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 NGO ( منظمة 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.