As the revolutionary spirit sweeps beyond Tunisia and Egypt to other Arab countries in the Mideast and Gulf, many wonder which country will be next to fall in the Arab world. We have already seen clamors for reform in Syria and Jordan; protests have spread throughout Khartoum. But the strongest candidate for the next upheaval is Yemen. With 35% unemployment and a paltry $2,600 in GDP per capita, Yemen ranks as the Arab world's most destitute country.
The unemployment rate and other economic indicators suggest that Yemen is near its breaking point. The people are clamoring for substantive policy reforms. They are demanding that the government engage in meaningful dialogue with opposition groups that will ultimately lead to open political participation and free and fair elections. But appearances are often misleading—especially in the Middle East.