Having inherited a nation plagued by a multitude of inter-connected and over-lapping crises President Hadi, a veteran of the Saleh's era, could not if he had wanted to, fathom what intricate maze he would have to navigate through before ever hoping to shine a light on the ancient land of Sheba.
After well over a year in office, the very fact that President Hadi remains standing in the vertical position is a testament to this man's determination and sheer political tenacity. The head of the most troubled, fractioned, poorest and most instable nation in the Peninsula and most probably the Arab world, President Hadi has been dancing on many heads and many snakes over the past 18 months, having against all odds managed to retain some measure of equilibrium.
Charged with transitioning the Republic of Yemen from a nepotistic state with strong tribal undertones and a lack of national unity to a working modern democracy, President Hadi had his work cut out for him.
Racked by three decades of pandemic corruption, greed has left Yemen but a shadow of its former self, a shell emptied of its potential.
A once thriving and promising nation, the land of Yemen has been pillaged and its resources squandered to the winds.
The Yemen of today certainly does not look anything like the Yemen of our forefathers.
Once a land of green and plentiful it is as if Yemen has turned on its own people, having reduced them to mendicity.
A military man, a politician of the shadows (most of his career was spent behind the curtains of power as former President Ali Abdullah Saleh' second in command) President Hadi was propelled as Yemen's head of state somewhat by default; the only man former President Saleh trusted enough to honor the terms of the GCC-brokered power transfer initiative and the only man the Opposition would not write off as unacceptable.
Just as Saleh understood Hadi would protect his political legacy since he was himself a product of it, the Opposition or Yemen deep state as experts have called it appreciated the political continuity which Hadi offered as a candidate to the presidency.
Faced with the titan task of turning Yemen ashes back into the brilliant phoenix Yemenis knew their country could become, President Hadi faces one mighty task: uniting the broken pieces of a nation into a coherent political entity, animated by true nationalistic sentiments.
While the international community has been busy looking for ways to bridge Yemen's differences, sometimes cajoling, sometimes threatening various factions and parties into complying with their demands, one vital element has been and continue to be overlooked: nationalism.
As it stands Yemen can only hope to function if it is institutionally unite; whether or not as a federation, but nevertheless united under one common flag. One problem remains though; Yemenis do not feel united in the least.
Until Yemenis feel they are a unit, one body, one nation, one land, no amount of political debate will manage to glue its many political entities together.
If one was to compare Yemen's lack of nationalism with a disease, politicians, who in this case would be the doctors would be trying to cure every symptom separately rather than try to look at the condition as one main entity and treat it as such.
Yemen is essentially looking for its identity as a nation.
As of right now if al-Harak (the Southern Secessionist Movement), which is itself fragmented and divided into sub-factions, groups, movements and ideologies is fighting off Sana'a's idea to divide Yemen into several regions, promoting instead a return to pre-1994 binary systems: North Yemen on the one side and South Yemen on the other, it is because it fears losing its identity.
South Yemenis feel South Yemenis, they do not just feel Yemenis; and this is at the core of the whole issue.
Harakis fear that by agreeing to a multi-federation, they will lose their essence and be swallowed whole by the northern colonial force.
Earlier this year former South Yemen President Ali Salem al-Baidh made this clear when he commented that South Yemenis were culturally different from their northern brothers and should not therefore be perceived as sharing the same historical and cultural roots.
Despite President Hadi's power of persuasion South Yemen very much perceives Sana'a central government as the invading power, the usurpatory entity. The fact that officials abused their power positions following 1994 civil war and the many injustices southerners suffered after that, by the hands of their northern brothers did not exactly help build positive sentiment, conducive to nationalism; instead regionalism and tribalism developed.
Rather than think in terms of country, Yemenis very often understand their lineage, their affiliations along tribal lines first, then regional ones.
Just as soldiers used to swear their allegiance to a man , a leader, rather than the defense ministry or even the republic under the Saleh's regime, Yemenis have somewhere along the line learn to think tribe before country, region before flag.
In essence Yemen lacks a common denominator. As of now, Yemen remains an unbalanced equation.
Yemen as a nation stands now at a truly historical crossroads. The Yemeni people have now the choice to embrace each other’s' differences, customs and traditions to fuse into one united body, to favor the whole over the singular, in a conscious effort to build together a future they understand alone could not fulfill their aspirations.
Amid all the political scheming and scamming, one reality remains true however one chooses to look at it: divided, Yemen stands to lose everything; united Yemen could beat the odds and reclaims its own history by carving out its own future, beyond western and Gulf countries' agendas.
Experts have already called for a review of Yemen’s counter terror-strategy by addressing the root of the ideology rather than focusing on destroying militants’ military capacity.