I haven't seen many op-eds written about Yemen lately. My Yemeni friend Afaf posted this on her Facebook and I told her it needs to be published elsewhere because it's powerful, informative and written from the heart, therefore more people need to read it.
Photo by Raja Althaibani: Child laborers take full advantage of the uprisings. Instead of selling bottled water, pens or cheap perfume, they have took on the selling of national emblems which are selling quickly. You can see here that although they continue to work, they are happy and excited to be apart of a revolution that may offer them a better future; a future off the streets and into normalcy.)
Yemeni's Writing History
For continuous and consistent four months, Yemenis had written a history of how to uproot dictators peacefully. Their counterpart in Tunisia and Egypt were part of that legacy too but with few exceptions: in Yemen the military is controlled by the president and his children, brothers, step-brother, nephew, and in-law. But in Tunisia and Egypt, the military is not infiltrated by any of Bin-ali in Tunisia or by Mubarak in Egypt. Therefore, the Yemeni's revolution has and must remain peaceful because the alternative will be costly. Saleh knew from day one that this peaceful revolution will uproot him and work diligently to militarize it.
He ordered his heartless thugs to commit their massacre in the day of dignity as the Yemenis called it the Friday of dignity where 57 were killed in a cold blood without any reason simply because they were chanting we want democracy, social justice, and freedom. They could not tolerate their demands and decided to silent them, only to find out that terrorist action and criminal action has worked in favor of the revolution and many decent and those who still have in their heart an iota of conscious immediately found no place with them with Saleh and chose to leave him in an honorable move that Yemenis will never forget and should be the stand that omits all of their sins with Saleh. Then the balance of power changed, roughly half of the military with the revolution and half with Saleh, half if not more than half of the strong tribe with the revolution and the other with Saleh. The balance of power has changed the rule of the game between Saleh and our peaceful revolution.
He tried to play the time card-game hoping people will be fed up with their daily protest; but time did not help him as he thought but rather worked against him and the revolution has gained a momentum that trying to deny it is similar to denying the sunshine or the moonbeam. The revolution has rocked him and his mini-paid-gathering he labored to gathered ostensibly. He then asked for help and the Saudis were at his expenses, offering him not just one initiative but five and he felts that signing it without a ceremony will affect his abnormal personality that we are paying the price for tolerating it for three decades.
Then the last chapter of his shrewdness was to attack those who supported the revolution and promised to sacrifice their lives for it; the strongest tribe that have nutrient him for years, the hashed tribe which is ruled by Alahmar family (my relatives), he decided to attack them without any provocation just to get them to react and then declared to the whole world that Yemen is heading toward a civil war.
The other part of his plane was creating a vacuum of power where he evacuate his army from Abyan-just in Abyan not Taiz or Ibb because of the assumed presence of al-Qaida in Abyan which will take advantage of such action and take control of the city. By doing so, Saleh want to start a civil war in Sana’a with Alahmar and his tribe and create a concern for the west especially the American by allowing al-Qaida in Abyan a full control of the city and then coming the second day to fight al-Qaida just to keep the pressure on the Saudis and the west that his departure will mean the following; a civil war and al-Qaida.
But the justice of the one who is called the just was above his skillful plan and he was hit by his own security apparatus if not by his own family who decided to attack him where he was assuming to be the safest place; his private mosque inside his most secured presidential palace with his security guards glued to him. He tasted the blood that thousand of Yemenis have been forced to taste by his order for four month, in Amansora, Taiz, Aden, Ibb, Sana’a, Shiek Othman, Almukla, Abyan, Hadrmouth, Marab, and every city and town in Yemen.
People are saying that his lung has collapsed and 40% of his body is burned! He used poisonous gas on people, burned people alive (even the handicap were not exempt), shooting snipers on peaceful protesters - one of them being a close friend of ours, my uncle got attacked and wounded, burned the hearts of old, young, and children alike and he is now left BURNING. The land of Yemen, that Allah and his Prophet (peace by upon him) spoke so favorably about, he's clutching on as if it belongs to him. If anything he is getting what he deserves slowly and surely. I expect that he will also not be able to eat and drink soon, because he left so many young and old fending for themselves just for basic needs (food and water). Now, what, are we done with you, Saleh? We will be there. The question is, will you be there?
Photos by: Raja Althaibani