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Yemen Runs Out of Fuel

This is not because it doesn’t have its own oil resources, it does, but they are in the sparsely populated east of the country (Hadhramaut) which is currently being fought over by squabbling mercenaries paid by the Saudis or UAE, who are exporting that oil rather than supplying it to needy Yemenis, largely because they’re not Yemeni, and thus have no national loyalties…

The Kurdish YPG & The Western Left

Prior to the US intervention (Sep 2014) the YPG had, essentially, a non-aggression pact with the Syrian government so they could both concentrate on fighting the common enemy, that is, al-Nusra & ISIS, and by April 2011 the Syrian government had granted citizenship to the 300,000 stateless Kurds…

Onam: A Celebration of Kerala’s Mythical Proto Communist Past

My home state of Kerala has this popular festival called Onam about life at the beginning of time when King Mahabali ruled over a proto-Communist utopia in which, “all were equal, it was a time of happiness with no misfortunes, no worries and no illness, and no children dying, there was surplus food for everyone and there were no evildoers”, according to the Malayalam folk song…

Yemen & The Tragedy of Karbala

The suffering of Yemen today in many ways began with the tragedy of Karbala. Yemen joined Islam by the persuasion of Ali ibn Abu Talib, who as Fourth Caliph had the people of Yemen behind him, most prominently Malik al-Ashtar, who was appointed Governor of Egypt. However, following Ali’s assassination, the Ummayad family seized power, before sending troops to Yemen to murder those who refused to pledge allegiance to Muawiya I…

The Ottoman Empire Through Yemeni Eyes

Many Muslims look upon the defeat of the Ottoman empire as the extinguishing of an ideological symbol, “the caliphate”, but as a consequence they also tend to look at the world through the eyes of Istanbul, which cared more about Yemen for its geographic location than for its people, and thus saw Yemen as a place to be conquered and exploited…