Archive for February 2012
الان اتصلت لوزير الكهربا صالح سميع هذا الحوار الي دار بيننا. لحظه من الصمت,,
أنا/ الو ..
الو صوت رزين رد: نعم
انا : معي الاستاذ صالح سميع الصوت؟
: نعم احسبني هو
انا: كيف حالك؟ معاك مواطنه يمنيه اتصلت للاسف عشان افهم ليش ماعندنا كهربا رغم انو كان معانا كهربا في اليومين الي فاتت لما راح الشعب ينتخب
سميع: “بصوت عالي فاقد للامل” تعالي يابنتي شوفي في بيتي مافيش معي كهربا.. ايش افعل؟؟
أنا: انا مقدره انو كلنا مافيش معانا كهربا سؤالي هو ليش مافي معانا كهربا رغم انها كانت موجوده في اليومين الي فاتت حتى اننا فكرنا نفسنا في امريكا
سميع:”بلهجه اكثر تشجنا” طيب انا ايش افعل المخربين قطعوها.. قد اقولك تعالي انا و انتي ونحارب المخربين الي فجروها..
أنا: طيب انا كلامي واضح ليش ما فجروها في وقت الانتخاب… او كيف قدرتو تحموها في يوم الانتخااااب؟؟
سميع :”بعد ان فقد صبره تماما” اقولك ايش عاد اعمل .. الله يلعن ابوها وظيفه.. انا:الو الو… انقطع الصوت خمس ثواني و انقطعت المكالمه..
خلفيه للقارئ لان هذا البوست مش مكتوب بمعايير الخبريه: الكهربا تنقطع لمده تزيد على 18 ساعه يوميا منذ ابريل الماضي كل التفسيرات المقدمه للشعب على انعدام الخدمات الاساسيه اهمها الكهرباء كانت اتهامات متبادله من طرفي الصراع على السلطه. الحكومه و احزاب المعارضه التي اصبحت اليوم شريك اساسي في السلطه بعد توقيه اتفاقيه نقل السلطه في العاصمه الرياض نهايه نوفمبر الماضي… الحكومه اتسمرت في اتهام القبائل في تفجير و تخريب ابراج الكهربا بينما الملحوظ هو توافر الكهربا في المناسبات المهمه التي تعني الحكومه و هو تماما ما حدث في يوم الانتخابات المبكرة الثلاثاء الماضي و اليوم الذي سبقه… حيث ان وسائلالاعلام العالميع توافدت لتغطيه الخبر ووجود مراقبي دوليين ساعد ايضا بتوفر الكهربا.. الغريب و المحزن في نفس الوقت هو ان الكهربا تتوافر حين يحضر المسؤول الامممي جمال بن عمر.. حتى اصبح الشعب يتمنى لو ان بن عمر يقيم في اليمن… جميل هذا التقدير الذي تكنه حكومه اليمن بسلطتها و معارضتها لشخص بن عمر.. حيث ان 25 مليون يمني لا يعنون للحكومه ما يعنيه بن عمر و المراقبي الدوليين…
This letter to the US ambassador in Sana’a was written by the Familyof Yahia Al-Dheeb, who was kidnapped last week. Aj-Dheeb was the first soldier to join the peaceful revolution defecting from Ali Abdullah Saleh’s troops last year, risking his life for Yemen.
Although Major General Ali Mohsen eventually also defected, whenAl-Dheeb spoke to the Yemen Times in October last year, he criticized Ali Mohsen, again risking his life. Al-Dheeb was kidnapped from Sana’a’s Sabeen Street on Saturday Feb. 11, 2012 and has not been heard from since.
Check the interview here : http://shaza171.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/faces-from-yemens-revolution-yahia-al-dheeb/
Please help Al-Dheeb by spreading the word. for more information read his family letter to the USA ambassador as the last hope to find him.
Date: February 17, 2012
Dear Mr. Ambassador Gerald Michael Feierstein
Embassy of the United States of America
Sana’a – Republic of Yemen
CALL FOR HELP
We are very sorry for interrupting your busy schedule reading this letter, as we do recognize your hard efforts supporting the whole Republic of Yemen during these difficult circumstances. However, we tried our best to resolve our problem without referring back to you, but it seems you are our last and final hope.
