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The Return of the Expatriates

Dr. Fathia Mohammed Bahshwan


          Migration is one of the phenomena that accompanied human presence on earth in every era of history, and the people of Hadhramaut governorate are characterized by their love for migration and travel in search of a decent living.


          The people of this governorate migrated in previous historical periods to many countries of the world, especially East Asia and Horn of  African and the Arabian Gulf, specifically the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and many of them settled in those areas and contributed to build them.


          Expatriates are one of the main forces in the process of demographic change in the region, as their presence leads to the emergence of new patterns of consumer behavior that were not previously known in the coming society.


        In addition to the normal and natural pattern that is based on the necessities of life, the recreational consumption pattern has emerged, that is, the immigrant finances have enabled many families to raise their standard of living, and have also worked to simulate consumption patterns similar to the prevailing pattern in oil societies, and some of these families have even gone to simulate  Gulf societies are in clothing, jewelry and home furnishing, and people have become very attracted to importing more manufactured goods, and most families have become completely dependent on their requests and needs on the diasporas , and this was helped by the speed of air transport and the intensity of people’s movement to and from those countries weekly.

      The first return of expatriates was with the outbreak of the Gulf War in the year 1990 , which led to the scarcity of economic returns that the country was reaping from expatriate remittances, which at that time helped achieve economic stability and bring about a revival of commercial activity and the accompanying rapid social and cultural transformations in the structure of the social and economic system  in general, this affected negatively in the Yemeni economy.

       As for the second return, it was through the procedures  recently taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding its expatriates, which had a negative impact on the people of Hadhramaut Governorate. 

       These procedures have led to the return of tens of thousands of the people of the province to their cities and villages in the province, as the available data and information indicate that the province has received, during the recent period, tens of thousands of returnees from expatriation.  The report of the International Organization for Migration indicated that the number of returnees of Yemeni citizens during the period from January to October 2018 reached (62,713) citizens, of whom within the limits of (25%) of the citizens of Hadhramaut governorate, and Hadhramaut still receives large groups of returnees daily.

         These returnees lost a source of livelihood for themselves and their families, and at the same time, many families inside were affected;  it was directly dependent on its  livelihood from the remittances it received from its children abroad.

     Unemployment rates among them also increased, in addition to the low level of monthly income for some families, which makes them live within the limits of subsistence that meets only their basic needs.  All of this made them inactive members of society, and worried about the future because of material poverty, which is one of the most important factors in creating the concept of social alienation in the family.

      Of course, this situation will lead to serious consequences for the residents of the governorate, as these returnees need work first, and water and sanitation services, education, health, housing and other services secondly, in light of the governorate's limited capabilities.  The effects of this problem have begun to appear on the surface, the rent of housing has increased in an unprecedented way, during the past months the prices of apartments in the city of Mukalla in popular neighborhoods increased from (30.000) Yemeni riyals to (45,000) riyals on average by (50%), while in high-end neighborhoods they increased by (150%), and at the same time, the education office in the governorate received thousands  of the children of expatriates who were enrolled in the existing schools, which formed a huge crowding in the classrooms.


      However, these things are a perfectly normal reaction to change, and even after these hard times, there is usually a fresh start, hopes and ambitious dreams to discover ways and means to adapt to life.

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