Friday, April 26, 2013

dialogue in Yemen

From David: "I don't know if you came across this editorial in Al-Majalla regarding the National Dialogue in Yemen, but here goes:

"For many Yemenis, the fact that such a disparate group of their countrymen, and countrywomen, are in the same room, discussing, and disagreeing, is reason enough to be positive". Now, I'm not sure what this journalist had in mind when he wrote that this was in any way "positive" for Yemenis, but it does not seem to be a walk in the park, what with major figures like Ali Salim al-Beidh boycotting the National Dialogue. Also, the meeting of leaders seems to be amusing to the reporter: "... on the opening day the motley crew present—ranging from independent youth activists to tribal sheikhs to southern separatists, and everyone in between—gathered in Sana’a’s Movenpick Hotel to listen to Yemen’s president, Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, deliver his opening speech." He is then impressed by the dignity of the Al-Akhdam representative (whom he does not mention by name): "A particularly memorable address was that of the sole representative of the Muhamasheen, more commonly known as Akhdam, Yemen’s lowest social class, akin to the untouchables of India. When told his allotted time was up, he replied: “Let me finish my words. I’ve not spoken for 1,300 years,” referring to the historical marginalization of his people".

The clincher, of course, is that there is absolutely no mention of the GCC (and Saudi Arabia, in particular) or the US (which is busy deploying drones in the region) due to the fact that this magazine is associated with the reactionary mouthpiece of Prince Salman, Asharq Al-Awsat.

You can publish this on your blog if you like."