Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

12/05/2017

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Strongman Who Helped Unite Yemen, and Divide It, Dies at 75

President of Yemen for 34 years whose refusal to leave the political stage plunged his country into further turmoil






 Ali Abdullah Saleh at a press conference in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2011. He likened his survival technique to ‘dancing on the heads of snakes’. Photograph: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been killed aged 75, held power in Yemen for almost 34 years – an extraordinary feat in one of the world’s most fractious countries. He likened his survival technique to “dancing on the heads of snakes” and his political career ended much as it had begun, in turmoil.


Between 1974 and 1978, the Yemen Arab Republic had three presidents in quick succession. Two were assassinated and the third fled after less than a month in office. A four-man presidential council then took over, in which Saleh soon emerged as leader. In July 1978, the People’s Assembly elected him president of the republic and commander of the armed forces, but there were few who expected him to last very long.


Coming from a lesser branch of the Hashid tribal grouping, he was born in the village of Beit al-Ahmar, near the capital Sana’a. With minimal education, he had risen through the military but had little in the way of a political base – a problem that he set about correcting during his first few years in office. What he lacked in education he made up for with his shrewd handling of people, gradually building a consensus which, besides the military, embraced businessmen and technocrats along with tribal and religious leaders. He had no particular ideology beyond republicanism and nationalism.
The high point of his presidency came in 1990 when, after years of on-off negotiations, Saleh’s Yemen Arab Republic united with the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen – the southern part of the country that had been ruled by Marxists since the British withdrawal from Aden in 1967. This initially resulted in a power-sharing agreement for the unified state – a coalition in which the ruling party from each side shared power and a presidential council chaired by Saleh with Ali Salem al-Beidh, the southern leader, as his deputy.
At the same time, Yemen opened up its political system; new newspapers and magazines proliferated and more than 20 parties competed in the 1993 parliamentary elections – the first to be held in the Arabian peninsula under universal suffrage. Promising as this seemed at the time, it was something of a mirage. The former regimes of north and south had unresolved differences which were allowed to persist under the guise of democratic differences rather than using democracy as a means to resolve them. Most important of these differences was the failure to properly merge the armies of the former northern and southern states, which led to them coming to blows during a brief war in 1994 that was won by Saleh’s forces.
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With his southern rivals out of the way and the whole army under his command, Saleh had an opportunity to consolidate Yemen’s national unity but instead he allowed grievances in the south to simmer, leading to a revival of separatist activism. From 2004, at the opposite end of the country, Saleh also fought an intermittent war against Zaidi rebels known as the Houthis, as well as militants linked to al-Qaida in various parts of the country. Saleh’s relationship with the jihadists was always somewhat ambivalent. They had helped him defeat the southern forces in 1994, and though he always claimed al-Qaida was an enemy, he had an interest in not eradicating it. Without the threat from al-Qaida, western countries would have been far less interested in giving him aid.
For years, Saleh was reputedly a regular chewer of qat – Yemen’s national drug – and, since it causes wakefulness, would often follow it up with tipples of whisky in order to sleep. It was at the whisky stage that Saleh got most of his worst ideas, according to one former prime minister who used to unplug his phone at 10pm to avoid presidential calls.
Saleh was also happy to play the democratic game so long as he kept on winning. In 1999 he submitted his own presidency to the electorate for the first time – and won easily, though it undoubtedly helped to have an opponent from his own party (whose campaign expenses Saleh had promised to pay). In 2005, he announced that he was stepping down. “Let’s transfer power peacefully,” he said. “People are fed up with us, and we are fed up with power.” Naturally, his party pleaded with him to stay and Saleh, feigning reluctance, remained in his palace.
Had he left office at that point, he would have done so with a fair record of achievements. He had unified the two halves of the country, had overseen the introduction of a multiparty system and had finally settled Yemen’s borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman, as well as the maritime border with Eritrea.
Like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Saleh was widely thought to be grooming his son, Ahmad, to succeed him in the presidency. Legally, he was due to retire in 2013, though he had been making moves to change the constitution and continue for longer. His rule had also become increasingly repressive, with the local media in particular under almost constant attack. Then came the Arab spring.
At the start of 2011, popular uprisings broke out in Tunisia and Egypt, giving Yemenis ideas about political change, too. It soon became clear that the northern rebels and southern separatists were not the only malcontents; in fact almost the entire country had turned against Saleh’s rule.
While claiming that he was willing to leave office if allowed do so “with dignity” his behaviour suggested otherwise. Despite being abandoned by many within his own ranks, he clung on regardless while his power evaporated all around him.
There was a narrow escape in June 2011 when a bomb exploded in the private mosque of his presidential palace. Several of the worshippers were killed and Saleh, seriously injured, was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment.
Protest demonstrations in Yemen continued and it was not until February 2012 that Saleh was finally cajoled into leaving office. Under a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, he was replaced by his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, but the deal also allowed Saleh to stay in Yemen and granted him immunity from prosecution.
This proved disastrous because it allowed Saleh to make mischief from the sidelines. He still had a considerable support network and used it relentlessly to undermine his successor.
In pursuit of that goal he also formed a surprising alliance with his former enemies, the Houthi rebels. It was only because of Saleh’s support that the Houthis were able to seize control of the capital, Sana’a, in 2014, causing Hadi to flee. This later resulted in a Saudi-led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi’s government – and a continuing humanitarian catastrophe.
Last week, in what seems to have been a planned move, Saleh turned on his Houthi allies and attempted to wrest control of the capital from them. He had clearly lost none of his political ambition but, for once, his snake-dancing skills failed him and Yemen’s wiliest politician came to a brutal and humiliating end.
He is survived by several children, including Ahmad, a former military commander.
 Ali Abdullah Saleh, politician, born 21 March 1942; died 4 December 2017

