The Yemen Dialogue: Falling in the Geography Trap

EPC | 03 Jun 2013

There is a syndrome that characterizes politics and its history in Yemen. It is an ailment, in which geography and politics exchange roles and express each other’s needs. Both were not able to disengage from each other. But geography has the upper hand when it dominated politics. The state and politics remained under the mercy of two dangerous tendencies which controlled Yemen. Both tendencies, unity and disintegration, have two faces; political and geographic. The country repeatedly faced those two tendencies. As soon as it is united, it faces disintegration and as soon as it is disintegrated, the tendency of unity resurfaces and flourishes. In contemporary Yemen, expressing political worries and aspirations comes through the language of geography, which seems to control a wide segment of the political imagination of Yemenis. Politicians have always failed when they insisted on adopting geographical solutions for the country’s political problems.

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