My name is Mestawet Adane, I am Ethiopian and am looking for my Yemeni sister

Migrants and people marrying abroad. The request comes from Ethiopia, a country with close ties to Yemen, and it goes back over 35 years.
A woman looking for her sister with, available, a telephone number and some pictures

 

My name is Mestawet Adane and I have a sister in Yemen.
She was born here in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. We share the same father. Her mother was Yemeni and, around 1982-1983 they both returnt to Yemen with the Mother’s father who had a transport company in Gonder, Ethiopia.
They left because of the political hardships of the then Ethiopian Government.

My Sister was three years old in 1982.
She was called Merima Adane or, using her Ethiopian name, Mastewal Adane. This is my Sister and how I remember her:


 

 

Halima Ali Hassen

 

I remember her mother was called Halima Ali Hassen Ali and I am sure that, once they reached Yemen, they were based in Sanaa. This is Halima’s picture.


I found my father’s diary where there are two numbers he used to call in Yemen to talk to my Sister’s mother: 6654760, 6653620.

 

 

 

 

 

I also have the pictures of her Mother’s Sisters. Who knows, maybe someone recognises them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does anyone have information on Merima and her Mother, Halima?
May Allah bless you.’

The appeal goes to the Ethiopian community in Yemen (presumably Sanaa) and to anyone who has memories of those years.
For Mestawet, here with her son, the time has come to fill the gap.

 

(Collected for the page of Living In Yemen On The Edge and the very same page may be contacted in case anyone has information or can relate to this story / is familiar with the names and people. Every small detail counts)

 

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My name is Gamela and I am looking for my family. An appeal to Yemen

The diaspora and stories of ordinary people who find themselves with little or no roots. A father disappearing and a woman looking for her past.
The time has come to help an English- Yemeni who is trying to sew the patches of her life, stretching from Sheffield area – England – to Aden, Southern Yemen

‘Mine is a long heartbreaking story.
My mum left me when I was three months old. It was my father, Yemeni, who actually brought us up.
When I was sixteen, my father said he was going to Yemen for a few months but he never returnt.
My step mum was here, in England with us, until she died.
I have a brother and a sister: they went the English way, I sticked to Islam instead.

I lost my youth and life feels very heavy.
My mum was English, definitely not a good mum.
We suffered a lot as children while my dad worked tirelessly in steel work. He was a hard worker and looked after us. We didn’t have much but we never suffered; it was as if he was balancing life for us.

When we were little, I remember him going to Yemen for holidays. 

On those occasions, he would put us in children’s homes until his return.
He always came back when we were little. I remember very few things. I know he had a lot of relatives here, but have lost contact. I have no pictures of him.

I can tell you I was born on January 16th 1965, my name is Gamela Zura Hashem (my middle name is after my father’s wife in Yemen), we used to live at 85 Shirland Lane, Attercliffe (Sheffield, England) and my father worked as a crane driver at Davy Roll.

My father’s name is Mohammed Hashem, at times they called him Al Aswad.
The family of my father had hotels in Southern Yemen, in Aden.

I understand I have little information, but will you help me find my father or his family?’

(The request was originally collected for the page of  Living In Yemen On The Edge   and the appeal goes both to England – Sheffield area, and Aden, Southern Yemen.
Gamela has virtually nothing from her past to accompany her)

Children’s Drawings from Yemen

Last February Melissa McCaig Wells, along with Curators Victoria Latysheva, Charlotte Hamson presented in New York TRUMPOMANIA, an international exhibition surrounding the topic of Donald Trump and the Republican administration in the US.
The exhibition ran in NYC March 1-5, in correlation with The Armory Show and Armory Arts Week, to a worldwide audience.
TRUMPOMANIA featured one artist from over thirty countries, each exhibiting one work illustrating their interpretation of the election of Trump creating a dialogue about what this presidency means to artists around the world and their illustration on how this will affect the future of all nations.

Melissa pushed the boundaries further and opened the doors of the exhibition also to the children of Yemen, affected by – at the time – 2 years of endless war (aggression by US-backed/Saudi led Coalition). Now it’s 970 days of war.
Not only Trump’s ban on Muslim countries included Yemen, but America’s inconsiderate arms sales to Saudi Arabia (110 billion USD) are part of the maiming and killing of thousands of children of Yemen.
Drone strikes have seen a sharp rise (over 100 in 2017 by the Trump administration) and without US logistical, technical (refueling of Coalition’s aircrafts bombing Yemen) and intelligence guiding, the Coalition would not have been able to cause such a level of destruction.