11/18/2017

UK judge bans mother from taking daughter to Egypt ... because FGM



UK judge bans mother from taking daughter to Egypt ... because FGM

The father viewed FGM as part of "Egyptian culture and tradition."
 

 
Source: YouTube

A British-Muslim mother was recently banned from traveling to Egypt with her baby daughter, over fears that her one-year-old child might be subjected to female genital mutilation.



The mother converted to Islam after meeting her husband, an Egyptian national, in his native country. She planned to take her newborn baby to the North African country to see her father and his family.
However, UK Judge Justice Allison Russell issued a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order, effectively banning the mother from traveling outside the UK with her daughter until 2032. She ordered that the child's passport be retained by the court till then.
Russell said the father viewed FGM as part of "Egyptian culture and tradition," according to The Daily Mail. Despite the fact that he also believes the procedure should be legalized, the father said that he does not intend to subject his daughter to the procedure.
"It is not intended that the girl should not be able to see her father or members of the paternal family and the court would encourage the father and his family to visit her in England," Russell added.

Egypt Female Genital Mutilation Worse Than Ever Despite Ban

 

 

FGM is a criminal offense in the UK, however it is a common practice in Egypt

FGM, which is defined as a "partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons" by the World Health Organization (WHO), is extremely common in Egypt.
According to a 2014 survey, 92 percent of Egyptian women aged between 15 and 49 have been circumcised.
This can lead to worrisome side effects, including severe physical pain, bleeding, and the risk of wound infections.
The practice has also been revealed to cause a delay in women's sexual response cycle.
Earlier this year, the spokesperson of Egypt's primary Forensic Medicine Department, Dr. Hesham Abdel Hamid, revealed that 70 to 80 percent of all Egyptian women cannot orgasm due to the practice.

