Wars are not only made of statistic, pain, horror, bone chilling stories.
There are dreams behind anyone trapped under the bombs, blocked in a siege, going hungry to bed, who has been maimed and those who have lost everything.
There are plans and expectations, passions, hopes.
In this regard, I received a message from a Yemeni friend and I share it hoping we can assist young Louay and, who knows, others like him.
The message read:
Clashes continue in Eidomeni while Ms Mogherini and the European Parliament relegate the asylum seekers stuck between Greece and Macedonia border as a non-problem, a problem in the solving, Turkey´s next destination. And Erdogan cashes in.
What is utterly upsetting, disturbing, in this infernal scenario is that Macedonian Police have taken the habit to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at close range, eye level (or lower, child´s level) and that the bullets are out of date. Expired in 1996. Twenty years old.
Manufacturers of rubber bullets are obliged to put an expiry date as the coating on the bullet – which can be of metal or wood – hardens with time and the projectile becomes fatal.
We use out of date weaponry on people with no legal status, 20 years old rubber bullets on children.
License to kill. Refugees. Mothers, children, people running from wars and desperation.
Just before the war, with bombs here and there, a coup d’état, the taking of the Presidential Palace in Sana’a, and that sense of instability, those big questions which were even too big to pronounce, the frustration of not being able to express how uncomfortable we were feeling, with the ears always paying attention to strange sounds (was it a bomb?, a kalashnikov?, why the sirens? have you heard it?), just before the war on Yemen, we were asking people to see Yemen through our eyes.
Whispering ‘We are here’
‘We have normal lives’
‘We will manage this’
‘Leave it to Yemenis, they always find a solution’
Yemen’s life, still.
Yemen still life and life still