In some ways, the transition here has achieved a relative calm, while Egypt and Syria are in violent upheaval. Yemen, having pulled back from the brink of war in 2011, is slowly embarking on a national dialogue aimed at reconciling its rancorous political factions, under the watchful eyes of Arab and Western monitors.
Yet many Yemenis now doubt that anything substantial has changed and fear that the much-hailed “Yemen model” is enshrining a fragile stability at a time when decisive action is needed.
Beyond the capital, the country is more rudderless than ever. The south is in the grip of a surging independence movement, and sectarian tensions are rising dangerously in the north. The economy is a shambles. All of the same troublesome political players — including the still-powerful former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh — remain, and the new president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has struggled to assert himself against them.