Don’t Forget Me

And, sir, it is no little thing to make mine eyes to sweat compassion”, (William Shakespeare, Coriolanus).

This is my last blog post for The Next Century Foundation. During my time at the NCF, I addressed several hot issues, speaking about different situations and topics, even very controversial ones, which have sometimes generated harsh reactions. I suppose it is inevitable if you are speaking about politics, human rights, dictators, victims or perpetrators. These social fabrications give us a social identity and lead us to often take on conflicting and controversial positions, dictated by interests, simple visions or specific goals. In such circumstances, the “political animal” inside each of us reveals itself trying to impose its own point of view.

However, in spite of the ideas and values that humans can have, every person is made up of feelings and emotions. Before being classified as political animals, humans are sentient beings, with emotions and feelings which define us and make us unique. The same sort of emotions and feelings that are gradually being extinguished with the frenetic and uncontrolled evolution of this world. And today, I want to talk about this. Today I want to talk about who we are. Today, I want to write about the emotions, hopes and feelings that define us and how this world is changing them. And I will do it by speaking through the lense of one of the generations that, more than any other, is experiencing this change in full; a generation that particularly expresses the contradictions of our society but also the dreams and the betrayed hopes: my generation, that of the Millennials.

We live in strange times. Times of great uncertainties, immense fears, incessant and fast changes. I am the son of a generation that has been living through the golden years of development, where entrepreneurs would invest in the job market and believed in the value of their employees. Years where politicians would constantly strive to find new ways to improve people’s lives. The high level of births, the prolific job market, the certainty of the future, the first and the second car, big savings, the summer holidays by the sea or in the mountains. And then the great investments, the incentives to progress, research and development, the high general morale, the man on the moon, the hope for a future of well-being for everyone.

But sometimes expectations about the future are bigger than what reality has to offer and, just like a bubble that swells excessively, sooner or later reality explodes right in your face. And here, all of a sudden, we have a system where the excessive well-being and the immeasurable potential of the third industrial revolution clashes with the individual economic interest. The big industries and multinationals come into play and alter the balance. Human greed grows stronger and stronger while the big multinationals knock on the doors of politics for some “boosts”. And there you go; the first agreements born to maximize profits by damaging workers’ rights; national factories shutting down to re-open in those countries where labor costs 1$ a day, or renegotiating workers’ union achievements with politicians in exchange for a few bribes or support during election campaigns; the high transnational finance getting hold of large company shares and becoming the main protagonist of a new global perverse game. The cost of labor for multinational companies drops dramatically while working hours increase. As a consequence, the price of produced goods decreases. Small and medium-sized businesses close or fail for they cannot compete with similar standards, whereas those able to make it through are the big names of industry or those entrepreneurs who, through criminal support, have managed to reach out to and influence politicians to get some extra procurement contracts or personal favors. The West becomes the center of unbridled capitalism, with no rules, with no ethics or respect. Everyone for themselves. It is against this backdrop that my generation, the Millennials, is born. The first true generation without any clue about its future.

The final blow comes with 2000 and all its technological capacity. It started with the first mobile phones and laptops on a large scale, up to smartphones and tablets. Technology moves; the great giants of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon develop; technological power becomes incredibly significant. And here’s Black Friday, the purchases with a click, the ads in every corner of the city, superfast transportation and trains in the underground every minute. The illusion of a world as a global, super-technological and limitless village is born. A sense that all this frantic lifestyle is necessary and inevitable emerges.

The savings of our parents are spent in this super-technological world while employment becomes more and more an urban legend. The new contemporary frontier of slavery 2.0 is born. Jobs poorly paid with meal vouchers; fixed-term contracts; easier layoffs; unbearable working hours. The prediction of Charlie Chaplin in his movie, Modern Times, comes true. Man becomes a productive factor with no rights, little money and a need to spend money without worrying too much about the future. It is the betrayal of the dream of a global Californication that we all expected: a happy world with more freedom and less problems to think about; a world where everyone can work and build a better and sustainable future.

But man’s greediness has shattered this dream. The betrayal from a global political class of spineless servants of high finance and powerful world lobbies has sanctioned the end of this dream. And while constitutions drown in an ocean of decay, my question is, what is left of all this?

On the one hand, there is an army of clueless kids, educated in the best prep schools which are financed by international magnates, who repeat as robots notions of economic and political theories aired on televisions and published in newspapers by those same people responsible for such a global delirium. Those same theories that legitimized the unbridled capitalism that is crushing us; theories such as those of the great industrialization or those that ultimately justified the plundering of the marvelous African countries or wars of interest such as those in Iraq or Libya.

