Yemen on the Brink
Yemen today is at its tipping point; it is on the brink. It has arrived at a pinnacle phase in its recent history. What ensues within this interlude is what will determine its fate and its imminent role in the global community. It is imperative that this period is documented and the right inquiries are investigated. The international community tends to inaccurately associate the entire Middle Eastern region into one category, assuming they are mostly similar and homogenous. We fail to recognize the apparent distinguishable traits each country carries; the differing political structures and forms of governance; the economic disparities and religious diversity. These differences that we find are crucial in accurately comprehending societal upheaval. Yemen unlike most of the Middle East is a predominantly tribal nation, historically isolated from our global society. When many parts of the world were experiencing the industrial age, Yemen remained secluded and failed to partake in global development and advancement. Traces of this are found in Yemen today. This lack of technology and advanced communication is not only the result of historical influence but economic instability. Poverty in most part caused by corruption, is the current fundamental basis that hinders technological growth and development and underscores the motivation behind today’s revolution. The average Yemeni lives on $2.00 (USD) a day and massive inflation has contributed to their deteriorating condition. Seventy percent of the Yemeni population is below the age of 25 and most face unemployment.
Accompanying challenges such as corruption and poverty, Yemen faces more daunting hurdles: mounting economic crisis; festering regional tensions such as that of the north with the Houthi rebels and a secessionist movement in the south; deteriorating natural resources such as oil and water; and increasing threats of terrorist infiltration (AQAP). The current regime has juggled these challenges for some time now; however, the inability to instill long-term solutions has left Yemen teetering on the edge of collapse and further instability. The neglect and increasing corruption within the ruling party has aggravated the sentiments of the Yemeni people and has pushed them to edge. With the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, came the final push that forced Yemenis to face their current struggles and offered them optimism and inspiration for greater possibilities and opportunity. It gave Yemenis the opportunity to dream, something that for a long period of time, they forgot to do.
This new-found motivation and repudiation to the “ideals” of the current regime is something revolutionary in itself. A nation once so tolerant of their deteriorating situation, to suddenly denounce their traditional systems of governance, and demand something far superior. A nation that once felt they didn’t deserve what everyone else around the world had, to suddenly stand and shout, “I deserve more!” There is nothing more inspiring and avant-garde than this. There is nothing more revolutionary and groundbreaking than self-revelation. I have never been more proud to be a Yemeni then now, in this very moment. I have never been more proud and honored be alive to witness such a transformation of human character and behavior. At a time when we witness the worst of atrocities like that of Libya, when in the face of brutal repression are acts of integrity, unity and brotherhood. This puts me at ease. And because of this, most importantly, I have never been more proud to be human.
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