As 2009 comes to an end, sad memories will stay as they will be hard to forget.
I called 2009 a bloody year for the reasons that I will mention below. No one would have ever thought that Yemen would reach the state it is today. Living in Yemen for more than 10 years, I believed that such clean hearted people should have better opportunities and better options in life. Over 12,000 people died in 2009 because of wars, demonstrations, attacks, and for other security reasons.
The worst 10 memories of 2009 are the following:
1-The long ongoing war in Sa’ada that has killed over 8000 Yemenis in 2009 alone.
2- The attack on Al-Qaeda in Abyan and Shabwa that killed 110 civilians and less than 7 Al-Qaeda members.
3- The continuing protests in southern governorates of Lahj, Thale, and Abyan.
4- The attack on Tareq Al-Fadhli and his followers in Abyan that killed over 38 people in August.
5- The kidnapping of a Japanese engineer by Arhab tribesmen, which lasted for 12 days. The sad part is that he was released after the government (as usual) accepted tribesmen’s demands.
6- The death of the German, Korean, and British adults who were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in Sa’ada in June. Lately, sources say the kids are still alive. Death threats were given to Yemen Post after it announced the death of the adults.
7- Ruling party and opposition parties not willing to negotiate and save the country from bigger crises.
8- The delay in the parliamentary elections in April that in result gave the government two more years to extend its failing policies.
9- The weak role of the anti-corruption committee SNACC, which we thought 2009 would be a breakout year for it.
10-The imprisonment of numerous journalists and the closure of over 12 newspapers. Politicians were also attacks as anyone opposing the government was dealt with an iron fist.
Hakim Almasmari is an American journalist and Middle East expert based in Sana'a, Yemen. His work has appeared for many of the worlds top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Washington Post, AlJazeera, Fox News, The Guardian, The National, USA Today among numerous others. He has also worked with some of the world’s top organizations. Reporting out of Yemen for nearly eight years, he is the current editor in chief for the Yemen Post. He is a university lecturer in the field of international media and also studied business and law. Considered one of the top experts on Yemen, Almasmari has closely worked with international strategic centers and think tanks helping them better understand Yemen. He is a frequent guest on many international TV outlets discussing current local and international affairs. Almasmari is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and speaks English and Arabic.