A ray of hope in the land of Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief continues efforts to treat wounded Yemenis. (Supplied)

I fear that readers have become accustomed to the news coming out of Yemen, so they are no longer shocked by it, nor does it stop them in their tracks, let alone intrigue them to read the details.

Nothing really kills interest faster than becoming too familiar with a certain topic or occurrence. Readers no longer keep track of the developments that they once followed so avidly, and they no longer find them worthy of their attention. They now skim past any Yemen news that happens to cross their path, and immediately move on to something else, regardless of how shocking the news may be.

There has not been any joyful news from the "Happy Yemen" in a long time, as the Houthis have continued to corrupt and lay waste to the land since the coup against the legitimate government in 2014. The international envoy, Martin Griffiths, is still going back and forth, as the UN cannot do much except simply manage the crisis, instead of actually finding a clear resolution for it.

This is what the UN envoys who were previously sent to Syria and Libya did, and continued to do with every crisis they have had the unfortunate task of dealing with in our despondent region. These envoys have always been a day late and a dollar short.

Members of Saudi Arabiya's KSRelief organization distributing humanitarian aid in Yemen. (Supplied)

Members of Saudi Arabiya's KSRelief organization distributing humanitarian aid in Yemen. (Supplied)

However, there are some hopeful developments there from time to time, and chief among them is Saudi Arabia’s decision, this week, to allocate $46 million to make distance education available to students in twenty Yemeni governorates.

This money has been allotted under the direction of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and it will be disbursed according to an agreement between the Saudi government and the UNICEF. This initiative will not only facilitate access to e-learning, an essential requirement in the age of Covid-19, which deprived countless students around the world of their right to education, it will also extend to equipping schools in the twenty governorates with educational supplies, and qualifying educational cadres, without which students remain captives of the Houthi ideology, unable to leave their stifling prison out into the freedom of their vast homeland.

While the Kingdom is rebuilding what has been destroyed in Yemen, and while Riyadh wants Yemen to be for all Yemenis without exception, including the Houthis themselves if they lay down their arms, halt all violence, and believe that they are partners in the homeland and not its guardians, the Houthis are launching their stray missiles and directing their misguided drones at southern Saudi Arabia.

FILE PHOTO: A supporter of the Houthis has a poster attached to his waist of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a rally to denounce the U.S. killing, in Saada, Yemen. (File photo: Yemen)

FILE PHOTO: A supporter of the Houthis has a poster attached to his waist of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, during a rally to denounce the U.S. killing, in Saada, Yemen. (File photo: Yemen)

Everyone knows that these missiles and aircraft are Iranian-made and that the Supreme Leader’s government in Tehran is the one who gives both the financing and the orders. The Houthi group feels empowered due to the support they are receiving from Iran, while in fact they will not be able to stand against the Yemenis for a single day if the Leader’s government stops pulling strings and pumping money, and respects the jurisdictions of its neighboring countries in the region. It is time that the Supreme Leader’s government realized that Yemen would only be ruled by the Yemenis, even if this preposterous game lasted a hundred years.

The Saudi government provides school supplies and offers distance learning in twenty governorates at once, giving every Yemeni student hope to emerge from a wretched present into a better future. In return, the Iranian government sends missiles instead of notebooks, drones instead of schoolbooks, and plants explosives in the land of Yemen and in more than one neighboring Arab land in the region.

When the United States decides to impose sanctions on Iran so it would stop going down this path that brings nothing but death to the people in four Arab states, the governments of the UK, France, and Germany veto the sanctions. As if the three countries are tempting Iran to continue doing what it is doing, which has exhausted the region and killed any hope it had. It is as though these three governments are calling on Tehran to keep killing, shedding blood, and tampering with the lives of people in the four capitals that extend from Baghdad, to Sanaa, to Damascus, to Beirut, or as if the three governments have put a blindfold on their eyes and do not see what is happening on the ground.

Women and children are pictured at a camp for people recently displaced by fighting in Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf between government forces and Houthis, in Marib, Yemen March 8, 2020. Picture taken March 8, 2020. (Reuters)

Women and children are pictured at a camp for people recently displaced by fighting in Yemen's northern province of al-Jawf between government forces and Houthis, in Marib, Yemen March 8, 2020. Picture taken March 8, 2020. (Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron flew to the Lebanese capital twice, and called for the formation of a national government quickly, only for Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib to face the obstacle of the Iranian influence; an obstacle that obstructed the formation of a new government and that does everything to prevent any new government from being established in the country unless it is a government that obeys the orders and dictates of the Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Macron knows that nothing prevents the formation of a new government except Iranian conspiracies on Lebanese soil, and if Washington attempts to put an end to these schemes with sanctions imposed, the French President opposes them immediately, as if he does not know that what Tehran is doing in Lebanon will render his two visits useless, and put Lebanon on the brink of the abyss.

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The Iranian conspiracies are also present in Baghdad, just like it is in Damascus and in Sanaa, and the Supreme Leader does not even attempt to hide or deny his influence and agents that are there in plain sight in each of these capitals. He only denies that his influence is destroying, laying waste, killing, and pushing the people back to the past instead of building and delivering them a better future!

Two days ago, the Iranian Fars News Agency quoted Brigadier General Abu al-Fadl Shikaraji, the Spokesman for the Iranian Military, saying that his country has put the technology for producing missiles and drones at the disposal of the Yemenis. Of course, what he means is that they have put it at the disposal of the Houthis in particular, not the Yemenis in general!

The three European countries are aware of all of this, but they seem to turn a blind eye when they veto the sanctions on Iran. These sanctions cannot be intended in and of themselves, they are rather with the aim of modifying, changing, and rationalizing Iran's behavior. If its destructive behavior in its surrounding Arab regions changes, the need for sanctions will cease to exist.

Have the double standards of the three countries reached this far? And have the common interests that binds them with the Leader’s government reached such a degree that it supersedes everything else, even if the truth is quite clear before every eye, and even if it means a painful reality for the peoples in the four capitals?!

How can the President of the Élysée Palace call for the speedy formation of the government in Beirut but look the other way when it comes to Tehran and its responsibility in disrupting that same formation?! How can he do so, even after seeing the effects of the explosion at the port that occurred on 4 August, which turned the surrounding area into piles of rubble?!

Certainly, the French capital heard the Lebanese president when he called on political forces to agree to a non-sectarian government, because the alternative - as he put it - is for Lebanon to go "to hell". Certainly, France is aware that a national government of this kind is the cure for whatever ails Lebanon, and he also knows that Iran does not want this particular cure, and that if Iran stops interfering in Lebanon, such a government would come to light within an hour of time!

Paris is aware of all the above and yet it does not attempt to stop the Iranians, and London and Berlin are also aware of such, and yet they oppose imposing sanctions, without which Iran will not realize the seriousness of what it is committing in the region!

In all cases, only what Riyadh offers these days in terms of education will affect Yemen positively, because it is what will benefit the people, and all else will be for naught, it is God's will!

This article was originally published in and translated from Asharq al-Awsat.

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Last Update: Friday, 25 September 2020 KSA 09:15 - GMT 06:15
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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