Yemen Post Interview: Doctor AbdelKader al-Guneid is a Yemeni doctor based in Taiz who since the very beginning of the popular uprising has been covering the events unfolding in his city and posting news threads onto various internet social networks.
His activities and dedication got him noticed by France 24 a major TV news channel as it was looking for commentators on Taiz.
Determined to voice his opinion and exercise his freedom of expression this is what Doctor al-Guneib had to say:
Section: Activists in Yemen
1. What do you think was the trigger for the Yemeni Revolution?
An escalating program of revolt, was, already in movement in Yemen organized by the Joint Meeting Parties but they were cautious and prudent.
Had not they been clumsy, they would have got the stardom. Boua'zizi and the fall of the Tunisian President Ben Ali tremendously accelerated the move against the Yemeni regime. The fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian President and the birth of what is now known as the "Arab spring" was the last straw. It led Yemeni people to take matters in their own hands, seeking freedom and justice.
Within an hour of Mubarak's resignation the Youth in Taiz dubbed our main square: "Liberty Square" setting up the cornerstone of our movement.
The country followed suit.
2. Many political analysts are claiming that the Yemeni Revolution has been high-jacked by the political factions. Do you think it’s true?
Every spring has its own peculiarities. It is actually the political parties which provided the "kids" with the means necessary to continue on. They provided the logistics, protection, political cover, we provided the manpower.
In the squares and in demos, al-Islah, the Islamist party is the backbone of the revolutionary movement, while Socialists, Nationalists, Independents and Women provide the appeal, revolutionary romance and beauty.
3. Taiz has become for several months now the epicenter of the Revolution. Why do you think that is? What makes Taiz different from Sana’a? Numbers and numbers. Most populated, most educated, most industrelized, most exploited by regime, most neglected, most unemployed. Young population with poverty and grudges is a dangerous blend.
4. Do you believe that a compromise could be brokered between the Regime and the Youth?
Yes I believe a deal could be made. Question is does the regime want to agree to a power-transfer.
Since the political has been the driving force behind the revolution it sounds natural for the parties to take over the responsibility of negotiating a deal with the regime.
5. Do you think that the threat of al-Qaeda is real or was it manufactured by the Regime as General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar claimed in a statement to the press?
We don’t have AL-QAEDA in Yemen nor AQAP. It’s all a sham. Skillfully, weaved to look genuine. The creators are Saleh regime, the KSA and the USA. Saleh has smeared Yemen's reputation by leading the World to believe it was a terrorist hotspot, home to Islamists and fanatics.
The KSA, wants to take off the reputation that the prevailing brand of Islam, on its land, is the incubator of hot headed minds. The USA needs, as always, to have a sworn enemy, to use its drones, to please Fox news viewers, to secure and justify funds for its security. Any US administration loves to look heroic in the eyes of the American electorate.
Saleh gone, al-Qaeda in Yemen will evaporate.
6. With a ratio of 3 weapons per inhabitants, what do you think made Yemeni so reluctant to use violence as a mean to achieve their goals in toppling the Regime?
There is a prevailing notion in Yemen and all Arab Springs, that Pacifism is noble. Bullets piercing bare-chested youth is seen as romantic. Women and children, bleeding and dying by the hands of the despot are viewed as yet more proofs of the legitimacy of the movement…. All these notions are responsible for Saleh ability to linger and stay longer.
7. Many Westerners claimed only a few months ago that the Arab world was not ready for Democracy, what would you like to say to those people now?
Silly claim. This like saying to a child: “Being a teenager is a difficult business. Stay a child”
8. Do you think that the international community is hindering the progress of the Revolution?
The KSA and the USA are the most influential players in Yemen. The KSA, pays both sides of Yemen's political equation, buying American support by ways of access to cheap Oil and arms purchase contracts.
9. Finally what do you want for your country?
Civil Society and Civil State. I don’t want anyone to have the monopoly on the army, security, treasury, resources, judiciary, public jobs, media and wisdom.
I want political pluralism, a real separation of powers and a democratic system based on equality away from discrimination.