Like many others, I am worried about the direction Yemen is headed. However, as a Yemeni native, I am able to view the country’s current situation in another light. It is more than the Yemeni people’s history of civil war. The ongoing problems stem from foreign influences, and politics has forbidden us to report on these facts for years.

To detect the first hidden truth, we look at Yemen’s hostile neighbor, Saudi Arabia. But you might say that Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally and that the king has recently condemned the bombings in Yemen, right?

Wrong. Saudi Arabia has been trying to destroy Yemen for many years, constantly trying to seize land. But over the last months, it has also been destabilizing the country by funding the acts of extremist groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

In a June 2014 Daily Beast article, political analyst Josh Rogin writes that individuals in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are some of ISIL’s most notable funders.

While they condemn terrorist groups in the public sphere, behind closed doors something else is going on. It would only make sense that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-controlled government, is behind mosque bombings located in Yemeni regions inhabited by Shiites. But politics tells us not to pay attention to these details, or else we might actually stop terrorism, and Middle Eastern governments that benefit from this entire charade will get mad at us and stop giving us cheap oil.

When Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom recently criticized Saudi Arabia for flogging blogger Raif Badawi, it seemed that some Swedish government officials were more concerned about the economic impact than the kingdom’s human-rights violations.

We have become so focused on economic enterprise that we have allowed authoritarian governments to create havoc in the world, all while we are trying to search for a solution to terrorism.

Instead of pouring billions of dollars into antiterrorism programs that don’t seem to be working, anyway, why don’t we just pay more attention to the people we buy our oil from?


Lujain Al-Khawi is a student at Blaine High School.