”Yemen is my Country” Jamil Al Abiad

Some of my FB friends telling is not right to post such graphic pictures of starved and dead children, because some people might get offended by them.

Well, I am sorry to those I might have offended, no offense intended, but I feel that people around the world should see this and know about the horrible atrocities that are happening in Yemen, after all, we are all fellow human beings living and sharing the same planet, especially when the news about Yemen is not shown or reported in the mainstream media.

Yemen is my country, and it breaks my heart to see it being destroyed and devastated day by day for almost 1000 days.

I live in it, I have friends and family members who were killed and injured by the Saudi bombardment.

The Saudi warplanes are flying over my city every day dropping bombs in residential neighborhoods in front of my eyes, the same is happening in other cities, towns and villages for the last 33 months where tens of thousands of innocent women and children were killed, with hundreds of thousands of houses destroyed across the country.

The infrastructure of Yemen has been devastated, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, factories, power stations, airports, seaports, water and sanitation systems and networks, you name it, it has been targeted by the Saudi warplanes.

There is famine, and starvation all over the country, millions of people are being starved to death because of the unlawful blockade of land, sea and airports imposed by the Saudis along with the US, the UK and other countries, which they don’t deny, under the watchful eye of the UN.
If this is not a collective punishment and crime against humanity, then what is?

The spread of cholera epidemic is the worst to hit any country in recorded history, one million suspected cases in 10 months, with over 2000 deaths.

A child dies every ten minutes from preventable diseases and hunger, this is according to UN’s reports.

Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs and have no salaries or regular income to live on.

Shortage of food, medicine, fuel, clean water and other basic requirements for daily life have taken its toll on the vast majority of the population.
And much more.

What would you do if the same happened to you and your country?
God forbid.

[cover by Yemeni artist Ahmed Jahaf whose art has been inspired by the war on Yemen and has become the voice of twenty-eight millions]

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A young man in the making in times of war

To see a young boy, no more than seven or eight, crying because of the war, is something we will never get accustomed to.
Qasim Ali Al-Shawea – in the picture – of Your Abilities Yemeni NGOمنظمة قدراتك للتنمية your.abilities.org ) writes:

”Every day I meet a child, family, displaced people during my work with my team and I have a close look at people’s unbearable conditions, how they try to stay safe, alive in such a humanitarian disaster. 
I see children sleeping at night with empty stomachs, after having fought hunger for several days.
I meet many families who have fled their homes to live hopeless, homeless in displacement camps; I am seeing a daily nightmare, a tragedy I have never seen…ever, in my life.
How not to mention the Cholera outbreak which is decimating lives while hospitals are full with patients. 
What is happening in Yemen is really inhuman, illegal and unfair. We are human beings and have human hearts, the world shouldn’t keep ignoring the children and women’s suffering. Every child deserves to live a better life.”

I asked Qasim why was the young boy shedding so helplessly and he replied:
He told me that he and his family used to have a better life.  That was before bombs fell on their home. He was crying because his brother was killed there, at home, under a missile. Now they are living in a tent in a displacement camp. They have nothing to eat, monsoon rains enter the only abode they have. He wants clothes… he really asked me a lot: new clothes, toys, a chance to study. He is a clever child. I felt so sad for him and their life, the hard conditions they must cope with. Heartbreaking, really.”

The picture of a child, dressed like a man in the making, with a jacket which most likely will be worn until it fades to a shadow of a garment, crying helplessly cannot be the emblem of childhood. Not in 2017.
Yemen has been under air strikes, blocked by a siege, crippled by cholera and famine for over eight hundred and sixty days. A number so heavy it seems too long even to write. Impossibly long for a child whose home and past have been buried under a missile.