Business for Peace Award
1574, Section: Interview


Jeroen Verheul‭, ‬former Dutch ambassador to Yemen has been in the country since 2012‭. ‬He has recently been appointed Roving Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hague‭.‬

“Political stability” key concern for Yemen

Published on 28 August 2014 by Nadia Al-Sakkaf in Interview

Nadia Al-Sakkaf, the editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times, interviewed Jeroen Verheul, the former Netherlands ambassador to Yemen, at the Netherland’s embassy in Sana’a.

Verheul, who has been in the country since 2012, arriving in the midst of Yemen’s political transition, shared his experience and fondness for Yemen before embarking on a new journey as Roving Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hague.

“I feel very sad to leave Yemen, because both Yemen as a country and its population have touched my heart,” he says.

Talking about his time in Sana’a, Verheul explained his fascination with the rugged terrain and his unending love for hiking in Yemen’s beautiful mountains. Verheul visited Yemen once before, in 2001, where he had the opportunity to sample qat. Like many first-time visitors to the country, he had his share, and the experience was far bitter than he had imagined. He admits that since then, “I’ve not had it again.”

Apart from beautiful landscapes, Verheul has been struck by the friendliness, hospitality, and open attitude of the Yemeni people. He regrets that he was not able to see more of the country and its people, but says he felt restricted due to the security situation. What hurts Verheul most is the plight of the people, due to lack of basic needs such as consistent power, fuel, and water supply.  

In an interview with Nadia Al-Sakkaf, Verheul talks about his remorse after seeing the current political uncertainties stall the country’s progress, and emphasizes the imminent need for political and economic stability. He also discusses the Netherlands’ contribution towards a safe water project and his vision for a brighter Yemen.

In 2013 Nagi was honored with the Order of the British Empire in London as one of 80 people who have made inspiring changes in the world.

Striving for change in Yemen

Published on 22 July 2014 by Dares Al-Badani in Interview

Nouria Ahmed Nagi is the director and founder of the Yemen Education and Relief Organization (YERO), which funds children’s education and supports families in need through donations, micro-loans, and employment opportunities. In late November 2013, Nagi received the Order of the British Empire, making her the first Arab woman recipient. She won the award, according to Queen Elizabeth II’s list, “for services to charitable work transforming the lives of women and children in Yemen.” Nagi tends to shy away from talking about her personal life, saying that she believes actions speak louder than words. In an interview with the Yemen Times, however, Nagi opened up and discussed her life journey and her efforts to generate change in Yemen.

The smart hat uses ultrasounds to help visually impaired sense what is within four meters from them.

Female graduates apply visual aid technology for “smart hat”

Published on 1 July 2014 by Dares Al-Badani in Interview

Samar Al-Nuzaili, Taiseer Al-Ghorbani and Fatima Al-Muntasir, graduates from the Engineering College at Sana’a University, have spent the last five months working on a project to help visually impaired people navigate their way around campus.

Muwaladeen activist to the Yemen Times: “We demand to participate in this country.”

Published on 10 June 2014 by Sara Al-Dubaei in Interview

On March 3, 2013, as a means of curbing illegal immigration, the Civil Status Authority implemented a ban on issuing identity cards to those unable to present legal documents proving their Yemeni nationality.

Al-Murtadha Bin Zaid Al-Muhatwari

Al-Muhatwari to the Yemen Times: “Nothing has changed in Yemen. The former regime’s head, heart and mentality still exist”

Published on 27 May 2014 by Dares Al-Badani in Interview

Al-Murtadha Bin Zaid Al-Muhatwari is a prominent religious Zaidi leader and professor at the Law College of Sana'a University. He was born in 1952 in Al-Mahabesha district of Hajja governorate, in the north of Yemen. He studied Arabic grammar and Zaidi ideology in the Grand Mosque of Sana'a. He then went on to establish the Badr Center in Sana’a that teaches linguistics and jurisprudence based on Zaidi ideology.

Heba Al-Tairy‭, ‬director of the Commercial Affairs Unit of the Yemen Petroleum Company‭, ‬says that Yemenصs fuel supply shortage can not be solved by simply removing the government subsidy‭.‬

Yemen’s fuel crisis: will the subsidies last?

Published on 15 May 2014 by Ali Saeed in Interview

Consumers  have been complaining about Yemen's fuel shortage since April.

The government repeatedly says that it has no intention of removing the fuel subsidy, but the Ministry of Oil says the government cannot afford to pay for fuel imports. Some economists urge the government to lift the subsidy gradually, to be accompanied by a corruption control plan and a clear financial strategy to use fuel subsidy money for monthly cash transfers to poor households.

To get a better understanding of what led to the shortage and the details of the present supply process, the Yemen Times' Ali Saeed met Heba Al-Tairy, director of the Commercial Affairs Unit of the Yemen Petroleum Company [YPC], a state-run company that supplies the country with the oil derivatives that include diesel, benzene (petrol), mazoot (for use in power stations), kerosene and jet fuel.

(Sky News screen grab)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abu Bakr al-Qirbi talks to the Yemen Times

Published on 13 May 2014 by Nadia Al-Sakkaf in Interview

On the sidelines of the recent Friends of Yemen meeting held in London on April 29, 2014, Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Abu Bakr al-Qirbi explained why the transitional program designed two years ago failed and what is being done now to rectify this problem and improve Yemen’s economy and security situation.

Yemen has received 65‭ ‬percent of pledged funds from donor countries‭. ‬Ensuring that the remaining 35‭ ‬percent is delivered is a priotity‭, ‬but so is making sure these funds are spent in a way that benefits ordinary Yemenis‭, ‬said UK Foreign Office M

“Friends of Yemen will hold Yemen to its transition timetable!”

Published on 8 May 2014 by Nadia Al-Sakkaf in Interview

Hugh Robertson was appointed as minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in October 2013. He co-chaired the recent Friends of Yemen meeting on April 29, 2014 in London.


From ‘father of death’ to life coach: The journey of Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard

Published on 30 April 2014 by Nasser Al-Saqqaf in Interview

Nasser Ahmed Al-Bahri spent four years as Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard and fondly remembers his former boss as a “man with a vision.” In an exclusive interview with the Yemen Times, Al-Bahri, also known as Abu Jandal, or the “father of death,” explains his decision to leave Al-Qaeda and discusses his new career as a life coach and motivational speaker and the difficulties he faces because of his past.

The MPHP has threatened to shut down  an additional 38 private  heath facilities  in Sana’a unless improvements are made. (YT Archive photo by Ashraf Al-Muraqaf)

Public Health and Population Ministry to the Yemen Times:

Published on 29 April 2014 by Amal Al-Yarisi in Interview

Ali Mohammed Al-Shuaibi, deputy director of the Public Health and Population Ministry's office in Sana'a, speaks to the Yemen Times about the status of the seven hospitals ordered to be shut down and other initiatives of the ministry.