Mohammed Al-Gharbi Amran: Yemen – Part of a Beautiful World

Nördlich von Sanaa, Jemen, Copyright: iStockphotoMohammed Al-Gharbi Amran, Copyright: Abdulrahman Jaber für das Deutsche Haus Sanaa & AdenThe appeal of our existence lies in its diversity and variety. The beauty of life on our blue planet is that we can live together as a community and enjoy this beauty together.

We in the south of the Arab peninsula, in Yemen, are one part of this wonderful world. We must believe this if we are to be able to live together with others and accept them. The initiative must come from us: we must examine our beliefs and traditions, we must be at one with our environment and our world in order to build a harmonious and versatile society in a homeland loved by all. We must support the legislative principle based on the rule of law and must firmly anchor the principles of equality, justice and freedom for all citizens. Our laws should guarantee equality of opportunity, transparency and freedom of opinion.

North of Sanaa, Yemen, Copyright: iStockphoto – Robert Bremec

We have done away with all the geographical boundaries; these borders that were simply a line drawn in dust, sea and air. We have got rid of them, and in so doing have removed much suffering and grief: consecutive wars, the amassing of Soviet and American weapons … a line on which blood was spilt, on whose boundaries conspiracies and intrigues occurred ... spies and informers were active ... where forbidden smuggling flourished ... which was passed by hatred and exclusion ... which was filled with fear and terror.

We have already left these boundaries behind us, just as we have cleared the air both regionally and internationally. Today we are in search of protection for our union, remembering the tragedies of division. But should our unity be protected by force of arms or by means of the principles of justice and equality, by means of more freedom, and by establishing democracy and equality of opportunity?

An invisible line in the hearts and minds of some

When this borderline existed on the map of Yemen, it was a visible line. Today there are fears that it has become entrenched as an invisible line in the hearts and minds of some people.

We must work at establishing complete preservation of human rights, we must believe in and preserve diversity and variety, and protect our unity with freedom.

We are part of a world in which some societies are marginalized on account of their religion or ethnicity and in which relationships are influenced by specific interests. We must decide either to remain as we are, or to be part of a free and stable, productive and independent world and society. Violations of justice and the failure to observe laws can give rise to invisible borders in society, borders in our souls and in our consciousness. We must respect and accept the opinions of others...
… we must proceed on the path towards a work ethic and production. We must be part of a large international and humane community. We must take advantage of the experiences of other peoples and create common ground among the citizens of our society … we must strive for a free homeland and, our heads held high, build bridges of cooperation and integration with our environment. The basis for this is an exchange of cultural, economic and development-related interests. We must battle against extremism and fanaticism and join the international community in sharing respect and love. We must believe the words of our honourable prophet: “We all are children of Adam, and Adam was made of dust.” Our prophet neither distinguished between people nor did he give preference to one person over another. On the contrary: he called upon us to open our minds, our hearts and our eyes to all people on the basis of mutual respect.

Defending our unity

And so we hope that our unity will be defended by justice and equality and not by weapons, by freedom of opinion, transparency, the separation of powers and the efficiency of a decentralized local administration. Each year we celebrate our unity, stand up in front of all the world’s peoples, proud that we have realized our dream, that we have ended decades of fighting and that our project is founded on a constitution that enshrines all rights and on complete democracy and equality between women and men.

However, after more than twenty years a new threat to our unity is emerging; there are increasing calls to restore the old borderlines. In 1994 we were caught up in a civil war which posed a threat to our unity. We found that force of arms is no real alternative, and that armed conflict sows nothing but hate and resentment.

The values of love, restraint and kindness – implemented through more democracy, justice and equality – are the true shield with which to protect our unity and are the wall that will protect our future.
Yazid Anani (born 1975 in Ramallah) teaches Architecture and Spatial Planning at Birzeit University in Ramallah.

Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Online-Redaktion

    Travel Journal Jemen

    Klaus Heymach
    From 20th until 24th of May, journalist Klaus Heymach spent a few days with the bricks in Yemen, and wrote a travel journal on the artists, the design of the bricks and the country.

    Klaus Heymach works as a journalist in Berlin. In 2005 he went to Sanaa as a freelance correspondent, rented a house in the old town and learnt Arabic. Now he has had his book published – Post Box Sanaa. Ein Jahr im Jemen (Post Box Sanaa. A year in Yemen).

    20th May 2009: Sanaa
    21st May 2009: Sanaa
    22nd May 2009: Sanaa
    23rd May 2009: Sanaa
    24th May 2009: Sanaa