Tik Root | IRIN News
Afrah Ahmed, 23, an entrepreneur based in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, is no stranger to micro-credit: she is preparing to take out her third loan.
But when asked if previous borrowing had helped improve her life, she gave a lukewarm reply.
“Only to a certain extent, honestly, because life is very hard, there's no money in the house, no-one works. I am looking for a solution to improve life,” she told IRIN.
Whether micro-credit “works” for lifting people about of poverty is a question that has been debated not just in Yemen but around the world.
“I wouldn’t describe it as a great way to tackle poverty; it does modest good at a modest cost,” David Roodman, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, and the author of a recent book on micro-finance, Due Diligence.
“I think it’s something that enriches the economic fabric of a society and contributes to the process of economic transformation in a modest but useful way, which in a sense is what development is.”
Tik Root | IRIN News
Tik Root | The Economist
JIHANA, a nondescript village half an hour outside the Yemeni capital Sana’a, is a gun lover’s paradise. Yemen boasts a score of arms markets and Jihana is among the largest. The shops along the main road, as well as those tucked away in the market’s dusty depths, alternate between convenience stores and weapons outlets. Kalashnikovs, Turkish glocks, tank artillery and even “Libyans”, black rifles supposedly supplied by the Qaddafi regime, are all available.
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Tik Root | The Atlantic
SANA'A, YEMEN -- On Saturday, Mohammed Haza'a was put to death by the Yemeni government despite legitimate questions as to whether he was under the age of 18 when he committed an alleged murder.
In 1999, Mohammed shot an intruder at his home in the central Yemeni city of Tiaz. The man later died of his wounds. Various judges, including the one who made the initial ruling, determined that the killing was self-defense and that Mohammed was underage at the time of the crime. Ignoring these concerns, an appeals court eventually sentenced him to death.
George Abu Al-Zulof, a child protection specialist at UNICEF, describes in chilling detail how firing squads carry out their orders. "They put them on the ground, they cover them with the blanket and then a doctor comes and points around the heart from the back side. Then they shoot three to four bullets [into] the heart."
Mohammed's execution was denounced by the European Union and comes on the heels of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report condemning the Yemeni government's use of the juvenile death penalty. Released last week, the report makes clear that international law, to which Yemen is a signatory, "prohibits, without exception, the execution of individuals for crimes committed before they turn 18."
Nevertheless, Bede Sheppard, a senior researcher at HRW, said that there is still a "very small and unpleasant club" made up of four countries - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan -which continue to carry out the practice. The United States could be included in that group until as recently as 2005, when the Supreme Court finally outlawed the death penalty for minors.
Tik Root | Foreign Policy
Facing perhaps its biggest crisis yet, Yemen's ruling party of over three decades, the General People's Congress (GPC), is in desperate need of reform. As one of the only ruling parties to have survived a widespread Arab Spring uprising, it is now navigating uncharted territory. While the party and its leader, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are doing infinitely better than their imprisoned, exiled, dead, or dismantled counterparts across the Middle East and North Africa, the party's continued relevance and prosperity is by no means guaranteed, a reality to which it is struggling to adjust.