On the other hand, there are people who live in the moment, who believe in what the World tells them to believe, only able to find their own identity in the television culture of the Big Brother, phony talk shows or in the trashy pop-porn culture spread throughout the day by MTV. George Orwell’s predictions have never been so true, huh?

And then, what remains is a people of perfect strangers.

I turn around every day, in the train, on the bus, down the street, and I see hundreds of people far away. People with a blank look on their face, lost in the void or on the screen of their smartphones. Lonely, sad, aloof people, with not much of humanity left; people walking quickly through the streets remorselessly hitting whomever is in their path because they are too intent on continuing their virtual conversation with someone miles away; people unable to express emotions or feelings; people too busy masking their loneliness behind the perfect image of their virtually perfect life on Instagram; depressed people no longer connected to reality; people who get together and break up through a telephone because they are incapable and afraid of meeting or knowing each other in a normal, real, natural way. And finally, people unable to associate, to connect, to unite and resist the power, or to oppose unjust decisions.

So what is left of feelings, of humanity, of us being people? For some reason, I’ve always been afraid to answer this question. Particularly, in the last period of my life.

During my time at The Next Century Foundation, I have been able to reflect a lot on politics, religion, people and the complicated relationships that bind us to each other and that bind us to society. I have not really ever considered anything I am writing right now. Not because I did not think about it but rather because this complex machine of intertwined relations, politics, economy, religion and power is difficult to fully understand and, above all, to make it work. And in this sense, in the end you end up accepting it because you understand that things are almost always impossible to change, peace will always be difficult to establish, power will always preserve itself and religion will always be used as a political tool to manipulate the masses. So, almost passively, you end up accepting the status quo of things. Almost like a condition of the universe, immovable and immanent. Everything has always been this way and it will always be this way.

At least until this World decides you are the next target and this status quo affects you in person, lashing out at you with all its strength. And then everything changes. You withdraw, let yourself down, look for explanations, seek yourself and your role in the world. You frantically turn around to find yourself, unsuccessfully. And you cannot help but compare your situation to that of the contemporary world, that of a world that perhaps will never change; and that of the Millennials, that of a simple person surrounded by lonely individuals, unable to sense or feel emotions in one of the largest cities in the world. You wonder if maybe it is just the natural order of things that you eventually have to accept, because perhaps that is how it works, because it has always been and will always be like this. In the last few months of my life, I have been looking for an answer to this question, without luck.

Until something happens; that deus ex machina you need to get you out of trouble. And here comes the answer to your questions. Something that helps you to understand; something like a trip to Holland, a beer with a trusted friend, an exhibition of an artist or walking in the rain in the streets of London without a destination. And it is at that precise moment that when you look into people’s eyes – those you’ve been so reluctant about or that you’ve lost hope in – you suddenly see something different, something you’ve never seen before, something that changes your perspective. And you can suddenly feel a vibe, a feeling, a sparkle that leads you through their eyes. And, like a flash in a pan, you are able to feel all the power and the emotions that each of them has locked within and that can be conveyed through their story or personality. Pure energy, pure emotions, pure humanity. The people’s smiling faces at the Tulip market in Amsterdam; the encouraging wink of a friend down at the pub that – around a pint and some good indie-rock in the background – shows you the right way of looking at things; the power of humanity in the symbolic life scenes of Banksy’s works that lead you to reflect on the true nature of people and humanity; the feeling of the rain falling on your skin in the gray of London’s streets that brings you back to life and connects you to reality again. Your prospects start to change and now you can see things differently. Suddenly you can find an answer to that question in that stream of people and things around you.

And, like a flashback, everything suddenly made sense.

During my time at the Next Century Foundation, I met ambassadors, Lords, religious leaders; I even spoke to the World for 2 minutes before the UN Human Rights Council. All exceptional experiences. However, I now understand that none of these experiences would have made sense without a particular detail that each of them has in common, the confrontation with people. Before the NCF I had not realized how even simply talking with people is essential; how much people can express through their words, their looks or their smiles. And, above all, I had not realized how effective it is to be able to talk with them to try to solve problems.

