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Yemeni brain drain

 Dr.  Abdul Qawi Hizam Al-Shamiri

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          The phenomenon of migration has been associated with human since his existence on earth, and it has an impact on the society from which he exits and which ends in him alike. This phenomenon also has a positive role in contributing to the human development process and bringing benefits to poor and rich countries;  It supports global economic growth, contributes to the development of countries and societies, and enriches many cultures and civilizations.                                                                                                     


            The topic of brain drain, or as it is academically called the migration of human capital, is a hot topic, and there is no chance here to talk about it comprehensively as a topic that is not of the moment.  It has reappeared significantly, given the high levels of migration that the Arab region in general, and Yemen in particular, is witnessing as a result of conflicts, wars and poverty.  Perhaps the great disparity in the levels of stability and development among the countries of the region is an important factor in shaping the features of migration within and outside the region.                                                          


          It is noticeable that the phenomenon of (brain drain) has become more prevalent in recent years, as statistics indicate - according to estimates issued by the World Bank and the League of Arab States - that the percentage of Arab brain drain outside the Arab world may reach (50%) of the total Arab cadres.  Yemen was not immune from this, as it witnessed a semi-mass migration due to the ongoing conflicts and wars and the interruption of salaries. Thus, it occupied an advanced position in exporting its minds abroad in various disciplines, and this migration was not limited to a specific category or segment of Yemenis only, but also included doctors, academics, teachers and engineers.                     



        Some researchers have mentioned some of the reasons that may lead to the phenomenon of Arab brain drain, including the so-called repulsive causes (internal), including the so-called motivating causes (external), and they contribute - collectively or individually - to the increasing bleeding intensity of the Arab mind.  Among the repulsive causes are :                                                                                        

-        The political and security factor represented in the absence of democracy and political and security turmoil.                                                                       


-        The economic factor, which is the low standard of living, low wages and high prices                                                                                                           


-        The social factor represented in the lack of respect for scientific capabilities and their positive role in society, in the lack of confidence in local production, and  in the lack of encouragement of innovations and new ideas.                             

As for the (external) motivating reasons for Yemeni brain drain, they can be summarized as follows:                                                                                  


-        The economic progress of the host countries.                                                       


-        The high standard of living in these countries.                                                 


-        Availability of the necessary means for scientific research and development.              

-        It provides opportunities for specialists, and opens wide fields for them.     


-        Availability of political, psychological and security stability in these countries .


-        Increasing the demand for specialized labor in the foreign labor market . 



         There is no doubt that the Yemeni brain drain has had many negative effects and repercussions that are evident in stopping the development haste in Yemen, and in draining an effective and influential segment of society, which constitutes a loss in the field of education in all its stages represented in wasting the huge funds that were spent on  educating and training scientific cadres and competencies, which leads to widening the gap between rich and poor countries, as these minds give the host countries great benefits with direct economic returns, and in return they constitute a loss for the countries from which they migrated.                                                                                                          


          The systematic or unsystematic depletion of the Yemeni mind is - no doubt - the result of a repulsive political and material environment, neglect of those creative minds in their homelands, ignoring them and not realizing their importance, which made these minds migrate to the environment that embraces them in countries that realized that homelands are not built with empty minds.

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