04 May, 2015

News and Social Media Reporting on Yemen

In the last one month or so, there has been intense, extensive - and sometimes, frenzied - reporting on Yemen. Most of the news reporting, has been by foreigners; most of whom have very little knowledge or understanding of Yemen. Many, have never been to the country, and of those who have been to Yemen -- they have been to very few places. Many, if not most, of these reporters claim to be experts or to have knowledge of the country; but, from their reporting, for anyone who knows Yemen and understands its geography, history, complex culture, many varied and different regions and its thousands of tribes -- it's clear that most of these reporters do not know or understand the country. How can a foreigner who has been only to Sana'a (or/and a few other main cities), spent a few months or even years in these places, attended a few qat sessions -- claim to be an expert on Yemen? How can someone who does not know Arabic or very little of it, profess to be an authority or a pundit on the country? How can someone who does not know most of the twenty-one Yemeni provinces say "I am an expert on Yemen"? How many of these reporters have been to and have knowledge of: Dhalea, Raymah, Lahej, Hajja, Mahra, Mahweet, Al Jawf, Shabwa, Socotra or the many other Yemeni regions? How many know the historic towns of Tarim and Yarim? How many know that there are several towns/villages in the country, all with the same name: Al Hawta? How many know the differences between Wadi Hadhramaut, Wadi Do'an and Wadi Sa'ah? Even Arab news reporters, and so called 'analysts' and 'experts' -- non seems to have real, deep knowledge and understanding of Yemen: they didn't get it right in 2011 or after that; and they, too, seem lost today.

25 February, 2015

Hadhramaut International Schools, Leads and Excels in Mukalla

Hadhramaut International Schools
"Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim,....." and "Whoever takes a path upon which to obtain knowledge, Allah makes the path to Paradise easy for him." (ﷺ). To seek knowledge; to seek education -- is the most enlightening and most rewarding thing one can do. The best and greatest gift one can give to one's children is knowledge; is education. Education enlightens and empowers. But, for knowledge and education to truly enlighten and be beneficial, that requires proper: place, space and means; it requires a school that gives its students good and appropriate resources/facilities and lets them achieve their full potential. A few weeks ago, while in Mukalla, Hadhramout, I visited such a school; a private one: the Hadhramaut International Schools. Considering how dire Hadhramaut's education system and institutions are, I was so relieved and comforted that, finally, Mukalla (and Hadhramout) had such an excellent center for education.

30 January, 2015

TEDx event, Mukalla, Hadhramaut

TEDx Mukalla (تيدكس المكلا)
On the 15th of this month, between 9.00 AM and 8.00 PM - a TEDx organized event was for the first time held  at the Belfageeh Cultural Center, in Mukalla, Hadhramout. Attended by several dignitaries, both local and international (foremost: Sheikh Abdullah Ahmed Bugshan) --- there were several performers, including artists, musicians and others. In spite of all the turbulence that Yemen has been facing, in the past few weeks in particular -- it's a testament of how peaceful and organized the Hadharem can be, for such an international event to be successfully organized and held.