Saudis Debate 1,000-Mile Yemen Border Fence

Earlier this month, BBC reported that Saudi Arabia is building a 1,000-mile fence on its border with Yemen. The news was barely reported in Saudi national press, but it was widely and critically reported in Yemeni press.

The development was debated tensely in the Saudi Twittersphere. Supporters cited its absolute necessity for the safety of the kingdom while opponents spoke about the tighter siege it will impose on the Yemeni people.

The US-Mexico border fence was one example that the supporters cited. Fahad al-Rsheed tweeted [ar]:

من حق أي دولة حماية نفسها من عصابات المخدرات وتهريب السلاح والمتسللين ،وأمريكا على سبيل المثال أقامت سياجاً مع المكسيك

@fahadccx: It is the right of any state to protect itself from drug and arm trafficking gangs. America, for example, has built a fence on its borders with Mexico.

On the other hand, some opponents said that the money could be better spent. Lawyer and activist Abdullah al-Nasri tweeted:

بتكلفة هذا السياج لنوظف العاطلين في الجنوب وعلى الحدود في حراسة الحدود ولندعم كل أعمال التنمية في اليمن لتعزيز الأخوة .

@alnasri1: With the same costs, we can hire the citizens of the Southern [Saudi] region to guard the borders, and fund development projects in Yemen to strengthen our brotherhood.

Others emphasized on the unity of the Arab nation. Abu Faisal tweeted:

سيكون مصيره كمصير”جدار برلين” إحفظوها جيدًا والأيام بيننا.!!

@Abuufaisal_1: It will have the same destiny as the Berlin Wall. Remember this!

Others had a humanistic perspective:

بهذا الفعل سنتجرّد من بقايا انسانيتنا.

@Mnor_: By doing this, we abandon what is left of our humanity.

هذا الفعل يعطي انطباع عن العقلية والمعالجة الأمنية البحتة لقضايا ذات عمق اجتماعي واقتصادي ألا يوجد مفكرين غيرالأمني ؟

@__Husam__: That is an example of a police mentality in dealing with issues that have significant social and economical effects. Do we have a non-police mentality?

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