Though Ali Abdullah Saleh has proved deft at maintaining power, he has accomplished little else. Forty per cent of Yemeni adults are illiterate, and more than half the country’s children are malnourished. In addition to the bribes—one of Yemen’s largest expenditures—there is corruption. The government in Sanaa makes even the Karzai regime, in Afghanistan, seem like a model of propriety. Mohamed Ali Jubran, an economist at Sanaa University, told me, “Any resources that the government is able to get its hands on are siphoned off by the people around the President. What is left over is not enough to meet the demands of the Yemeni people.”
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