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Why Yemen is Dying & Oman is Booming

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💫 Short Summary

Yemen and Oman, despite sharing similarities in geography and ethnicity, have vastly different realities. Yemen faces significant challenges with poverty and conflict, while Oman has achieved higher development and prosperity. Historical differences and colonization have contributed to their current disparities. Oman's modernization under Sultan Qaboos contrasted with Yemen's turbulent history, marked by civil wars and foreign interventions. Oman's focus on economic diversification and neutrality in regional conflicts has led to stability and growth, while Yemen's economy has suffered due to continuous conflict and instability. Media bias in reporting on Yemen's conflicts highlights the importance of understanding different perspectives for constructive dialogue.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Contrasting Realities of Yemen and Oman.
Yemen and Oman share similarities in shape, size, lack of permanent rivers, rainfall levels, and resources.
Both countries have ethnic Arab populations following Sunni Islam, with minority groups.
Yemen is known for a devastating civil war, leading to millions displaced and on the brink of famine.
Despite sharing a border, Yemen and Oman have vastly different realities in the 21st century.
Disparities between Yemen and Oman in Development and Prosperity.
Yemen is facing challenges with Houthis controlling most of the country, leading to bombings and high corruption levels.
Yemen has one of the lowest HDI scores globally, high poverty, low literacy rates, and GDP per capita.
In contrast, Oman has a much higher HDI score, lower corruption levels, and significantly higher GDP per capita.
The HDI and economic gaps between Yemen and Oman are among the largest globally, showcasing stark differences in development and prosperity.
Contrasting geographies and cultural identities of Yemen and Oman.
Oman's cosmopolitan and trade-oriented coastal areas are in contrast with Yemen's inward-looking interior influenced by the Zidi Shia movement.
Yemen's agricultural potential and larger population historically set it apart from Oman, with Yemen having roughly seven times the population of Oman.
The differences in geography and population present unique challenges for Yemen, especially in comparison to the more stable and prosperous nation of Oman.
Disparities between Oman and Yemen in population growth and historical influences.
Oman's larger population benefited more from similar oil and gas reserves compared to Yemen.
Oman's fertility rate declined faster than Yemen's, leading to a smaller projected population.
Historical differences, including colonization and conquest, contributed to the current disparities between Oman and Yemen.
Oman's early independence and maritime empire shaped its history and influence in the region, including control of territories in Iran, Pakistan, India, and Eastern Africa.
Colonization and Independence of Oman and Yemen.
Southern Yemen, including Aiden, was directly colonized by the British due to its strategic location.
Northern Yemen became a Theocratic Kingdom after Ottoman rule, leading to unrest and a coup in 1962.
The coup was supported by Gamal Abdel Nasser's government in Egypt, sparking a proxy war.
Different regional monarchies had conflicting interests in the outcome of the coup.
Summary of Yemen's Civil War and aftermath.
The Nationalist side, backed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, won the war, creating the Yemen Arab Republic.
South Yemen became communist, forming the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.
Cold War tensions fueled a proxy conflict between North and South Yemen, with US and Soviet involvement.
Ali Abdullah Saleh became a corrupt ruler of North Yemen, embezzling billions from the country's resources.
President Abdullah Salah's poor foreign policy decisions led to economic shocks in Yemen.
Support of Saddam during the Kuwait invasion caused expulsion of Yemeni guest workers from Saudi Arabia.
Influx of workers back to Yemen and struggles to integrate the South's communist economy led to major economic issues.
Salah's corruption and mismanagement worsened the situation, leading to a rebellion in the South in 1994.
The emergence of Al-Qaeda in Yemen strained relations with the United States.
The aftermath of the 2000 bombing in Yemen led to increased US involvement and drone strikes against Al-Qaeda.
President Salah's pro-US stance incited unrest among conservative Muslims in Yemen.
The Arab Spring protests in 2011 resulted in the overthrow of President Salah in 2012.
The power vacuum following Salah's ousting allowed the Houthi movement to gain power, sparking a civil war.
Yemen's economy has been severely impacted by continuous conflicts and instability, with oil production dropping significantly.
Sultan Kaboose's modernization efforts led to significant improvements in Oman's education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
He abolished slavery, granted women the right to vote, and established a Parliament, marking a shift towards progressive policies.
By diversifying the economy and welcoming foreign companies, Kaboose improved living standards and reduced unrest in Oman.
His reign was characterized by a focus on economic development, steering the country away from isolation and backwardness.
Oman's advancements in HDI scores recognized by the United Nations.
Sultan Qaboos implemented 'Omanization' to prioritize local workers in the oil industry.
Oman's history contrasted with Yemen's division.
Religious tolerance promoted in Oman.
Sultan Qaboos pursued a policy of radical neutrality in the Middle East.
Sultan Qaboos transformed Oman into a modern, developed nation with a significant increase in GDP per capita during his nearly 50-year reign.
He maintained extreme neutrality in foreign policy and focused on rapid reinvestment and development domestically.
Despite being an absolute monarch, he was seen as a benevolent leader who banned opposing political parties.
Oman's value as a geopolitical asset and mediator in the Middle East was underscored by its neutral stance in regional conflicts.
Oman also had strong relationships with neighboring countries, including the United States.
Economic reforms in Oman and Yemen.
Sultan Kaboose of Oman addressed protests during the Arab Spring by focusing on creating more jobs and boosting incomes, resulting in stability and economic growth.
Oman has invested in diversifying its economy away from oil and gas, with a particular emphasis on tourism.
In contrast, Yemen's inefficient use of agricultural land for growing qat has led to widespread consumption of the narcotic plant, contributing to economic challenges.
A significant portion of Yemen's population regularly consumes qat, as reported by the UN.
Impact of Cotton Cultivation in Yemen
Cotton cultivation in Yemen is negatively impacting productivity and the economy by displacing cash crops and using up valuable irrigation water.
Oman's policies and leadership have resulted in a better economic situation compared to Yemen.
The ongoing Civil War in Yemen, including Houthi attacks on maritime shipping, is further deteriorating the country's prospects.
Recent Houthi attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea have led to significant damage and casualties, prompting increased bombing strikes from the US and UK.
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Features like News Bias and Blind Spot Feed track reading habits and highlight overlooked stories from different political perspectives.
Understanding media bias is crucial for engaging in constructive dialogue and challenging assumptions.
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