This is exactly what humanity is. Humanity is talking, confronting each other, solving problems together, uniting different and opposite perspectives. When you can achieve that; when you can take your eyes off your smartphone for a moment and you turn around; when you abandon the social and political fabrications for a moment and drop the mask they gave you, it is only then that you see potential and opportunities in those stranger’s faces rather than indifference and solitude. In that precise moment, you can hear the flow I was talking about earlier. And you understand that that potential is unimaginable and terrifies governments and institutions, and shakes the establishment. Just like the stories I tried to tell you about so far in my articles. And whether it is the Christmas truce or the international mass mobilization for the death of a young man in Egypt, you realise it is all about looking at the world from another perspective. If some people managed to refuse to fight, to kill and be killed, on European soil a little less than a century ago, destroying the socio-political fabrication of wars; if some people managed to get together to protest against a fierce dictator in Egypt without being afraid of the consequences; if one man could revolutionize his country after being imprisoned for 27 years, upsetting the entire institutional set-up based on violence, lies and terror; if other great men like Martin Luther King or Gandhi or so many others have managed to mobilize millions of people around an idea of peace, justice or freedom, then we too can change this mad world.

It is all about being able to channel those vibes into positive, collective paths. And you can only do it through dialogue, confrontation and associationism. Talking and dealing with people, precisely. Alexis de Tocqueville once said that the only way to resist power in a positive and constructive way is through the democratic instrument that starts from the bottom, by means of associationism from the municipal level, from small realities.

People are the solution to the world’s illnesses. And the positive dialogue that you can have with them. Social Capital. It is so simple. The greatest evils of our generation come from this absurd lifestyle that is offered to us in the form of well-being, technology and comfort. Loneliness, depression, indifference, hatred and division are all the fruit of a society that tends to divide us and speculate on our collective incapacity to react, associate and confront each other. It is that simple, and we are the cure.

It is possible. And you can find the proof around you. Turn off the TV, put down your smartphone for a moment. Go down the street, talk to people, listen to what they have to say. Take a hike in the park, maybe in the pouring rain. Try to feel something. Go to the pub, read a newspaper and comment on the news with bystanders. Have a coffee or a beer with them. Ask them how they are and give them a smile. Everything will change, everything will be different.

And speaking of smiles.

Once, a bearded man told me that if you try to smile while walking down the street, this will positively influence your attitude towards others and, above all, your self-confidence. I will never forget those words. I recently tried to do it often and, I’ll tell you something, it worked. If you try to walk down the street smiling at the people you meet, most of them will reply with a smile. And you will feel different as well, more secure, more positive towards others and the world. It’s all about that. Those emotions and feelings I was talking about before. They can come out, if triggered.

We only have to reconsider our values, our priorities for a moment. What we want from life and what we are looking for. And above all, remember who we are and where we come from, always. Love every single rise and fall and take them as an opportunity to grow and improve yourself and the world around you. I think this is the solution, the cure for the ills of mankind. Creating a community of people based on diversity and dialogue. Only then can we overcome all this. And we, Millennials, have boundless potential to do so.

By the way, I have gone too far. And now it’s time to conclude this post.

My time at the NCF gave me a lot. I grew up a lot professionally but mostly as a person. I owe you a lot, William and Veronica, to your kindness and warm welcome. I was welcomed and treated like a son. You gave me a lot to think about and work on. You gave me a smile in tough times and support when needed. And for this, thank you.

Then there is you, Rory, William and Yousef. Some young minds full of passion and desire to change things. You are fantastic. Every day, I saw in your eyes that power and passion of which I spoke about right above, waiting just to be fully exploited. And I know you’ll find a way to do it, it’s just a matter of time.

You were my second family here, in this gigantic crazy world of sharks. I’ll never forget that. And I’d like to conclude this blog post with this thought, while sipping my double espresso in some coffee shop somewhere in London and listening to these fantastic notes of Redemption Song, one of Marley’s masterpieces. He succeeded! He succeeded in uniting people around words of peace and hope. Like Hendrix’s solo or Mercury’s unique voice or even the Boss playing a piano version of Thunder Road. This is the right time, the perfect moment.

Ciao NCF, a presto!

Luctor et Emergo ex Flammis Orior, Per Aspera ad Astra

#lastblogpost #peoplehavethepower #believe #change #ciaoncf

 

How about Loving Yemen?

And then there was Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis at this time.

And who fights this war? From the air, it is the Gulf Arab states. From the ground it is, additionally, mercenaries from Pakistan and Sudan, plus a very few Yemenis still loyal to the remnant of the internationally recognised government of Yemen that ran away.

And on the other side? A Houthi-led band of assorted Yemeni rebels in the North, and (quite separately and not allied to the first band) Al-Qaida in the South. Admittedly an oversimplification, but that’s basically it.

And the internationally recognised, Saudi-backed government has retreated to Saudi Arabia and lost credibility. And the way forward? Peace talks. But the Saudi Arabian-led coalition of Gulf states seems reluctant to engage in peace talks that do not result in the surrender of their enemies.

