Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Why Yemenis revolted

In my current visit to Yemen, I got to meet some people who, despite what the country has gone through in the past 34 years, are still hardcore Saleh supporters. I believe in freedom of expression and very much respect the thoughts of everyone including those who do not agree with me. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. After all, that was one of the principles Yemen's revolution called for.

As I was conversing with these guys, one of them said a line that puzzled me. He said "Yemenis had no reason to revolt and that they were enjoying a prosperous life before the revolution took place". I didn't know if he was too blind to see what the country has been going through or that he was living in his own  little world.

Isn't it enough that Yemen is the poorest country in the middle east? What's worse than having a 65% illiteracy rate in the 21st century? Yemen ranks at 146 of 178 in the global corruption index. It has one of the highest child marriage rates. Social and economical problems have always been a daily struggle for many Yemenis in a country that lacks basic infrastructure as people mostly rely on themselves for the provision of water, electricity, education, health, and even safety and security.

The list can go and on, however, instead of carrying on with the conversation, and given that a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to comment on his statement with images from Saleh's era that would precisely address the question of why Yemenis revolted.

1. A homeless guy taking a shelter on the street

2.  A man and his child digging into a trash dumpster for food.

3.  A homeless woman walking on the street

 4. An unemployed man sitting on the street

5.  A labor drinking water while taking a break on the street

6.  A man digging for food into the trash dumpster

7.  A homeless guy lying down on the street

8.  A child begging for money on the street

9.  A poor woman leaning against the wall

10.  A child labor selling tissues while doing his homework on the street

11.  A child digging into the garbage looking for any re-sellable stuff

12.  An elderly man with his family lying down on the street begging for money

13.  A couple of poor men digging into the trash dumpster for food

14.  A disabled elderly selling Tomato on a small trolley

15.   A child labor

16.  Children looking into the garbage pile up for food and re-sellable stuff

17.  Two little girls filling up water to take home due to the absence of water supply

18.  An elderly woman eating the remains of customers' food

19.  A beggar on the street

20.  An elderly man taking a shelter on the street

21.  A child carrying a couple of AK-47 machine guns

22.  Beggars on the street

23.  A child labor selling tissues on the street

  24. A child labor selling water on the street

25.  A child labor selling chewing gum while sleeping on a commercial shop's staircase

26.  A couple of children eating from the garbage pile up

27.  A child labor selling tissues on the street

28.  A homeless guy on the street

29.  A group of Yemenis placed on on a truck as they are being deported from Saudi

30.  An elderly woman begging for money

31.  A child labor collecting recyclable cans to sell them

32.  A child labor selling sesame candies

33.  A man digging for food and re-sellable stuff in the trash dumpster

 34. A little girl on her way to get some water supplies for her house

35.  A child labor collecting recyclable items to sell them

36. Child brides with their husbands

* Photos used are courtesy of Rashad Alsame'ee, Zainab Yahya, Shohdi Al-Sofi, Ahmed Basha, Taiz City, Mohammed Al-Ariqi & Mohammed Al-Emad

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