Study and find schools in Yemen
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Cities to study in Yemen
Yemen, located in the remote southern reaches of Arabian peninsula, is a complex, diverse and fascinating society, but one torn by war and poverty. Much of the country is utterly inhospitable sand dunes, and the sparse population, poor infrastructure, and rugged terrain make governance a difficult project in this country. As a result, it has retained a culture steeped in tradition and tribalism, and the deep tribal fissures that split the Yemeni population are at the root of many of its educational, economic, and political problems.
The recent string of uprisings that have gripped the Middle East and North Africa have led to historic changes in Yemen’s political landscape, although it remains to be seen whether these upheavals will turn out to have been positive or negative. In the winter of 2011, the Yemeni population poured into the streets to call for the ouster of their US-backed dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh, who had received American support in recognition of his cooperation on counterterrorism measures, was wounded in an assassination attempt, and forced to flee the country at least temporarily.
Since then, chaos has erupted in Yemen, with mounting bloodshed and no end in sight for the people caught in the middle. Sana’a, the ancient capital of Yemen, has been carved up by tribal conflicts laid bare in the absence of a strong central authority figure. To make matters worse, an al-Qaeda group that had been operative in the country prior to the Arab Spring has leapt at the opportunity to seize power in rural areas. The solution to this complex network of conflicts is unclear, but if the people can overcome traditional divisions, they may yet manage to build a stable democracy out of the ashes of the old regime.
Yemen today is in an extremely precarious state, and it is impossible to predict what will happen even in the near future. What is clear, however, is that one of the biggest problems that will be faced by the future leaders of Yemen – whoever they may be – is a stagnant education sector. In years past, the power of tradition has detracted from educational opportunities, leading students (especially girls) to drop out early in order to fill the roles that their society expects them to fill. The job of schoolteacher is often looked down upon in Yemeni culture, and few people choose it as a profession when other options are available. The literacy rate is stagnant at about 50% overall – below 30% for women. Some leaders have made nominal efforts to correct this gross imbalance, but such measures have been met with resistance in many parts of the country.
The higher education sector in Yemen is also in an unfortunate state of disrepair. Increased spending on support for college and university programs shows that state budgetary priorities are trending in a helpful direction, but a lack of staff, inadequate equipment, and poor infrastructure prevent Yemeni institutions of higher learning from gathering momentum. There may, however, be more opportunities to draw foreign students in the future, provided the level of violence subsides and some political stability can be restored. Yemen’s history, its culture, and its natural landscape are more than sufficient to tempt foreign students, and as the study of Arabic becomes more popular, study-abroad programs in the Arab world will become more so as well. Someday in the future, Sana’a may mature into a superb destination for foreign study.
Map of Yemen