Our problem started when our brother, Yahia Ali Yahia Al-Dheeb a President’s Armed Forces soldier of Ali Abdullah Saleh, decided to practice his citizen right of saying no when things are not going right. On 20 February 2011, he was the first person from the President’s Armed Forces joined peacefully the protesters at Al-Tagheer Square.
During the previous year, he was called many times to attend to the president’s palace to discuss his demands, however, he was afraid of going back and he was believing that his demands are all Yemenis’ demands. Due to his refusal, and being the only one from the President’s Armed Force joining the protesters, the investigation team of General Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, tried their bests to locate his place to take him back to the base, but they couldn’t.
After General Ali Muhseen Al Ahmer joined the protesters, it became less important to capture him; therefore, he started to live normally, exiting the square and coming back home. He further decided to look after his family that consists of two wives and 3 kids (2 lovely girls and an ambitious boy). He borrowed some money and purchased a taxi that was making some decent income to recover the unpaid salary.
On 11 February 2012, we lost all contacts with him. We were unable to reach him via mobile and he did not show up again at home. Three days after, we received a call from someone, who said that he was with Yahia (as a taxi customer) when the President’s Security check point at Al Musbahi Square, in front of Yemen Germany Hospital, caught them. Yahia and his car were taken by the President’s Security Force and they hardly left the passenger after they ensured that he has no links with Yahia. We were lucky that Yahia gave our number to this passenger and we carry huge respect to him taking an action and calling us.
After many contacts with his colleagues, one of them confirmed that he saw his taxi in the President’s Palace Parking Yard. We tried many times to reach the Palace, and reached nowhere. Various calls made and the responses were contradicting by either denying him being in the Palace, or confirming that General Tariq wants him.
We did not stop here, we further protested in front of the Prime Minister’s Office. They were very cooperative as they requested three representatives to meet the Country Minister of Prime Ministry Authority, Mrs. Jawhara and we did. We gave her a copy of our complain letter as she promised to discuss it with the Prime Minister. She was very nice and cooperative as she further promised to contact the Minister of Defense to further discuss this topic with him. At the time we left Mrs. Jawhara’s office, we also met Mrs. Horiah Mashhoor, Human Rights Minister, and discussed this topic with here. She was also cooperative as she promised to follow up and feed us back. However, the image is totally dark and this scares us.
You may have notice that we did our best, but reached nowhere and concluded no hopes. All family members are disappointed and we feel we lost him.
We wrote this letter as our last hope to get your support on this matter as we truly believe that USA, as a whole country, government and citizens are the leaders calling and fighting for democracy and we believe Yahia did nothing wrong other than practicing his democracy right.
We also know that this letter may not reach your hands, and we respect that, being busy resolving bigger nation issues, however, if it did reach your hands, please HELP for the sake of making a change in this country and for the sake of having a father back home looking after his kids, wives and parents.
Please accept our advance thanks and may god give you more health and power supporting Yemen overcoming the current critical circumstances.
Family of Yahia Ali Yahia Al-Dheeb
A protester and an ex-soldier of President Ali Saleh Armed Forces
The campaign, which started on Tuesday, February 7, will last until February 20.
The election is not understood to be democracy in action, but rather a move to shift ruling power away from outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On January 21, Yemen’s parliament closed the door to any other possible candidates with its announcement that Hadi would be the election’s only candidate. Hadi became a consensus candidate of all political parties in Yemen as the GCC power transition plan stated.
“This election will give another impression on democracy in Yemen, we could hardly educate people about democracy, by applying a one- candidate election we will damage what we have achieved already, we are in a high illiterate country and this is how people will receive democracy from now on,” said Mohammed Al-Masawa, head of Rushed, NGO to raise awareness on democracy.
After the plan was signed on November 23, few people questioned the clearly undemocratic practices that the deal carried with it, while some parts have already been implemented, including the proffering of immunity to Saleh and members of his regime.
But as the election date nears, debates have arisen among people on social media sites and on Yemen’s streets about whether they would in fact vote.
The Supreme Election and Referendum Committee has been offering training and has worked to raise political awareness in order to get the public involved in the upcoming elections.
On January 21, the UN signed a deal to grant the committee $15 Million – $5 million of which for the February election, and $10 million for the referendum which will follow the result of the National Dialogue that will come up with the draft of new constitution.
