Middle East Protests - Yemen: Bitter memories

Arriving in Yemen on the morning of the suicide attack on the USS Cole in Aden, and the day before an explosion in the British Embassy compound in Sana’a, could hardly be an auspicious start to a three week tour of the country. It brought back bitter memories of the loss of life and mayhem caused by similar terror attacks in the final days of Aden as a British colony with its hinterland administered as protectorate territory.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Julian Paxton

Honorary Secretary, British-Yemen Society

Each time the radio or television was switched on there were sermons, debates and never–ending footage of the Al Aqsa intifada. It was hardly surprising that as in other Arab countries there were mass demonstrations in support of the Palestinians. Posters outside mosques appealed for funds to help them.

Anti–American feeling was less evident and there was no animosity at all towards the British. Individuals of all nationalities are treated with respect and considered as guests. A foreigner speaking Arabic is addressed as ‘sadiq’ meaning friend.

The President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was in Aden when the attack on the American destroyer took place. He made a point of visiting the wounded in hospital and went out of his way to stress his government’s cooperation with the many American investigators who arrived to take over most of the floors of the Aden Movenpick hotel.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.