The weekly seminar series at the ACRPS continued on December 21, 2016 at which it hosted the Yemeni scholar and Qatar University academic Fuad Salahi. Salahi's talk was titled "The Dynamics of the Socio-Political Struggle in Yemen," and offered the research members of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies a chance to learn more about the popular revolution in Yemen, the objectives of the revolutionaries and the nature of the political forces behind it. Salahi's talk also took in the nature of regional and wider global actors who intervened in the internal politics of the Yemeni struggle.
In Salahi's reading of history, the popular uprising of 2011 was the fifth revolution to convulse Yemen since the twentieth century. These rebellions, the speaker suggested, were driven by a multiplicity of class factors and carried out by a variety of popular resistance methods. What they all had in common, Salahi said, was their commitment to the creation of a single nation-state across a unified Yemeni territory and to the formation of a political order which represented the ambitions of all Yemenis.
Salahi's view is that the Yemeni youth, backed by a wide-ranging popular coalition including laborers, agrarian workers and the tribal poor, including the limited number of formal political parties active in the country, managed to take not only foreigners but also many within Yemen by surprise. This wide-ranging revolutionary movement, said Salahi, reflected increased consciousness among Yemenis regarding rampant corruption and of the ability of powerful elites to harness Yemen's resources for rapid enrichment.
Although it had yet to achieve all of its aims, Salahi believes that the "Yemeni Spring" was an important turning point for the people of the country, ushering in the birth of a new national spirit with "unbounded" potential, and committed to the achievement of national goals first enunciated in the 1930s. Today, says Salahi, the Yemeni public is an undeniable political force which cannot be ignored in the country's future.
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