This article was written following a Hezbollah sponsored conference under the title "The Yemen We Want"
By Hind Aleryani for The Arab Digest
Foreign intervention is a phrase I have heard a lot during my stay in Lebanon. It has turned many Lebanese lives to an endless nightmare, transformed their politicians to mere followers. I reject to hear this word in my country: Yemen.
As a Yemeni, I was always bothered by the constant interference of Saudi Arabia in our politics. We have always complained about how Saudi “bought – off” Yemeni tribal leaders and how it stood against the revolution in 1962 when we wanted Yemen to become a republic and not a single family’s private property. We complained about how Saudi Arabia stood against our unity because the idea of a big and united Yemen simply scared them. Saudi Arabia has always tried to break us and our unity to keep us weak and vulnerable, but we were all united against this intervention.
Recently, however, we have a new type of foreign intervention: The Islamic Republic of Iran. We have also seen some people defending this intervention and their excuse is that they are afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence, and that they seek a balance that makes me even more scared. No! My country will not turn into an area for proxy conflicts, such as Lebanon. We will not be divided between those who prefer Saudi’s intervention and those who prefer Iran’s. We heard a lot about Iran's support for the Houthis and their support for Ali Salem Al-Beidh, South Yemen’s former President, and about the activists who attend meetings in Iran.
What does Iran want? Iran wants to transform us into a bridge to attain further leverage against Saudi Arabia. Tehran does not really care about us and our causes; it just wants to take advantage of Yemenis and turn the country into a conflict arena, as it is the case in Lebanon. Iran does not care if we are divided into a million pieces; it cares less if we fought each other. All it cares about is our neighbour who in turn does not want a democracy in Yemen. Instead, Saudi Arabia wants a weak state that can be easily controlled. I do not care about Saudi Arabia or Iran, Yemen is all I care about. Achieving the goals of the revolution is all I care about and the goals were not to turn Yemen to an arena of proxy conflicts. This revolution was not for Saudi Arabia or for Iran’s eyes and the Yemeni people did not die for this.
Our martyrs’ dream was to see the new Yemen, a country free from corruption; they were calling for a united civil state. They sang the national anthem with eyes full of tears of love for their homeland. That is what they really died for. Remember: the Yemen we want is not the Yemen they want.