That said, the Houthis are not invariably a pleasant bunch. They chant obscenities like “Death to the USA. Death to Israel”, from their mosques. They do not sound like the kind of guys you’d want to have go out with your daughter.

So the answer for Yemen, in my view, is partition. The North took over the South through conquest. In my own lifetime Yemen has been two countries: North Yemen and South Yemen. And these fiercely independent and warlike people were easier to get on with as two separate nations.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia should give up its dreams of hegemony over North Yemen. Let it go. It’s not worth it. Let her breathe. Give her a chance to grow up on her own.

The Saudis should be content with taking over South Yemen as a puppet state. Bring prosperity to South Yemen. Take it into the G.C.C. (the Gulf Cooperation Council).

This is a war of attrition. You can never defeat them. Best to leave them alone.

The Next Century Foundation at the United Nations – Intervention on Discrimination and Intolerance against Women

The Next Century Foundation took part in the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. During the General Debate on Item 9 “Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance” the NCF delivered an oral intervention on the issue of gender discrimination in the Arab States urging them to take the necessary steps in order to improve women’s conditions, following the recent example of Bahrain.

International Holocaust Day: #neveragain?

Today we remember the Holocaust, a genocide under the Nazi’s which killed an estimated six million Jewish people, two million Romani people, a quarter of a million mentally and physically disabled people and nine thousand homosexual men. Today we honour the memory of these individuals; their personalities, their stories, their hopes, passions and talents, all of which were robbed from them, and replaced with just a number. These individuals were crushed in the name of an ideology, a vision of a pure race and control of a nation.

When the Nazi’s came to power in Germany in 1933, there were large Jewish populations living in Eastern and Western Europe. In the East, Jewish communities were a minority, and kept to their own language, Yiddish, and culture, although younger Jews were beginning to adopt more modern ways to dress. In the West, Jewish communities made up a much smaller percentage of the population and tended to adopt the culture of their non-Jewish neighbours, in dress, language and culture. Jews were found in all walks of European life; some rich, although many poor. They were farmers, tailors, accountants and doctors. And then they were victims.

The Holocaust has significant contemporary relevance and learning from the mistakes made in history should prevent us from making these same mistakes again.

But we haven’t learnt from our mistakes. History is repeating itself. Before the Holocaust, countries had the chance to welcome Jewish refugees into their countries, instead, many tightened immigration restrictions. Today, we continue to shut our borders on those who are seeking freedom from persecution, war and terror. Millions of refugees are currently stuck in transit in Europe. Refugees suffer at the hands of political inaction and a discourse controlled by policy makers which separates ‘us’ from ‘them’. As President Trump begins his time in power, he intends to build a physical wall to prevent migrants crossing the border from Mexico.

We haven’t learnt from our mistakes. History is repeating itself. The recent closure of the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais left unaccompanied minors with a broken promise. A promise made by the UK to protect them from the cold, the people smugglers, and the many other risks that come with living exposed without the protection of family. The UK took 10,000 Jewish refugees from the Kindertransport before the outbreak of World War Two. That is compared to the 187 Syrian refugees who have been granted asylum in the UK since the outbreak of the war Syria.

We haven’t learnt from our mistakes. History is repeating itself. We said ‘never again’ after the Holocaust. We said ‘never again’ after the Bangladesh Genocide in 1971, the Rwandan Genocide of 1972 and 1994. We said ‘never again’ after the Bosnian Genocide of 1992. And we think we can say ‘never again’ after the loss of so many civilian lives in Aleppo, this year?

We must stop history repeating itself and we must take lessons away from these horrific events. International Holocaust Day give us this opportunity. We must remember the value and the memory of every individual that died in the Holocaust. We must learn to stand up and for what is right, we must defend the rights of minority and persecuted groups. We must have more sympathy towards refugees and not turn away from their cries for help.

Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

The relentless conflict in Yemen continues to devastate the lives of civilians, following the breakdown of the latest ceasefire between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition.

The fleeting 48-hour truce ended without extension on the 21st November after both sides accused each other of violating the peace, and failed to reach a diplomatic agreement. This marks the latest in a series of failed UN and US-led attempts to end the violence and destruction that has ravaged the country since early 2015.

The war in Yemen has unleashed a humanitarian crisis of critical proportions, resulting in at least 10,000 deaths and displacing around 3 million people from their homes. Recent conservative estimates suggest at least 21.2 million people, or 82% of Yemen’s total population, are in need of humanitarian aid amid worsening food and water shortages.

