Our friend Ibrahim


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ورحل في ظل ظروف يمنية هي أحوج ما تكون اليه | زيد بن علي الوزير

He departed at a time when Yemen needed him most by Zaid al-Wazir

 

وصمت القلمزيد بن علي الوزير

مال أحبابه خليلا خليلا * وتولى اللدات إلا قليلا

نسلوا أمس من غبار الليالي* ومضى وحده يحث الرحيلا

جاء الخبر صاعقا بأن “ابراهيم مثنى”،- وهو في عمره الباكر- قد ترجل عن صهوة حصانه، واغمد قلمه الراشد، ورحل في ظل ظروف يمنية هي أحوج ما تكون اليه، وفقده الشباب الثائر في معركة مصير محتدم.

مضى مخلفا عطرا سائلا يستروحه طلاب التصحيح في كل مكان، ونوار يستضيئون به في رحلة البناء الصحيح، وإذا كانت “اليمن” قد فقدته في وقت هي  أحوج ما يكونون إليه مناضلا وقورا  ومجادلا صلبا، وانسانيا ذا أفق رحيب، فإنه باق في ذاكرة قوى التغيير منهجا قويما يطبقونه، ومثالا عاليا يحتذونه، وعلما خفاقا يرفعونه.

أي إنسان كان وهو ابن الرابعة والعشرين من عمره؟! وأي انسان سيكون عندما يعيش زمنا أطول؟!، استطيع أن أقول بكل صدق: لقد عمل “إبراهيم” في الأربع وعشرين سنه ما سيعمله غيره لعشرات السنين، يدل على ذلك ما ترك من صدى تردد في الصحف العالمية ، واسى رجعته الصحف المحلية، وتغريدات “الفيس بوك” و “تويتر. لقد تجاوز ذكر “إبراهيم” حدود بلده، وفاض اسمه كما تفيض خاشعات صوفي عميق التفكير في الرحاب الفساح، وليس بمستنكر أن يحمل ابن الرابعة والعشرين هموم بلده وانسانيته فكثير من الناس كان نبوغهم مبكرا، وتركوا تراثا رائعا. وقد كان “إبراهيم” من هؤلاء النوابغ. وبقدر ما كان الابتهاج بنجاحه،  كان الحزن عليه غائرا، وكل من خبر “ابراهيم” وعرفه أكبره، ومن صادقه ائتمنه، فبكاه كل من عرفه، بل بكى على “اليمن” لفقد هذا الفارس الشاب.

وفي مثل هذا الموقف الحزين الأليم اراني ألوذ بحديث “نبي الله” عندما فقد “ابراهيم” تسلية للقلب الموجع- (إن العين لتدمع، وإن القلب ليحزن، ولا نقول إلا ما يرضي الرب، وإني على فراقك  يا إبراهيم لمحزون),


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on Change Square | Tom Finn

In the beginning of Yemen’s 2011 uprising, Ibrahim answered these questions via email from journalist Tom Finn 

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your email and I apologize for my late reply. I spent the night in the square yesterday and I didn’t access internet for the last 40 hours. The answers to your questions is below.

Regards,
Ibrahim

What is your daily routine like now compared to how it was before this all started?

My daily routine profoundly changed since the uprising started and I am spend hours everyday in the change square. The cultural diversity there is outstanding I enjoy participating in the different events and activities that take place there everyday. As non qat chewer I was struggling to fill my leisure time but currently the change square is providing me with ndless options to maintain a rich and fruitful time

Where and how did you learn to do what you’re doing? Are you following the model of Egypt? 

Well, what happened in Yemen was a spontaneous reaction ignited by the events in Tunisia and Egypt but also based on years of rights demands and civil society activities. Best practices and lessons are learned from Egypt but the Yemeni uprising have its own local features that greatly distinguishes it from other regional contexts and create its uniqueness

What is the basis for your demands?
The demands are simply based on basic human rights giving every person the right of equality, freedom and justice.

Are you worried that this could get hijacked by other groups inside the country?
The problem in Yemen is not with individuals or groups but rather with the absence of the rule of law and effective institutions. The main goal of the revolution is creating the right processes leading to the creation of institutions and forming a viable social contract assuring equality to everyone. So I am not worried about hijacking the great ongoing efforts but rather in sustaining it to achieve the core goals and demands of the protesters.


In one sentence some up your strategy?
Spreading mass awareness, providing a clear vision and maintaining a continuous effort.

As protesters how do you organize yourselves?
The organizing approaches evolved quickly since the protests started with dozens in February to a more sophisticated mechanisms are managing hundreds of thousands of people staying in the change square now. Generally speaking there are many committees, everyone of them taking care of one aspect like security, medication and others. It mainly consist of young volunteers and activists spending extraordinary effort to run these committees in the best possible way.

Tell the readers something they didn’t know about Yemen’s protesters.
The protest areas in Yemen has turned into cultural hubs reflecting the great diversity of the country. Tens of thousands of the protesters attend cultural events, lectures, art galleries, music and theater shows performed by other protesters. This cultural phenomena is unprecedented and highly influencing the society and positively restructuring its social norms


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pursuing his thirst for knowledge | Abigail Fielding-Smith

One of my favourite memories of Ibrahim’s humour is at my house in Beirut where I had to shame-facedly tell dinner guests that I might have accidentally put a bit of cockroach powder in the stew.   People were helping carry stuff out to the living room when it was ready to serve, and Ibrahim brought out salt, pepper and, totally deadpan, a cylinder of cockroach poison.

Mainly though I just remember the many many times he went out of his way to help me.  He read endless drafts of a magazine piece I once wrote, picking up on all the factual errors and wrong analyses.  And I remember going to Aden with him on my last trip to Yemen, and watching him interact with the people there pouring out their grievances.  He was quiet, empathetic, engaged – I could sense that people respected him –  but always objective in his analysis.  On the way back from that trip we got to Aden airport late at night only to find that our flight was several hours delayed.  I sprawled across the plastic chairs trying to get some sleep.  Ibrahim immediately plugged headphones in to his ipad and fired up an LSE lecture from his U-Tunes selection.  I keep going back to that image of him cheerfully settling down for several hours in an overheated airport, pursuing his thirst for knowledge.

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