Taiz celebrates anniversary of Yemen’s revolution

Published on 13 February 2012 in News
Emad Al-Saqqaf (author), Hussein Abdullah (photographer)

Emad Al-Saqqaf


Hussein Abdullah

February 11 celebrations included traditional songs and arts.

February 11 celebrations included traditional songs and arts.

TAIZ — Taiz marked one year of the Yemeni revolution on Friday and Saturday – a year after daily protests began on Feb. 11, 2011.

Hundreds gathered to watch the revolution torch being lit in Jamal Street, where the call for an end to Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule began.

Fireworks lit the sky over Taiz, and the celebrations continued until late Friday night.

On Saturday, massive crowds flowed onto the streets of the city to see a carnival parade arranged by protesters to express their support for the presidential elections on February 21.

Other protesters sang an opera in praise of Yemeni’s unification. The celebration also included traditional songs, arts and handicrafts. 

Noria Saeed, celebrating the anniversary of Yemen’s revolution, pointed out that 2011 had changed attitudes towards women after they marched and protested alongside men for months on end.  

“During the celebrations, women deliberately wore rural traditional clothes costumes to make the celebration distinctive, as well as highlighting the important role played by women,” she added.

Saeed also expressed support for the presidential election this month. “I call on all Yemeni people to go to the ballot boxes and exercise their rights, as elections are a significant step for the success of Yemen’s revolution.

“I demand that the interim government change the current reality of people’s lives,” she added. “They must improve services and create an environment that people can happily live in.”

Mansour Sadq, 26, who travelled from a remote area of Taiz governorate for the celebrations, also believes the elections are a good opportunity for change, turning the page of Saleh’s rule after 33 years.   

However, other protesters installed a stage at Jamal Street, calling on people to boycott the upcoming election, claiming it is a coup against the revolution.

Msutafa Alsharjabi, 23, explained that Yemeni protesters took to streets to oust the regime and bring corrupt people to justice, pointing out that the country’s political parties only joined the revolution at a later stage.

“They wanted to become the leaders of the revolution and then signed the [GCC] initiative to share power,” he said. “We are going to stay inside the squares until all the demands of the revolution are met and those officials responsible for killing protesters are brought to justice.

“We faced the tyranny of the Islah party, who controlled protesters and we felt yet more despotism and repression of the kind used by Saleh. Some members of Islah even issued a fatwa saying that those who do not vote are not revolutionaries,” he added.