According to the committee, the election has so far cost more than $48 million. $40 million has come from the national public budget, with the remaining $8 from foreign sources.
“Increased financial support from the international community led to the fund going up from $5 million to $8 million so far. Germany has donated $950,000, and Japan has given $1 million,” said Dr. Abdawahab Al-Qadasi, head of international relations for the committee.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP alone has contributed $1 million.
“The international community’s response to Yemen’s electoral constituency has been remarkable. In just 45 days, the financial needs of the presidential elections, which amounted to around $8 million, were covered.
Japan, Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United Nations Peace-Building Fund quickly added to initial contributions made by the European Union and UNDP. This support has helped to cover the costs of technical assistance and equipment, electoral kits, election staff training, and media campaigns,” reads a UNPBF press release.
Gustavo Gonzalez, the UNDP’s Senior Country Director for Yemen, described these contributions as “timely” and said, “It allows us to fill the financial gap of the presidential elections.”
“This contribution supports critical training activities and reinforces the awareness campaign,” he added.
Dr. Al-Qadasi told the Yemen Times that this year, there are more ballot boxes than ever.
“We have 29,642 ballot boxes – unlike in the 2006 election, when there were only 28,742,” said Al-Qadasi. “There are even 186 new monitoring committees for internally displaced persons in Sa’ada and Abyan.”
He explained that this year, the international community has urged women to participate.
“50 percent of the monitoring committees will encourage women to participate,” said Al-Qadasi.
Al-Qadasi said that the international community has a coordination committee named the International Support Coordination Group which will attempt to boost participation in Yemen’s elections.
Meanwhile, some Yemenis feel irritated about so much money being put towards a one-candidate election at a time when widespread poverty has sharply risen.
“They should have used that money to fix the electricity instead of wasting it this way” said Nadia Mohammed, a citizen of Sana’a.
“We share the aspiration of Yemeni citizens who seek a more stable and prosperous Yemen and a government that provides all the services citizens rightly expect. The next two years of transition will be vital in achieving this, and we stand ready to support in every way possible this process,” read a joint statement by the European Union and ambassadors from the permanent five nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
At present the number of these unofficial jails – or any detailed information on their locations – is not known. However, the ministry will begin work on the jails they already have information about. Both the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry will work to close down the illegal jails.
“I saw villagers in Tihama being jailed in a cow shed, held by the chains used for cows,” said Hussein Ali, who was present people were tortured in a private jail. “Around 20 people were treated like animals in that place, which is owned by the most well-known Tihama sheikh.”
Ali added that the owner of that jail is also a member of parliament.
In 2010, the Ministry of Human Rights forced the cabinet to launch a decree to prevent any new private jails from opening, while punishing those who owned existing jails. However, to date, the decree has not been implemented.
Work on shutting down Yemen’s private jails has been ongoing since 1991. At that time there were private jails in each ministry building to detain those who had disobeyed orders. These jails were successfully closed but represented just one part of a huge problem.
“The culture of private jails has always been a problem; before and after unification in 1990,” said Ali Saleh Taisser, deputy of Human Rights. “But the problem is getting bigger as tribal figures are still powerful and some of them are now in parliament, which gives them more power.”
Human rights activist Majid Al-Madhaji, previously with the Legal Protection for Violence Victims program, which has now ended, said that neither Yemen’s private or public jails meet international standards as good rehabilitation institutions.
“Public jails in Yemen still participating in illegal practices, such as jailing people without arrest warrens and keeping them for more than six months. If this is the reality of public jails, you can imagine what private prisons are like,” Al-Madhaji explained.
Al-Madhaji visited some of these private jails in Hajjah. Most are in narrow houses, which have been abandoned by their residents, he said.
“Most of the private jails are old houses that are no longer livable, with no lighting or good ventilation.”
After 2011’s events the interim government is seeking to address human rights violations as a priority.
Although Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime was toppled, Al-Madhaji said that Yemen’s tribal system also needed to be tackled if the interim government wants to create a civil state.
“Many of those who own private jails joined the youth revolution in a way to protect their positions in the new state,” he explained.
However, Taisser said that having Saleh out of power would ease the process, claiming that Saleh’s regime had a hand behind allowing the tribal sheikhs to open and run private jails.