10/23/2017

Zabbaleen: Trash Town. A whole community in Egypt that lives on rubbish

Zabbaleen: Trash Town. A whole community in Egypt that lives on rubbish
Tens of thousands of people live in Zabbaleen, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, they all make a living out of recycling the entire capital city’s refuse. Their whole town is practically a giant dump and it provides them with almost everything they need: from kids’ toys to fodder for livestock. Even their pigs play an important part in recycling food waste. Most important of all though, the dump provides livelihoods for the people of Zabbaleen.
Every one of the rubbish collectors plays their own part, gathering, transporting or sorting the rubbish. Collectively, everyone in the community performs a highly efficient job of recycling Cairo’s refuse. This allows the trash town to be self-sufficient and largely independent from the rest of the city. The place has its own rules, everyone is allocated their own patch of Cairo, no one would think of collecting from someone else’s area

8/30/2017

Buthaina Eyes turned to the icon calls to end the war in Yemen

Buthaina Eyes  turned to the icon calls to end the war in Yemen 




A shocking photo showing a young girl covered in bruises and with a badly swollen face after she lost most of her family in a Saudi-led air strike on Yemen has triggered a furious anti-war backlash.
Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, who is believed to be between four and five years old, does not know that her parents, five siblings, and uncle were killed when their home was flattened in an air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa on 25 August.
SANAA (Reuters) - Her bruised eyes still swollen shut, Buthaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, doesn't yet know that her parents, five siblings and uncle were killed when an air strike flattened their home in Yemen's capital.


Despite concussion and skull fractures, doctors think Buthaina will pull through -- her family's sole survivor of the Aug 25 attack on an apartment building that residents blame on a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen since 2015.
The alliance said in a statement it would investigate the air strike, which killed at least 12 civilians.
Yemen's long war involving competing Yemeni factions and regional power struggles has killed at least 10,000 people. Millions more have been forced to leave their homes and face disease and hunger.
Aid agencies have called for a speedy resolution to the conflict, warning that the impoverished country is now victim to the world's greatest man-made humanitarian disaster.
Lying disoriented in her hospital bed on Saturday, Buthaina called out for her uncle, Mounir, who was among those killed in the attack.
Another uncle, Saleh Muhammad Saad, told Reuters Mounir had rushed to the family's house when Buthaina's father called him at 2 a.m. to say war planes were bombing their neighborhood in Sanaa's Faj Attan district. He never returned.
By the time Saleh got to the house, it was a ruin of broken concrete blocks and wooden planks. Hearing survivors groaning from beneath the rubble, he battled to free them.
"I could hear the shouts of one of their neighbors from under the rubble, and tried to remove the rubble from on top of (Buthaina's father) and his wife, but I couldn't. They died," he said.
"We lifted the rubble and saw first her brother Ammar, who was three, and her four sisters, all of them dead. I paused a little and just screamed out from the pain. But I pulled myself together, got back there and then heard Buthaina calling."
He said her survival had given him some solace as he mourned the rest of the family.
"Her sister Raghad always used to come up and hug me and kiss me when I visited. I used to say to her, 'Come on, that's enough.' And she would say 'Oh no it isn't!' and just keep hugging and kissing."
(Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Helen Popper)
Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters.



 UPDATE:
BBC


One-eyed unity with injured Yemeni girl


People in Yemen are sharing photos on social media of themselves with one eye closed in solidarity with a young girl injured and orphaned in an air strike.
Bouthaina al-Rimi's home in the Attan neighbourhood of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, was bombed and destroyed on 25 August. The blast killed her parents and six siblings.

By sharing photos of themselves closing an eye, people in Yemen are hoping to raise awareness of the crisis. Half a million children under five are suffering severe acute malnutrition, and the cholera outbreak is the largest in the world, infecting over 500,00 people.

The Arabic hashtag #Bouthaina_The_Eye_Of_Humanity and #I_SPEAK_FOR_BUTHINA have both been used more than 3,000 times since Wednesday.

Buthaina Muhammad Mansour being rescued from the site of a Saudi-led air strike on Sanaa which killed eight of her family members.

Wiam Adil Maktari's post on Facebook

Some Twitter uses called for an end to the war.

"For Bouthaina and all of Yemen's children, we say YES to the end of war,"





















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6/22/2017

In Yemen’s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

In Yemen’s secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the “grill,” in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.