  they already  tried but  failed," said Al Nehari.

The main groups of Islamists in Yemen,  especially the brotherhood, have always been participating in all political and democratic processes and never been directly banned like Tunisia or partially banned like Egypt.

"The people tried the Islamists in  two coalition governments in the past," said Al 

"During this crisis, the Islamists were not democratic enough  with other forces like liberals and leftists,"

" So Islamist lost a lot."

 Almost every day, Islamists from Islah party, which leads the opposition coalition,  fight with others  over who would speak in the stage and who  would say what  in the public squares of protests especially in Sanaa. 

They also fight with others on women activities and their clothes.

On Sunday,  December 25th, 2011,  for instance, about 15 people were injured in big fight with  hands and  sticks and knives in the stage of the Change Square in Sanaa.      

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