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According to UNICEF some 1.5 million Yemeni children are suffering acute malnutrition or starvation, and millions of women and children must walk long distances every day to access the little clean water that is available. On top of this, rapidly spreading outbreaks of cholera and measles have put countless more lives in danger.

The humanitarian situation has been compounded by the imposition of an air and naval blockade by Saudi Arabia. This has restricted Yemen’s regular food and fuel imports, and crucially reduced accessibility for the numerous aid agencies attempting to deliver life-saving food, water and medical supplies.

Meanwhile, Saudi-led airstrikes have repeatedly violated international humanitarian law by targeting civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. A recent World Health Organisation survey found that just 45% of Yemen’s health facilities are fully-functional and accessible, while over half have been severely damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict. Doctors and medical workers have repeatedly been driven out of hospitals due to safety concerns, and there is a desperate shortage of fuel for ambulances. The conflict has crippled Yemen’s health infrastructure and consequently restricted access to basic healthcare for millions of people in need.

As a consequence of these conditions, despite their best efforts, aid agencies and NGOs operating in Yemen – including the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam and UNICEF – have been significantly hindered in their attempts to alleviate the anguish of Yemeni civilians.

Amidst such terrible suffering, it is vital for both sides of the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and protect civilians from harm. According to the UNHCR almost 181,000 people have fled war-torn Yemen to seek refuge in neighbouring countries; for those who have no means of escaping the violence, the future looks bleak unless a peaceful diplomatic solution can be reached.

Amy Simon 30/11/16

Yemen Attacks – Hypocrisy Personified

Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars on arms in its campaign against Yemen – including drones, rockets, bombs and missiles – with a large proportion of it coming from the US and the UK. The supplying of such weapons has totally compromised the two governments’ ability to promote peaceful solutions to the attacks on Yemen, and the crocodile tears they have been shedding for its 21.2 million people have gone on long enough. Quietly fuelling such devastating attacks on innocent civilians needs to be translated into physical actions by the US and UK, which unfortunately thus far can only be reflected in the mere 12% of the United Nation’s estimated funding of $1.8 billion needed to help the people of Yemen. Instead of fulfilling their own self-interest, America and the United Kingdom need to reattach their moral compass and place the starving people of Yemen onto their humanitarian radar. The calling of a ceasefire within hours of a Saudi air raid on the 8th of October, killing 140 innocent civilians with a American-made bomb, by the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the US Secretary of State John Kerry is simply not good enough. Complete diplomatic neglect from America and the United Kingdom has fuelled the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen to a humanitarian crisis on a similar level to modern-day Aleppo. The absolute hypocrisy of Britain, who has recently publicly condemned Russia’s backing of haphazard Syrian bombing, to only simply take the investigation of Saudi’s involvement in this (and previous) attacks on Yemen as they decide their future policy of allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the lack of publicity given to the American missile attack on three radar sites controlled by the Houthi movement in Yemen has allowed this issue to be completely swept under the carpet during the entirety of the presidential debate. The selling of arms by the US to Saudi Arabia has totalled $110 billion since Obama assumed office, and has recently confirmed further deals of $1.15 billion in the near future. The UK’s current Prime Minister, Theresa May, has inexplicably stated that the selling of weapons to Saudi Arabia helps to “keep the people on the streets of Britain safe”. The blatant disregard for the innocent lives lost as a direct consequence of such deals reveals to us the extent of the UK’s and America’s utter indifference for the people of Yemen.

Shying away from directly addressing why the British and American government has not done more the stop the Saudi attacks on Yemen is unforgivable, and a greater sense of international justice and cohesion should be shed upon the hypocrisy of the two biggest supposed supporters of basic human rights.

Ellie Davies

اليمن الحزين

اليمن أو كما تعرف بالجمهوريه اليمنيه، دوله اسلاميه عربيه تقع في جنوبي شبه الجزيرة العربية في الجنوب الغربي من قارة آسيا و يبلغ عدد سكانها 26,687,000 نسمة. اليمن تشتهر بوجود الكثير من الموارد الطبيعية اللتي لم تستغل حتى يومنا هذا و من أهم هذه الموارد النحاس، الذهب، الرصاص، النيكل، الفحم ،الملح و الأسماك. أيضا تشتهر بزراعة الخضروات، الذرة و القطن. كما تعمل على تصدير البعض من مواردها و ما يزرع في أراضيها كالخضار و القطن و أيضا الأسماك المجففة و الجلود. كما تشتهر اليمن بجمال الصناعات الحرفيه اللتي تنتجها و ذلك لتعدد المواد الخام المتوفره هناك و الفطره الفنيه اللتي يمتلكها شعب اليمن اللتي تسمح لهم بالاحتراف في هذا المجال

