Yemen’s Elite: Different views on the uprisings in Syria and Bahrain
The Egyptian revolution also led to the ousting of Egypt’s longtime president Hosni Mubarak, and then a full-scale civil war broke out in Libya which led to the ousting and death of Muammar Gaddafi after 42 years of rule.
Yemenis welcomed the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions for they opened the door for many other revolutions, particularly in Yemen and later on in Bahrain and Syria.
The uprisings in Syria and Bahrain have provoked controversy, particularly in Yemen. Some of the Yemeni elite consider the uprising in Syria as a ‘true revolution’, whereas Bahrain’s uprising is considered something less.
On the other hand, other Yemeni elites think the uprising in Bahrain as a great revolution against the monarchy, while Syria’s uprising is considered a ploy by outside forces aiming to destroy the country.
Satar: Iran considers Bahrain an Iranian district
Sheikh Abdullah Satar, a leader in the Islamist Party, describes what is happening in Bahrain as a demanding of rights, but not a revolution.
Iran wants to spread disorder in Bahrain for it considers it an Iranian district and not an independent country. The citizens can only demand their legal rights, according to Sheikh Satar.
“Though Bahrain is a kingdom, there is freedom of the press. There is also continuous development and women have got all their rights. Moreover, the most important thing in Bahrain is security,” added Sheikh Satar.
However, Sheikh Satar considers the uprising in Syria a ‘true revolution’ because President Al-Assad’s regime have destroyed everything and killed many people while all the people in the world are watching.
“What is strange is that Iran and Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim military group and political party based in Lebanon, refused the intervention of some countries to stop the killing in Syria,” he added.
“Without the support the Syrian regime receives from Iran and Hezbollah, it will not be able to continue,” he said.
Hashid: Saudi Arabia failed both the revolutions of Bahrain and Syria
“Saudi Arabia have failed both the revolutions in Bahrain and Syria,” said Ahmed Saif Hashid, a member of the Yemeni parliament and leader of Yemen’s Youth peaceful revolution.
“People are being killed every day in Syria but the media tries to hide everything. Ten percent of this severe violence would make anyone support the Syrian revolution,” he added.
“I support the revolution in Bahrain too, but the interference of Saudi Arabia by sending military troops to reenforce Bahrain prevented it,” he said.
“The international community must support the revolution in Bahrain against the monarchy’s regime, and stop the torture of revolutionary people and activists in Bahrain,” continued Hashid.
Hashid deprecated the contradictory attitudes of Saudi Arabia because it supported the regime in Bahrain and stood against the regime in Syria.
Al-Madani: Bahrain’s revolution is forgotten
Bahrain’s revolution is forgotten as all countries ignored it, according to Al-Khaled Al- Madani, a leader of Shabaab Al-Sumud, a group affiliated with the Houthis in Change Square.
“The uprising in Bahrain isn’t supported by any country, particularly Iran because the people who started the protests are Bahrainis who speak Arabic and not Persian, and they say that they led a Bahraini revolution,” he said.
“We have to judge what is happening in Bahrain by what we see and not what we hear,” Al-Madani added.
“We support the right of people calling for their rights but we are against any external interference,” said Al-Madani, concerning the uprising in Syria.
“Revolution doesn’t need external support worldwide. The revolution in Tunisia and Egypt broke out without any external support. So, we support the revolution in Syria unless there isn’t any external interference,” he added.
Al-Noaimi: Signs of revolution in Syria
What happened in Syria at the beginning was a real revolution but later on the opposition parties divided into two parts. Those who are outside Syria diverted to serve particular foreign agendas, while those in Syria continued to call for political reforms, according to Mohamed Al-Noaimi, the former spokesman of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) and head of the political department of the Popular Forces Union Party in Yemen.
“We support the peoples’ freedom, but at the same time we refuse the external interference and the projects which serve foreign countries and aim at destroying Syria,” he added.
“I wonder about all the countries that are concerned about Syria while they totally ignore Bahrain’s revolution, how they lead the political power transfer agreement and forget about the people of Bahrain who demand urgent political reforms and not the ousting of the current regime,” he said.
Al-maqtari: The external parties don’t respect the will of people
The uprisings in Syria and Bahrain are two great revolutions in which the people are against oppression and tyranny just like the revolutions of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, according to Bushra Al-Maqtari, a leader of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) and an activist in Freedom Square in Taiz.
“What is painful is the external interference. Saudi Arabia sent its troops to Bahrain and Iran tries to thwart the revolution in Syria which reflects that they don’t respect the will of the people,” said Al-Maqtari.
Al-Maqtari criticized the Arab media coverage of the uprising in Syria and Bahrain. The Saudi Arabian media was interested in what was happening in Syria while it totally ignored Bahrain. On the contrary, the media in Iran gave much more importance to what was happening in Bahrain, ignoring Syria.