On the morning of April 27, I spent 8 hours with actors rehearsing for a play. One of the funniest actors Mohammed was present, and made us laugh until we almost cried. Four hours later, I ran into him again, but this time at the field hospital. He was one of the injured. Thank God it was only a minor injury, but it nevertheless made me feel so strange.
Just a couple of hours ago we were in a room full of laughing people, later we were in a room full of injured people. Instead of the tears of laughter, tears of sadness filled me. The morning after, I saw Mohammed rehearsing again. He had a big smile and it was like nothing happened the day before.
This is the emotional roller coaster we are experiencing at the moment. It’s been three months since the start of the revolution and I am not only physically drained, but emotionally exhausted as well. Here is a diagram of my emotional ups and downs between January 15 until April 29.
The diagram was created after compiling a selection of important dates, mostly political, in the last three months, and designating how they made me feel: happy, sad, or in between. The dates I highlighted below do not encompass all important events, but they are just a selection of few to get an idea of the roller coaster we call Yemeni politics. (key: 2 happy, 1 in between, 0 unhappy)
Summary of the emotional roller coaster
January 15 ☺ Yemenis celebrated Ben Ali’s fall by protesting.
February 2 ☺☹ in an emergency Parliamentary meeting, Saleh announced that he would not run again. (Great, but not enough).
February 3 ☺Despite the President’s promises, Yemenis went to the street to call for change on the Day of Rage
February 21 ☺ First tents went up around Sana’a University’s eastern gate.
February 22 ☹ 12 peaceful protesters were killed in Aden when security shot at protesters
February 23 ☺ 8 MPs of the ruling party resigned and Saleh ordered security forces to protect protesters.
February 25 ☹ two days after the President’s promise, thugs opened fire on protesters killing four
March 3 ☺ opposition groups agreed on a transition plan which they would offer Saleh
March 4 ☹ Saleh rejected opposition’s offer
March 18 ☹ At least 52 people were killed and over 200 injured when snipers shot at peaceful protesters in Sana’a
March 21 ☹☺ General Ali Mohsen joined the protests. While it was seen as a sign that the revolution will succeed, it was accepted with extreme uneasiness by many.
March 22 ??? Saleh stated two things: 1) that he would be willing to step down by the end of the year as part of a “constitutional transfer of power,” but also issued a statement saying that he considered the protests to be a
“coup” and that a civil war would eventually ensue if protests continued
March 23 ☹ parliament enacted a thirty-day emergency law which suspended the constitution, allowed media censorship, banned street protests and gave security forces far-reaching powers to arrest and detain suspects.
March 24 ☺ Saleh accepted the opposition’s transition plan (after he had rejected it 20 days earlier)
March 25 ☹ One day later, Saleh announced at a public appearance that he won’t to step down but will seek dialogue with anti-government protesters and make concessions
March 28 ☺☹ Closed door meetings between Saleh, Ali Mohsen, opposition and the US discussing plan that he would hand over power to the vice president and formation of a new government
April 4 ☹ security on rooftops fired at protesters in Taiz killing 12 demonstrators and wounding 30
April 8 ??? Saleh rejected GCC bid.
April 23 ☺☹ Saleh announced he accepted the GCC plan
April 24 ??? Saleh announced on BBC that he would only leave through the ballot box.
April 25 ☺☹ Opposition accepted GCC plan
April 27 ☹ A leading opposition figure, announced GCC plan will be formalized on May 2 or sooner. Same day, security forces shot at protesters killing 12 and injuring over 100.
April 28 ☹ Saleh announced he will have reservations about signing if Qatar representatives are present among the Gulf foreign ministers.
April 30 ☹ Secretary General of GCC arrived in Sana’a to deliver the initiative to Saleh for him to sign later in the day. With invitations sent to all sides to attend signing ceremony Sunday in Riyadh. The morning of this day, heavy violence by security against protesters in Aden.
With these political ups and downs can you blame us for being cautious with our feelings. We can’t be too excited about any prospects until we see real action and not just promises.
p.s. if you believe any of these dates are incorrect please let me know.