”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]

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.

Yemeni Life Has No Longer Any Meaning

Only a week from now and it willl be a full year under the Saudi-led/US-backed attacks against Yemen.
More than 10 countries joined a coalition led by Saudi Arabia with the full support of US and UK: logistically, with intelligence. They jointly chose, meticulously, the sites on the ground for the Saudis to bomb.
They lent satellites to help Saudi Arabia doing a better job.
They refueled the jets it in the air to allow maximum damage.
Warships participated in bombardments on the Yemeni coastal-line areas.
Arm deals estimated in billions of dollars – including internationally banned weapons such as cluster bombs and chemical weapons – were signed.
All the arms have been dropped on highly populated residential areas of the Yemeni capital Sana’a along with other provinces: Saada, Amran and Hajjah.
The world watched disgustingly in silence.
Roads, oil-food-water tankers, chicken and cow farms, even the centre for the visually impaired in Sanaá have been deemed a military target.
How not to mention the unjust – total siege imposed on Yemen? No food, no medicines are allowed to enter the country; same goes for petroleum products which are essential and most useful in agriculture and industry alike .
Saudi Arabia aims to starve more than 24 millions and stop any movement of people.
Electricty is the big absent in the nation´s life: it is a basic need for Yemeni simple life and the population has forgotten how the supply looks like
How do the Yemeni citizens continue their life under this hysterical bombings and destruction of their simple, beautiful life?

Mansour Mohammed Hadi (48) told us his story of an extremely difficult year coping with both the war and hepatitis: “We live in Yemen in very bad human and environmental conditions. I suffer from hepatitis and my condition gets worse with each passing day. I have moved, peregrinated from hospital to hospital looking for a medicine which cures my disease, but because of the siege imposed on Yemen, rarely I could find any of the medicines prescribed by doctors. Sometimes I am stable. Often times my condition worsens and pain becomes unberable.  Last month, when I could no longer stand the pain, I moved to the hospital. Miraculously, I have survived. Question is: how long will I continue, considering the seriousness of my case?”

Bashir Mansour Mussad (23), a college student adds his voice: “I have not been able to go to the university and complete my studies. Our jobs and activities stopped due to the aggression and siege and I couldn’t pay for my studies. Worse of all: there are no jobs available and I had to ask for money as my Dad is ill. How can I repay people back?”

Hemerr Hamoud (34), taxi driver, had his story to share about his suffering under the siege, with no gasoline to run his taxi and little food available: “I have a taxi and used to transport passengers in the streets of the capital. That was before the siege imposed by Saudi Arabia. It was already difficult at the time but after the siege I have barely been able to find enough money to feed my family. I tried to find an alternative occupation but but all my efforts have been fruitless. Lack of electricity does not help and I am sure we are going, all of us, to starve to death.”

In the same context Khalid Ahmed Musleh (30) a farmer, said: ” Actually, Yemeni farmers live the most difficult times of all because of the siege. Agriculture in Yemen depends basically on oil and our farms and crops have been damaged due to the lack of it and the high prices at the black market”

Tamim Hazza (37) employee, concluded: ” Yemeni life has no longer any meaning and value under this unjust aggression and blockade. We have been suffering for almost a year from the absence of the basic components for a decent life , starting from electricity
We live every night in complete darkness with the noise of jet fighters upon our heads, not to mention the blasts of the extensive explosions surrounding our homes. Life in Yemen has completely changed: we lost our jobs and I sit at home, now, doing nothing.”


With Qaseem Alshawee reporting from Sanaá for Living in Yemen on the Edge