Living in Ulaanbaatar, from YEMMEN - Businessman

Maher Mohammed

Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle​ in August 2017

What did you want to be when you were a kid?  

I wanted to be a programmer, a professional programmer.  


With whom would you like to have a coffee?  

I would love to have a coffee with my family. I mean like my whole family. 


If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be? 

I would love to let the people know about education. I think education is the most important thing in this life. If the people were educated enough, they would understand everything around them. I mean education in every field. For example, education in religion, to learn to love everyone around you. Religion doesn’t teach hate. Political education, how develop countries, how to create the right system, which avoids corruption and destruction of countries. 


To you, what’s that main characteristic that all human being have in common?  

I think all humans have love and have pride. If someone touches their pride, they will react. As Newton says, for every action there is reaction.  


To you, who is the happiest person on earth?  

The one who can be happy without anything around him.  

For example, I can be happy even if I don’t have money. I can be happy even if I lost my friend. Happiness is something inside you. 


If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?  

If I were President of United States, I would love to care about education in all countries, everywhere. I would try to spend more money on education, more than in the army, more than in anything else. If there is education, there will be no war. People don’t need wars. 


What do you need?  

In this life, I think that all human beings, not only me, need to be happy and to live in peace. To be happy we have to make our souls happy first, which means religion, to worship God. And we should not harm someone else. I think this is the way to happiness. 


What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?  

I ask myself this question all the time. First, I need to buy some properties, like some business so that I can get more money. Then from these businesses, there would be like 50% for me, for my expenses, and I would use 50% to develop the world.  

So many people help other poor people by just giving them money. But to give money it’s like one time. If you do something for them, they will help themselves and then they can help others. They say: “don’t give me a fish, teach me how to fish”. So, I think that if I had one million, I could do these things. I could help everyone around me too. 


Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?  

To make my life easier, I think I would need money and honest people around me. I would need my family. That’s what I need. 


What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?  

The news that affects me the most about my country is what I hear now. People hating each other for no reason. They use religion, they use families, they use culture, they use everything around them just to hate each other. This is what makes me feel sad for my country. Because we never had these things before. Money doesn’t mean anything. But if we hate each other we can’t live together. So, this news, I don’t like it. 

Other countries want to control Yemen. I think 70% of oil is passing through Yemen. So, the one who controls Yemen controls many things. This is why big countries are fighting for our land. And because of the lack of education we are stupid and believe them. A part of the population is standing with this group, another is standing with the other group and both are fighting each other, they kill each other. This is what is happening in Yemen.  


Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?  

This question is nice. I think life is easier and more complicated... Sometimes it’s easier. For example, now that I am in Mongolia it’s very easy to talk with my parents every day by phone, thanks to internet. In this way it’s easier. But it is also more complicated. It’s more stressful than before. For example, before as a family we would sit together for lunch and talk. Now even if you sit with your friends in the coffee, everyone will be busy in its own world. So sometimes it’s complicated, sometimes it’s easier.  


If you had to create a company, what would it be?  

I am learning to create my own trading company. I’m also trying to do export & import.  


Can you draw something beautiful?  

It’s the best thing I can draw. First, I would say that I’m bad at drawing. Second, I think with trees, nature would be better. 

What are you afraid of?  

What I see around me makes me very afraid that the world is becoming a jungle. Internet came, everything became easier. Now everyone is stressed. Most of the people start forgetting their culture, their religion. And we behave like if we were in the jungle, just beating each other. The one that is strong can take whatever he wants. We don’t care about law, we don’t care about rules. Maybe these days you will hear about this President who won the election, because of his power, because of his money, not because of his behaviour, or what he has in his brain.  

We start forgetting about culture. Who is a good person, who is stupid?  

A good person is estimated, he doesn’t use his position to steal money.  

So many things are becoming bad. And I think it’s the time to change it, otherwise I am scared for the future.  


What is your dream?  

I hope that I can get success in my business, which will give me some power and enable me to do many things that I want, such as education. I really care about education. In this interview you can hear me say “education” more than a hundred times, because education is the most important thing in this world. Even in religion. When you see groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS, who are Muslims, it is because they understand only half of the religion. They didn’t understand the full religion. If they understood it exactly, you would not see these things. Religion never says, ‘kill people”, innocent people. Anywhere. Religion usually says to you what you have to do in a good way, for yourself and for the whole system. For all humans. So, education is the most important thing and I really want to act for it and take care of it. 


Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?  

2100. It’s very interesting. I really want to dream about good things only. There would be more education, more technologies. And I hope people will understand and will love each other more. 


What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?  

The most beautiful thing I have seen in my life is my daughter. Like all parents. 


If you had to write a book about the current world, what would be the title?  

Where are we today? 


Who is God for you?  

My god is the god all of the gods. [Laughs]  

It means that god created everything in this space, art.. He is my god.  


Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of? 

I am proud of all Yemenis because until today they have a manly behaviour, they never beg, they are proud of what they have, they forgive most of the time. I am proud of them because I am one of them. 


If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?  

I would love to be a manager. I like to organize things, to guide people in what they have to do. I would love to lead a project: how we can do as a team. I’d love to do these things. I want to be part of this side, so that I can understand the ideas, I can teach them what they have to do and we can discuss. I like doing this. 


If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?  

I would tell them that I have seen a very interesting place, where people are killing each other, I don’t know why. But I have seen them. They are killing each other, and they are destroying everything around them. They are crazy people. That’s what I would say. 


And you, which question would you like to ask the world?  

I would love to ask the people “What have you done to change the word? Not to change yourself?”