Would the Martyrs of Yemen Agree?

Two weeks ago, I stopped all of what I was doing for 20 minutes to sit and reflect on all that has happened in Yemen since the revolution in 2011. I thought to myself, “What were some positive outcomes?” I put the positive thoughts in my mind first to try to feel better about the current situation in the country: less fearful, more demanding, valued as an individual and empowerment. These are all great outcomes.

Why haven’t I said “Ali Abdullah Saleh’s fall” as an outcome? Pretty simple: it was partially successful.

Has anyone thought about those who were killed by our government recently? If you have, that’s good. If you haven’t, ask yourself why? Every time I think of the uprising, I get flashbacks of all those individuals that put their lives first for a better life for their brothers and sisters. It’s not something simple to do- especially since most of the martyrs were youth. I’m sure you all remember empowering scenes of protesters bravely stepping forward to soldiers and/or tanks not giving a damn about what will happen to them next. They just did it because they felt it was right. They thought If this is the cost of freedom and value of ones self, it is worth it to stand up and go forward against the oppressor. Do you blame them for making such a bold move? I don’t.

But what happens next in Yemen’s chapter? The National Dialogue:

The greatly appreciated savior of events to create “stability” for Yemen. By the way, I say this with full sarcasm. Basically, the National Dialogue is a 6 month long event that will either break or make Yemen. It’s a dialogue with the government, representatives of political parties, youth (women and men) and movements in the region. The amount of funding to support this dialogue is roughly about $30 million dollars.

So here we have a bunch of individuals who aren’t fond with each other, discussing an important political transition and how the country can move forward in a peaceful, successful manner. Supposedly, the Yemeni government believes that it will be a success because there is NO ‘Plan B’ just incase it were to fail.

This raises concern. No plan b? Why? What makes everyone so sure that it will be a success, especially since our nation is unstable and isn’t in its best shape, at least security wise. Can we afford another round of bloodshed if this event were to fail? Not at all. Therefore, if our government cares and understands that the result is a 50/50 chance of success/failure, there should be another plan. The reason why is to prevent any devastating outcomes in the near future (if anything were to happen).

Let’s talk money. $30 million dollars is a heck of an amount of money. Yes, a stipend should be given to all those who are participating because they are taking a big responsibility, but paychecks aren’t really necessary. Why, you ask? Well, how are we so sure that this dialogue will be for six months? What if something were to happen, security wise, that may stop it? Say 5 million is given for the first month; chaos happens. Then the question arises, “What’s going to happen to the rest of the 25 million dollars?” Yes, I’m aware that some money may go to bump up the security, but still, it’s 30 million. Are there any public documents of some sort on where this money will go exactly?

As an activist who has been to Yemen during the revolution multiple times, I understand that the martyrs are symbolic for protesters to keep going and push for a change in the country.  I, too, respect those individuals who have gave their lives to a cause that we all deem to be important. Would the martyrs approve of the youth participating in a dialogue with political elites that have blood on their hands? Would you sit down with murderers and shake their hands to discuss an uncertain outcome? A few people will say, “Well, we have no other choice.” Yes, that may be true, but that choice isn’t guaranteed a positive result. Give it a shot, but the cost may be the lives of innocent people in the middle of a political war. Hence, why I emphasize the importance of a plan B.

Yes I criticizes a lot, but it’s not for fun and it kills my energy to do so. I criticize because I care about the country I come from. I would love to talk about great achievements done by the government but until that happens, you won’t see so much ‘achievement’ blogposts.

Hope for the best but expect the worst.


About Summer Nasser
Blogger, with Yemeni roots based in New York City. Student of Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on the country of Yemen. I would consider myself a student of knowledge.

One Response to Would the Martyrs of Yemen Agree?

  1. Musaid says:

    Good job summer you are a very smart lady who may become that next First Lady president of Arab country with knowledge Yemen could accomplish a lot.

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