The cabinet’s 2010 decree would be difficult to implement now, he added.
“After the amnesty law was approved last month for Saleh and his regime, the door for the jail owners to escape from criminal liability is open, we will focus our effort now on just closing down the jails,” said Taisser.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin House Al-Ahmer’s family owns many private jails that were owned by Sheikh Abdullah before his death.
“Although he was the head of the legislative authority, he has these jails; he even used to send some of his prisoners to the Central Security jails when his own jails were full, then when there was a free place he would get them back from the Central Security prison and move them to his own jail – like a deposit,” said Taisser.
Even now that Al-Ahmer is dead, his sons continue these practices. On the Friday of Dignity when 25 protesters were shot by snipers in Sana’a’s Change Square, Al-Ahmer family detained suspected snipers in their private jails.
Inside Change Squares, human rights activists have reported the Islah party detaining many independent youths at its private jails.
Taisser said that these jails can be found in every district and village of Yemen, adding that the tribal system is replacing the rule of law, delegating to a tribal sheikh all the authorities to judge, prosecute and punish people. Sometimes they skip the judicial system completely and jump straight to punishment.
2011 was full of success stories for Yemeni figures who received honors abroad. Tawakul Karman, the first Muslim woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize received particularly strong coverage.
One who wasn’t featured in Yemen’s media was Dr. Akram Al-Omainey. The Yemeni professor was recently honored in Britain for his theory on the invisibility of objects. At the British Science Festival, Al-Omainey received the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award, an award given annually to young engineers and scientists who exhibit outstanding communication skills when before a non-specialist audience.
31-year-old Dr. Akram Al-Omainey’s award-winning research was on the “engineering cloak of invisibility,” a theory which suggests that human beings can be made invisible.
Last September in London, he delivered his reception speech to a large audience that included famous scientists and proponents of education. From then until the present time, Al-Omainey has continued to deliver his talk throughout the United Kingdom.
“My main research focus was on the influence of radio signals on the human body and vice-versa, which to the external spectator seems to be a straightforward and direct problem and solution equation. It is, however, a complex issue due to the realization that we humans are not only physiologically and psychologically complex: we are also one complicated electric machine, with each organ and blood vein carrying different properties,” he said.
Al-Omainey explained that he worked with a great professor and scientist as he completed his PhD and initial research, and that he was always encouraged by him to think outside the box.
“The idea of using non-natural meta-materials with different characteristics to focus images and light into one place – hence making the perfect lens – came from Professor Sir John Pendry from Imperial College in London. He went on to prove that objects can theoretically be made invisible by bending light.
“The idea was quite intriguing since it was based on making stuff disappear – or correctly making them invisible.”
He explained that theoretically the idea was proven possible, but had yet to be in reality.
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and measurements – but in measurements, there is! So the major challenge was to prove that human being can bend light around an object so that it appears invisible; we can see things because they reflect light and if we can manage to bend light around an object, no-one could ever see it.
“Many groups around the world are now working towards making this a reality…but taking into consideration all the obstacles and challenges, it could take us around 20-25 years to actually make an object – a small book, for example – invisible in all situations and in any place,” he said.
“This isn’t only to make stuff disappear so that we can live out Harry Potter fantasies; it has many beneficial applications. These include making building and other obstacles appear invisible for radio and mobile signals, so that we may have the best possible telephone call quality. Making things invisible do so not only for our eyes, but for any kind of signal, such as having better satellite links without influence from buildings or trees.”
Al-Omainey completed his secondary education in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1998 as one of the top students in the kingdom. He completed his higher education in London with the support of his family.
He received his Master’s degree in Communications Engineering from Queen Mary University in London in 2003. He was then awarded an Overseas Research Scholarship, which is awarded by the UK government to outstanding international students.
He obtained his PhD in Advanced Electrical and Electronic Studies in 2007 from the same university and continued to work as a researcher on topics related to body-centric communications and the role of wireless technologies in our everyday lives.
This work led to his obtaining a lectureship position at Queen Mary University. In addition to continuing his research, he taught university students about the basics behind many of the advanced technologies people use today.
“I became interested in the communications and electronics fields at an early age. This interest was nourished and encouraged by my father and mother, who were always and still are supportive, loving and above all great parents, providing guidance for myself, my elder brother and younger sister,” he said.
