There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. – Machiavelli
On the 23rd of November Ali Abdullah signed the GCC deal which none had anticipated would ever happen. The deal which is actually not public yet apart from an unofficial version on the GPC page (Read it here (AR)) is believed to offer immunity to Saleh and family members. The uproar of the youth, activists & supporters began to flood in on all social media networks. Some exercising cautious relief; others angry, flatly refusing the initiative or its recognition.
Yemen has been ruled by Saleh for over three decades and many believe this GCC deal is a time buying mechanism. Many also think Saleh will not go down without a show; hence why they won’t trust he will follow through with anything he agrees to.
After the initial anger and the feeling of frustration because the GCC deal had been signed; I was overcome by a feeling of scepticism and a thought that 90 days in Yemen is a long time.
Processing the information I saw the deal as an insult, I saw it as a hijack of everything that has been fought for for 10 months. I saw this deal as another way of Saleh triumphing over the people. Saleh killed; stole; divided and conquered and now walks out with the certainty of never being punished. The next day after the signing of the GCC deal 5 people died and at least 34 were injured, adding to my sheer frustration.
While I sat and discussed the situation in Yemen and the latest devolvement with my father, he said something which brought me back to a not so ideal world. He said my daughter Imagine you are in the middle of the sea unaware of where the shore is; you don’t worry about why or how you got there but you try and find anyway to get to shore before you drown. Yemen is now in the middle of the sea and needs to find its way; anyway otherwise 10 months and all the martyrs would’ve been in vain and it will drown.
I have had people ask me why do the youth have to compromise?! How can the martyrs and families be betrayed so quickly?! In fighting for change we will always have to sacrifice, we must never forget the people and their families who have paid the highest price. We should address them, give them the due respect and find a way to help them. This is not a game of revenge the bigger picture has to be taken into account, Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, the second most armed nation and no one wants the situation to get worse. People have lost loved ones, jobs and have struggled with rising food prices. It is not ideal but more beneficial that we find a way to use to our advantage the hand dealt.
I see pro-revolution activists and supporters differing on an unnecessary detail. Whether to support or not support the GCC deal is not the point; the point of the matter is we need to have a plan and a solution. Everyone in and out of Yemen concerned about Yemen has been affected by the revolution and now this GCC deal. The goal was for change for a better life for the people of Yemen – let’s refocus on that.
The youth should put more energy on other pressing issues like having a united front, dealing with the south’s frustration and the Houthis all these are in urgent need to be addressed. The youth have to be more organised and make sure they have an action plan; a time frame and a way to make sure there is fair representation.
The revolutionaries have ousted a dictator (at least on paper) they have gained the support of the rest of the country as well as getting tribes on board. Although Yemen is known to be a highly armed nation revolutionaries have convinced and made sure that weapons were not a part of their revolution. To fix a problem it’s not what tools you have but how you use the tools you have. The youth have tools not the best – but usable.