Here we provide the full, original text of the interview, with the questions posed by the al-Islah-ye.net website journalist and reply of Taiz Islah Head of the Executive Offices.
Q: The founding of the Islah Party came to the political arena in Taiz Governorate, with political and cultural momentum. What did the Islah Party represent as an addition to this governorate?
A: I believe that the Islah Party came to all of Yemen, not just to Taiz. At that time, it represented a qualitative presence in that it was considered the third party in terms of strength alongside the two partners in power during the announcement of political pluralism and the re-declaration of unity, and the strength of the Islah Party’s presence was Whether in Taiz or throughout the Republic, it is a qualitative addition.
Q: In Taiz, as in the rest of the Republic of Yemen's Governorates, the Islah Party ran in multiple competitive elections that affected its relations with the political parties in the Governorate. So, what are the other factors that affected these relations?
A: In a country that has declared its adoption of political pluralism, it is natural for political parties to compete. As for the impact of competition on the relationship between parties, this is due to the novelty of the experience and the modesty of the culture of electoral competition, which is the awareness that is consolidated through the accumulation of experience, while the most important factor, on the other hand, is due to the sensitivity of some parties to the strong presence of another party.
Q: How do you view today the Taiz Islah Party’s relationship with political parties, forces, and components? And what is your assessment of these relationships?
A: We only evaluate our relations with our partners in political work in the Governorate in terms of adherence to the revolution, the republican regime, and rejection of the Houthi militia coup, as well as commitment to constants, and these are indisputable issues.
Q: As a major political party, what difficulties does the Islah Party face in Taiz, whether difficulties in the Islah Party's work or its work at the general level in the Governorate?
A: In the exceptional circumstances that the country is experiencing, the difficulties are the same as the difficulties it faces as a party or as a country. Not to mention that political work in a country that has a constitution that recognizes political pluralism, political work can only be active in a safe and stable environment.
Q: The Islah Party is always accused of being the only one running things in Taiz. Whenever you respond to these hearsay and allegations, they reappear again. So, what is the reason for the existence of these statements and allegations and who is the party that receives and promotes them?
A: The working space of the media today is very wide. Under these circumstances, the space available for media is almost devoid of any legal controls. Because party competition remains present in any country, the media plays in this space without borders or legal controls. There are types of activists at all levels, and there are those who exploit this poisoned atmosphere through recruitment or machinations.
Q: What does your relationship look like with the local authority in the governorate?
A: As I said earlier, the vastness of the media space, which lacks some media work ethics among some in these circumstances, had negative effects, but our relationship with the local authority is a relationship of integration and cooperation and is constantly evolving because we all are on the same ship.
Q: Do you, as a Party, have a particular vision for the situation in Taiz? Have you discussed this vision with the local authority, political partners, and the resistance?
A: Our vision on this issue is for us all to work as one team to confront the danger posed by the Houthi project targeting Yemen.
Q: Taiz was and still is the solid rock on which the militia’s illusions were shattered. It resisted the Houthi aggression with all boldness and with limited capabilities. So what is the secret behind this steadfastness?
A: All the people of Yemen have resisted the Houthi project in various forms and methods, and this is due to their awareness of the eradicative threat represented by the Houthi project, which is an existential, intellectual, historical, and identity eradication.
Q: What about the ongoing siege that the UN mediations did not work to end, instead, these UN mediations gave the militia what it wanted and kept the siege of Taiz as it is.. What can be taken to lift the siege that has been ongoing for more than 8 years?
A: Time has proven that the Houthis are nothing more than a tool equipped with weapons of destruction and under the umbrella of the identification of international bodies with the Houthis, at a time when Taiz is being harassed and prevented from obtaining means of self-defense. Rather, it is worse than that, which is the harassment in obtaining food supplies, in addition to the international community's reluctance to take any stance, even a humanitarian one, towards opening Taiz's roads.
Q: Citizens in Taiz suffer from a lack of basic services and a deteriorating living situation. What is your position on the suffering of the people of the Governorate, whether in the liberated areas or areas controlled by the militia?
A: It is true that citizens suffer from a lack of electricity, water, and other basic services, but the Islah Party and the rest of the parties have efforts and communicate with the concerned authorities. There are good beginnings, such as rehabilitating some roads, and we hope that these beginnings will reach all areas.
Q: What about liberating the Governorate’s areas from the control of the Houthi militia? Do you seek to discuss this matter with the forces, components, resistance, and local authority?
A: There is no talk among the people, parties, and popular resistance that is more important than talking about liberation, and we also find enthusiasm among the local authority.
Q: The anniversary of the Founding Day of the Islah Party comes before the anniversary of September 26. So what are the implications of the coincidence in timing and harmony in goals and principles?
A: This came by divine decree and the fatalistic timing that brought them together came in order to enhance the feeling of cohesion and integration established by the identical goals.
Q: Elections were held in many Governorates of the Republic to choose new leaders for the Islah Party's Executive Offices. So where does Taiz fall from this democratic Islahi movement?
A: It falls within the same movement, path, and will.
Q: How do you evaluate the roles of the Islah Party’s base in the Governorate, especially the youth and student sector? Are they being given appropriate attention to serve as a tool for Yemen in the future?
A: We believe in the saying that youth are half of the present and all of the future.
Q: What about the Islahi role of women in Taiz throughout these years? And what is the percentage of their presence in leadership posts?
A: The role of women is present and it is growing and developing, and even if we looked only from a pragmatic perspective, that would be enough to ensure that women play a larger and broader role than they already have, so what if we consider their role to be a religious obligation and a necessity.
Q: Islahi women in particular and Taiz women in general presented amazing examples of steadfastness and struggle in the national battle.. So can you give us a brief overview of this?
A: Yes, Taiz women in general have played a distinguished role in struggle over the past eight years, whether they are mothers, wives, or daughters. Women were interacting by putting their sons, fathers, or husbands at the front of the ranks, not to mention volunteering money, preparing food, supplying front lines, and transferring self-defense requirements to defense and resistance sites.
Q: At the end of this interview, what would you like to add to this dialogue that I did not mention in my questions to you?
A: I would like to say that the Yemenis must unite and realize that their duty today and tomorrow is to achieve peace by overthrowing the Houthi project that targets Yemen and the Yemenis, as well as peace.