في السنوات الأخيره بدأت اليمن بمعاناة الحرب على كرسي السلطة و عاش شعبها جميع أنواع الترهيب و من أهم ماتعرضو له القتل و تدمير ممتلكاتها و بعض الاماكن الاثريه، أيضا تم قطع الطرق و قطع البترول و الغاز و قطع الكهرباء عن أغلب المدن اليمنيه و تحديدا اللتي تتميز بكثرة سكانها. الشعب اليمني يعاني من تنظيم القاعده،داعش (تنظيم الدولة الاسلامية) و أيضا من الحوثيين ومن الحروب الأهليه و القبليه. لكن رغم جميع مايحدث بقي الشعب اليمني صامدا و كما عرف عنه شعب عظيم يستطيع مواجهة أيا كان مايتعرض له و لكن الوضع اليمني مع مرور الزمن يصبح أسوأ مما قبل حتى مع التدخلات و التحالفات العربيه اللتي تساهم في تحرير اليمن من الجماعات الإرهابيه اللتي تحتل اليمن ، و لكن هذه التحالفات أيضا تسهم في دمار و قتل بعض المدنيين الأبرياء اللذين لا دخل لهم في الجماعات الإرهابيه ولا يحملون الأسلحه و اللذين يتواجدون في مناطق الصراع، و هذا مايسمى بخسائر الحروب

الأطفال يعانون الخوف من الذهاب للمدارس و اتمام تعليمهم مما سيؤدي إلى ارتفاع نسبة الأميين في اليمن، بعض الدراسات توضح أن نسبة الأميين في اليمن قبل الانقلاب 59.4% و مع الاوضاع اليمنيه الحاليه ستصبح النسبه أعلى بكثير عن السابق ، سيكون تأثير ارتفاع نسبة الأميين في اليمن سلبي بشكل واضح و ذلك لعدم تمكن الجيل القادم من بناء حضاره و مستقبل يسهم في استعادة الأمن و السلام و التطور في اليمن مما سيؤدي إلى استمرار الأعمال الإرهابيه و تكوين الجماعات الإرهابيه في اليمن لتصبح مركزا و مقرا للإرهاب لعدم وجود العلم المطلوب مستقبلا. الأعمال اللتي تتطلب العلم لن تتطور كالطب و الهندسه و القانون مما سيسبب فوضى تضاف إلى ما يحدث من حروب أهليه و أعمال ارهابيه. أصبح البعض من شعبها يلجأ الى الالتحاق للجماعات الإرهابيه لتوفير المصروف المعيشي و ذلك لصعوبة الحصول على عمل في اليمن و بسبب عدم حصول الأغلبيه من الشعب على الشهادات المطلوبه المؤهله للعمل في بعض الأماكن، بشكل خاص الاطفال اللذين يشاركون تلك الجماعات مايقومون به و يجبرون على القتل و رؤية المناظر المؤثره اللتي قد تميت معنى الطفوله و تميت طيبة قلوبهم و برائتهم فتجعلهم يعتادون على القسوه و القتل و في بعض الاحيان تصل في هذه الجماعات تعليم الصغار في السن قتل والديهم

الحصول على عمل في اليمن أصبح أمر في غاية الصعوبه حيث تم إغلاق أغلب المتاجر و المنشآت الصناعيه و تم تسريح عدد كبير من العاملين و من تبقى منهم يحصل على ما يقارب 45% من الراتب الاعتيادي و ذلك قد تسبب في خسائر كبيره في الاقتصاد اليمني و ارتفاع نسبة البطاله في البلد وأيضا سيسهم بانخفاض نسبة الانتاج المحلي بشكل كبير

بعدما كانت اليمن الدوله اللتي يلجئ إليها اللاجئون و اللذين يبحثون عن وطن أصبح شعبها يبحث عن أرض مسالمه و وطن آمن مستقر يلجأون له. أصبح ذلك الشعب يعاني من الفقر و الجفاف و من جميع أنواع الترهيب كالقتل و الدمار. ذلك أسهم إلى انتشار ظاهرة النزوح الداخلي في البلد حيث اصبحت العوائل و الشباب يبحثون عن مدن آمنه و مدن تتوفر فيها الأعمال اللتي يستطيع من خلالها النازحين توفير المصاريف الأساسيه لشراء الغذاء و توفير الاحتياجات الأساسيه فالنازحين بحاجه لأساسيات أخرى غير الغذاء كالأدويه و الماء. أوضحت بعض التقارير بأن مايقارب 80% من الشعب اليمني أصبح بحاجه ماسه إلى المعونات الانسانيه للتمكن من الاستمرار بالعيش و تزداد الاحتياجات بكثره للغذاء و الماء و الأدويه و الصرف الصحي

