Cultural change but…
When the uprising succeeded in creating a change in Yemen’s politics, smaller groups decided to follow suit and held demonstrations and strikes demanding change.
This is good, because it took the power from the bosses back to the people. But I am worried.
I am worried that this could be seen as a fashion and employees of organizations could start protests for no rhyme or reason. It is true that there is a lot of injustice in Yemen, but in the same time there is a huge gap in professionalism among the workers. I am worried that people will resort to protests whenever they have demands, without thinking of their personal responsibility.
This is a legitimate concern because the professionalism or business culture in Yemen is not mature. Simple issues like being on time, completing jobs or perfecting tasks are almost non-existent – especially in public facilities where many of the protests are taking place.
There is a lot of masked employment where hundreds of staff are hired to do the job of a dozen and yet still the job is not done well.
Sometimes we have to be careful what we wish for. We all want reform and equal opportunities but the catch is that we as employees have to deserve it. What I am saying is that many of the protestors complain of nepotism and that their bosses favor some and don’t allow all to grow equally in their careers.
They demand reform, which is brilliant, but reform also means getting rid of the lazy, unqualified and inefficient. Reform means competition and only those who are able will move forward. It also means that while the qualified employees who have been discriminated against will rise, some of the less qualified will be fired.
A national trend of rebelling is happening in Yemen today. This is good because it shakes things up and forces those who held power for so long to let go. But we really want a deeper cultural change that has to do with performance and quality of work.
I dream of a day when the excellent reputation Yemenis abroad as skilled, hard workers becomes that of Yemenis within Yemen. Why not? Our country deserves our collective professionalism, and needs it desperately more than any other country in the world.