“From my first day at university, I was interested in radio signals and their behavior. I made sure to acquire knowledge and learn more about this topic, which led to a few projects of mine related to this field. This influenced my research topic choice, which was electromagnetics and theories behind wireless technologies.
“One of the major global challenges in science and engineering is marketing the fields’ advantages. From the start of my lectureship, I became involved with outreach activities, promoting science and engineering to children, young adults and the general public, no matter what their background was.
My main goal and objective now is to deliver science awareness and an enthusiasm to better our societies in the ever-changing Middle East,” said Al-Omainy.
Although his successful journey started in Saudi Arabia, where he was brought up, and continued in the UK, Dr. Al-Omainy says that he still considers Yemen to be the center of his life.
“Yemen has always been the center of my life, as my parents made sure that we remembered who we are and where we came from. We knew everything about Yemeni culture and heritage. We visited our country frequently, and we managed to enhance the bond with our homeland, Arabia Felix,” he concluded.
The area is not yet clear of explosives, it warned, though some roads – including the main road to Zunjubar – and a number of residential neighborhoods are now safe.
“Seven displaced children were injured in Al-Qadisea school in Aden a few days ago, the children were playing with an explosive object,” said Qaid Saleh, director of the (YEMAC) Aden branch. He added that the vast majority of explosive objects reported and retrieved were locally made and thus more dangerous.
Since May, around 100,000 people fled from Abyan to Aden and Lahj due to the violent clashes between the state, militant groups, and Islamic militias who took over different districts in Abyan governorate. Those Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have been placed with host communities as well as public schools and other premises in Aden and Lahj. According to YEMAC, some have brought armory and explosive materials into the host communities.
In response, YEMAC has devised a comprehensive plan to undertake a massive public education and awareness campaign in response to the community needs in partnership with civil society and humanitarian partners.
Gustavo Gonzalez, UNDP/Yemen senior country director, told the Yemen Times that they are supporting YEMAC’s efforts in the campaign, stating that the UNDP is supporting the establishment of a network for Mine Risk Education compromising of local NGOs and international humanitarian partners under the leadership of YEMNAC. This network aims at targeting 200,000 people affected by conflict to help them become aware of the dangers and mitigating the risks in dealing with mines and unexploded ordinance.
A new level of threat
According to Saleh of YEMAC, the militant groups implant mines and explosive devices randomly and in unpredictable locations. He stated that if the mines were implanted in a more strategic pattern, mine clearance and disposal would be an easier job. “The danger is high now that some IDPs have returned to Abyan, as they are actually in areas that mines were implanted in,” he added.
Evidently, some of the IDPs in Aden who have been repatriated to Abyan are now at risk of losing their lives due to the random blasts and mines, hazardous and unexploded ordinances.
The YEMAC does not have clear maps on the risk areas with mines or that have witnessed conflict. These areas are also considered unsafe due to the continued presence of militant groups’ and the likelihood of a relapse into conflict.
Clearing risks, rebuilding lives
Saleh further indicated that the clearance of the road between Aden and Abyan included significant risks for the clearance teams, but it was a priority given that this road is like a life vain for the communities across the governorates of Aden and Abyan. He added that before the road was cleared, many displaced people who tried to get from Zunjubar to Aden or vice versa were at risk of losing their lives due to the random fights in the alternative road – which includes an eight-hour drive across conflict areas in Abyan and Lahj.
Abdullah Sarhan, a member of the clearance team at YEMAC, Aden, told the Yemen Times that working on clearing Abayn’s road is like “being in the middle of a battle”.
“One of our colleagues was killed and another six were injured,” said Sarhan, “this is how we work.” The team consists of seven groups that work in coordination with a military force ensuring that the road is safe and not targeted during the clearance operation. Once the explosive remnants are collected they are disposed of them by professional means.
Despite the risks and costs, the YEMAC teams seem persistent in continuing their work in the governorate. The clearance also helped the delivery of humanitarian aid and foodstuffs into the governorate, particularly through local residents and informal social welfare networks.
Gonzalez has praised the work of YEMAC, stating that Yemen is one of the few countries in the world having a strong and reliable national Institution [YEMAC] dealing with mine-related activities.