الشعب اليمني أصبح يعاني من الفقر الحاد، اللذين كانو في السابق في حالة سيئه و وضع اجتماعي سيء أصبح وضعهم ضعف السوء و أصبحو يحصلون على معوناتهم بصعوبه تامه و أصبح ذوي الطبقه المتوسطه أيضا في حاله مزريه خاصة من يملكون الأراضي و المدخرات اللي تم تدميرها و خسارتها من دون أي تعويضات. أما رجال الأعمال و أصحاب المناصب العاليه فقد تسببو بخسائرماليه طائله بعد مغادرتهم اليمن و سحب أموالهم و ممتلكاتهم من اليمن و ذلك أيضا تسبب بتوقف الأعمال في اليمن

نعم اليمن الحزين، نعم الشعب الذي عانى الكثير و عاش الكثير و خسر الكثير. الشعب اليمني واجه الكثير من الحروب الأهليه و القبليه و ثم بدأ معاناة الجماعات الإرهابيه و حرب الحصول على كرسي السلطه. الشعب اليمني يجب أن يكون له صوت يجب أن يتوحد من أجل الغد و من أجل محاربة أعداء السلام و الحصول على الأمن و الأمان اللذي غاب عن هذا الشعب في السنوات الأخيره. أيضا الدول المجاوره يجب أن تساهم بإرسال المعونات الإنسانيه اللتي يحتاجها الشعب اليمني. اليمن تستحق السلام و تستحق المستقبل الأفضل،اليمن بحاجه لمن يدعم طفلها و يحفظ امرأتها و يكون مأوى لكبيرها. الشعب اليمني يجب أن تكون له حقوق كحقي و حق أي شخص يعيش في أمن و أمان و راحه، يجب أن يحصل هذا الشعب على السعاده اللتي خسرها منذ وقت طويل و أيضا أطفال هذا الشعب يستحقون مستقبل أفضل و يستحقون أن يتعلمو و يفرحو كما يتعلم و يفرح اطفالنا. اليمن و شعب اليمن يستحقون أن تمد لهم يد المساعده بأي شكل من الأشكال و ذلك لأن تلك البلاد قد أوت العديد من النازحين اللذين كان لا مأوى لهم لذلك يجب أن يرد لها الجميل بالمساهمه بإعادة البسمه لشعبها و أراضيها و تلك مسؤولية الجميع

وستبقى قناة "العالم" تنتصر للشعب اليمني بالكلمة والصورة

Uncomfortable trio: West, Dictators and Terrorism

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“People talk about the Middle East as if there were only two options: dictatorship or terrorism. However, this is a false dichotomy, both are terrorist groups”.

(Dr Maha Azzam)

This concluding remark by Dr Azzam last night at “Al Qaeda and Beyond: where do Arab dictatorships fit” is a powerful key to interpreting developments in the Middle East. Experts on Yemen, Syria, Egypt and Iraq analysed the relationship between dictators and terrorism, posing the question “why is the West so obsessed with dictatorships?”

In a post Arab Spring world, voices from both Europe and the USA have been advocating a return to dictatorial government in the Middle East. Distant spectators observed democratic revolutions turning into violent uprisings, peaceful protests becoming armed resistance groups and once quiet areas becoming terrorist controlled regions. The focus quickly shifted back home, with many voices denouncing ISIS attacks and asking how all of this could have happened. It is this fear and shock that has lead many to advocate increased support for Assad and Saleh, questioning the possibility of a democratic future in the region.

The history of support for dictatorships by the West is a story as long as colonialism. Even at the time of the Pahlavi dynasty in Persia, Western powers strongly supported dictators throughout the Middle East. A single individual was easier to control than a democratically elected government and his ethnicity could easily be exploited to maintain the divide and rule strategy adopted in colonial times.

It is clear that the West has benefitted from their relationship with dictators since the end of formal colonialism. From the trade deals between Italy and Libya to the military support given to Mubarak by the US, dictators in the region have been strong partners and supporters of Western interests in the area. On the opposite side of the spectrum, whenever an unfriendly government took power, Western democracies resorted to terrorist groups to destabilize the country and re-obtain their control. A classic example was the Taliban in Afghanistan, armed and supported by the US in its quest for a pipeline from Central Asia.

