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Yemen

 
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12355
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:13 am    Post subject: Yemen Reply with quote

Another installment from my friend, recently returned from Yemen:

"Thanks to the Christmas Day Bomber, the details of his contacts with terrorists, and new threats from Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Yemen appears almost daily in the international news. Once an obscure corner of the Arabian Peninsula before the War on Terror, Yemen is now plagued by massive security and social problems. Some experts predict that within a couple years, Yemen will become yet another failed state and another battleground like Afghanistan, a magnet for Al Qaida recruitment and a massive US military response."

For the rest, please use the link below.

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-38007-Middle-East-Affairs-Examiner~y2010m2d5-Saving-Yemen-from-failed-statehood

Regards,
John
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eclectic



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 1122

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How convenient and coincidentally profitable for Grumman Aerospace, Northrop, and the Pentagon!
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With Malice Toward None



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the Nigerian customers are calculating the cut...
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bedwiya



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 66
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:19 pm    Post subject: Yemen Reply with quote

Such a shame. Yemen is a fascinating country and filled with wonderful people. A real chance to see what's left of the "real" Gulf Arabs - too bad many people will be scared off now towards visiting it.
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Arabian Hawk



Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 79
Location: Mystical Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not I...I am planning to visit Yemen in the very near future. Heard it's also it's a fascinating country to visit. Laughing Laughing
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A qat run, Hawk?

Enjoy your trip. There are some good flight/pkg deals from Dubai.
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Arabian Hawk



Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 79
Location: Mystical Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks jdl.... Laughing Laughing
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Yemen Reply with quote

bedwiya wrote:
Such a shame. Yemen is a fascinating country and filled with wonderful people. A real chance to see what's left of the "real" Gulf Arabs...


I completely agree. Below is an opinion piece I was able to get published in my hometown newspaper. I am glad that predictions of a failed state has not happened.

ttxor1

Sana'a – Just days after I sent a letter home describing my life in Yemen, noting that it was a country seldom in the headlines, the alleged Christmas Day bomber changed all that. Suddenly, Yemen was in all the news. The attempted bombing stirred fear that Yemen is a breeding ground for terrorists, and that U.S. Embassy closed in response to threats of attack by al-Qaida.

Frightening developments, certainly. But the headlines don't say that Yemen is a jewel on the southern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, its rugged terrain soaring to 2,000 meters above sea level, that its people are gentle and welcoming and might invite you to a wedding if you happen to pass by the wedding tent.

I study Arabic at the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies in Sana'a where we learn Arabic, hear lectures and travel to heritage sites to witness the history and culture of this increasingly important region. Yemen is one of the few places where you can see “Old Araby”, as it was centuries ago. Sana'a's Old City is recognized as a UNESCO cultural heritage site; the buildings, painstakingly constructed with hand-carved stones and alabaster, have survived the test of time. Yemenis still build houses with these traditional materials.

Men still wear the thobe, or one-piece, long sleeved dress with a sheathed jambia (a ceremonial dagger) at the front of their belts. Colorful shawls wrap around their heads, sometimes covering only the top of the head and draping down in a ponytail or slung over the shoulders. Sometimes the entire face is covered with only the eyes showing. In an interesting modern twist, a suit coat is worn over the thobe, which dangles just above black, leather sandals.

This traditional lifestyle provides a safe environment in daily life. Shoe shiners sit on the sidewalk with their brushes and round tins of cleaning polish. Children, the elderly and disabled approach cars at intersections offering water; onther times with only an open palm that hopes the silver of a few coins. Petty theft is rare and there is little major crime. The biggest hazards to the newcomver are travlers diarrhea and erratic drivers, as in any developing country.

Tahir square, near our school, fascinates the newcomer: Men with horses wait patienly for potential riders, people offer to share food, locals are deligted if one attempts to speak Arabic. The most English that many Yemenis know is “Welcome to Yemen.” But they really mean it. Yemen, the only Arab country to have signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, automatically gives asylum to Somalians fleeing their country's war.

Still serious problems remain. Yemenis suffer crushing poverty. Tribal loyalties are stronger than national identity, making it easier for radical Islamic groups to operate. For centuries, Shi'a Muslims ruled north Yemen through the Zaydi tribes. Overthrown in the 1962 Revolution when southern Yemen's more numerous Shafi'i (Sunni) population was added to the “nation,” Zaydis are still overrepresented in political life.

Secretary of State Hilliary Clinton has said the “odds are long” for quick improvement in Yemen. But added, “The costs of doing nothing are possibly far greater.” Western nations can help an important ally in the Arab world by supporting projects that provide regular access to clean water and that create employment for the burgeoning youth population. We can support educational initiatives that attempt to close the gap between boys and girls who attend school.

A military presence – or even the appearance of one – should be our last policy priority. Predator drone strikes only address the “symptoms” of underdevelopment” In 2008, the United Nations Development Programme estimated that 40 percent of Yemenis live on less that $2 a day. Bombs – which would turn to rubble already primitive road and communication networks – cannot be a substitution for bread. The likely violent backlash to such action would destablize the country and anger the population, making it more difficult to bring in non-governmental organizations and donor assistance.

To engage the complexities that Yemen presents – understanding ingrained tribal traditions, explaining perceived anti-Islamic policies – we need more Arabic speakers, more Middle East specialists and open relations with Yemen, allowing travel and cultural exchange to promote understanding and good will. What better way is there to know a country than to visit? Most Yemenis would likely greet you with a smile.
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