President Hadi has set the date for the national dialogue (much anticipated mainly by internationals) for March 18 2013. This comes on a day already very significant to revolutionaries as it marks the second anniversary of the “Juma’a al Karama” or “Day of Dignity” massacre, in which 52 youth were killed by Saleh’s regime.
Entering into dialogue on March 18 sums up everything wrong with the dialogue itself. Our willingness to enter into dialogue on a day that will entirely ignore, or intentionally sanitize, the reality of our country’s origins in death….. says something about where we are headed. The truth is that all this will do is reinforce an idealized national identity at the expense of the experiences and stories of the elite.
Our history is important. Our real history. The history of all of us. And I believe the history of people who have been excluded and ignored often has the most to teach us about ourselves and about our country. Which is why I will remember Jum3ah alKarama and hope people will not acknowledge the National Dialogue Conference as it entirely excludes the people most affected on the day of dignity to start with.
If people are going to continue the NDC on March 18, it’s time we also start commemorating the martyrs by recognizing their contributions to the revolution and reflecting on their plight and demand this day become a holiday for the maryters and not the NDC.
“If we give up the Jum3ah alkarama, this would be the first nail in the coffin,” Dalal says. “We are in for a worse dictatorship than Saleh’s.”