We should not disregard however the use dictators themselves made of terrorist groups. As illustrated by Basher Al Assad releasing jihadist prisoners in the wake of the Syrian revolution, terrorist groups have been widely used by local powers to portray themselves as “the lesser of two evils”. More recently, Sisi has used the threat of ISIS to curb peaceful civil society groups and to justify the brutal actions of Egypt’s army in Sinai. This creates a vicious cycle in which opponents of the government, deprived of their freedom of speech and assembly, resort to armed revolts, justifying increased violence from the government.

Nowadays there are two terrorist movements in the Middle East: state terrorism and religious terrorism. Depending on the time and circumstance, the West has simply opted for one or the other, perpetrating breaches of human rights and the lack of democracy in the region.

By Martina Villa

Saudi Arabia ratchets up involvement in the Yemen Crisis

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Damage caused by Saudi airstrikes to a house in Sana’a

 

Saudi Arabia is gearing up for a massive attack on Yemen. Or so it would seem.

A source close to the Next Century Foundation has informed us that Saudi officials asked for towns on the Saudi-Yemeni border to be evacuated last week, meaning there is possibility for further Saudi intervention in the war-torn country.

Sources in the Saudi armed forces indicate that the Saudi Crown Prince issued a letter to the Saudi High Command (the NCF has seen the letter in question) instructing them to evacuate all villages on the Saudi side of the border with Yemen of their entire population.

Subsequent reports from other NCF sources have indicated that Saudi ground forces are engaged in action, crossing the border into Yemen in the North. There is nothing unusual in this of itself, however this time perhaps we are about to see a more significant action rather than a mere skirmish. It is notable that the Kuwaitis have put a deadline on the peace negotiations between the warring parties (i.e. the Saudis and the Houthis) currently taking place in Kuwait. Presumably this is at the behest of the Saudis who wish to bring peace talks to an end and ramp up their attack on Yemen.

Yemen has been engaged in a civil war since March of 2015. The conflict began between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and a group known as the Houthis, a Zaydi Shia-led movement loyal to former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis, or Ansar Allah (“supporters of God”), were founded by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. They are seen in the West as a pro-Iranian group, and therefore the conflict is perceived as also being between Shiite Iran and Saudi Arabia, which is currently leading an international coalition against the Houthis.

The US and UK are part of the coalition with Saudi Arabia, but with different motives. While the Saudis are concerned mainly with their own influence in the region, the US and UK are concerned with combating Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). This group is considered the most dangerous Al Qaeda affiliate, and AQAP has taken control of entire towns and villages in the south and east of Yemen.

The Saudis have intervened in Yemen through extensive bombing campaigns. Saudi-backed government forces successfully recaptured Aden from the Houthis, who seized the presidential palace and named a Revolutionary Committee to take over the powers of the president after Hadi resigned in January 2015. Because of Saudi involvement, President Hadi was able to return in September 2015.

Saudi involvement in Yemen has gone further than reinstatement of the president, however. News of the Saudi evacuation of border towns comes at the same time as the UK government admits it was wrong in saying that Saudi Arabia has not targeted civilians or committed war crimes. In its campaign against the Houthis, Saudi Arabia has blown up hospitals, schools, and weddings. The UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has said that these appear to be war crimes. The UK has been a supporter of Saudi Arabia, supplying billions in weapons, but is hesitant to take responsibility; the admission that Saudi Arabia may have in fact committed war crimes came on the final day of parliament before the summer recess.

Today, the most pressing issue in Yemen is the humanitarian crisis. The people of Yemen are starving. Twenty million Yemenis are in desperate need of food, water, and medical care; this is nearly 80% of the population. The Saudi-led naval blockade is exacerbating the issue by preventing goods from being imported. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen has received significantly less media attention in the west than the refugee or Syrian crises, as the Saudi blockade is supported by the UK and US.

A solution in Yemen will not be found until Saudi Arabia changes its role in the country. The Saudis are afraid of losing land, and they see Iran as a security threat although it has no real presence in Yemen today. However, the Saudi view of the Houthis as Iranian-backed has become a self-fulfilling prophecy; if the Saudis offered to allow support to go to the population in the Houthi controlled areas they would easily reduce any Iranian influence, but denying them support only pushes the Houthis towards Iran.

The alleged evacuation of the border towns is evidence that the Saudis have not yet accepted a changed role in Yemen, but are continuing with their violent campaign. Retired Saudi colonel, political strategist and commentator Ibrahim al Marie showed that the war is more about Saudi influence than anything else when he stated that while the war is expensive, “If we stop it without getting Sana’a and disarming the Houthis, it will be a historical and military catastrophe.” He continues that “It would be a problem for the confidence between the government and the people, and the decision makers in the kingdom know this very well.”