The situation on the ground between February and today has worsened beyond belief: the country is under lockdown, no aid enters while 20 million of Yemenis are dependent on aid; 50.000 children are expected to die by the end of the year of famine, curable diseases, cholera, diphtheria, meningitis or just because too weak to continue living.
Three cities (Saada, Hodeidah, Taiz) have no more access to safe water as the fuel is not entering the country and Sanaa, the Capital, will be next.
Cholera outbreak – of biblical proportions – will most likely affect 1 million people by the end of the new year, with over 2000 casualties officially recorded.

For TRUMPOMANIA, last January and February, we collected drawings from Yemeni children (who happen to be the only reason behind everything we have been doing for the past 970 days day) asking them if there was something they wanted to say, to add beyond the headlines or lack of media coverage.
Children spoke their language through drawings and scribblings and the results were appalling. Chronicles of daily scenes of massacres and warplanes, destruction, fire and blood.
The drawings here below (just a part of a large collection) were gathered for TRUMPOMANIA by two registered Yemeni NGOs: Human Needs Develooment – HND and Your Abilities Organization and, on World Children Day we leave it here. As a ‘j’accuse‘ for us all.

 

Omar Mohammed – 10 years old

 

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Amasy Bushier Al-kenay Age: 11 Depicting the bombing of Faj Attan where an illegal bomb was dropped killing/injuring over 500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alaa Mohiy Sharfaldeen

 

 

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Name: Amar Jamal Hamdy, Age – 12 USA kills The Yemeni people
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Hanan Alsdah, Age: 10 Describes buildings before and after the bombs
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Heba Adel, Age: 12 – A girl cries, fearing bombs and warplanes sound
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Roaa’ Dariss, Age 10 – A missile targeted a home and killed the family, and injured were seen out of the home
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Abdullah Zuhrah, Age 12 – The sky watching Yemen and crying with blood
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Asra Adel, Age: 10 Destruction and bodies in the streets
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Shihab Majdi, Age 9 – The missile took the house

 

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Maddlaf Kamal, Age 9 – A mother crying for her kid killed by Saudis’ bomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”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.

‘Why is the world looking away’? Gisela Hofmann on Yemen

Gisela Hofmann is a German friend who, literally, lives for Yemen. Throughout the years, she lived in the country, learnt Arabic and has become a peace advocate.
Gisela sent me a letter asking to publish it. It is her cry, the cry of a woman who has loved ones under constant bombs and castrated by a siege. Gisela cannot visit her ‘family in Sanaa’ and dreams of the day she will be reunited with them.
In the meantime, eight-hundred days have passed since that first bomb dropped on Yemen in the night of March 26 2015. The country has been totally destroyed, official figures estimate over ten thousand casualties, a child dead every ten minutes succumbing to preventable diseases, over fourteen million food insecure, three million internally displaced, a third cholera outbreak which has claimed lives of over six hundred people with a skyrocketing seventy thousand suspected cases.
Yemen has collapsed, Gisela dreams of peace and writes:

”For more than fifteen years, we have been personally associated with Yemen enjoying a close friendship with a family in Sanaa.
Throughout these years, we were able to stay with our friend-family twice a year, every year. We also lived for several months in Sanaa in a rented a flat.
Our visit in November 2014 would be the last for a long time. We did not suspect this at the time. Since then, we are only connected via internet, though this is not continuously possible for a variety of reasons but, basically, our friends have no electricity and have no money.

We are suffering, we feel helpless: we cannot do anything for our beloved family.
Since the beginning of  the Yemen-war and the suffering of the population, this country has been in the shadow of all other political “proxy wars”.
I would like to talk about my friends and family members, I want to describe their current life situation.
My heart is heavy when I think of them. Especially the children and my warm-hearted women-friends. I know how they feel, although I never hear complaints despite the very difficult situation. The humility and pride of these generous people does not allow it.
The following lines are dedicated to Mohammed, Latifa, and Safia and their families (how much I miss them):

“Why  is the world looking away?
I’d like to write  about the current life of the citizens in Yemen. I can report what I am constantly being told by my friends as, for myself, it is not possible in the current situation to return to Yemen: Sanaa airport is under  Saudi-led Coalition imposed blockade and it has also been partially destroyed by airstrikes..
The biggest problem posed by the siege is that for Yemenis there is no way to let vital relief supplies and aid be brought into the country.
If you run a finger on the map, throughout the whole country, you realise that the important main roads, transport routes and sea ports have been destroyed. This means that the urgent transport of aid and relief supply to the suffering people, to hospitals and distribution of safe, drinking water to villages is impossible or extremely difficult.
People outside the cities are abandoned and can depend exclusively on themselves.
Nobody looks, takes care of the population as military strategies are in the foreground. With few exceptions, there are no foreign embassies and/or diplomatic representatives in the country.
It is close to impossible for the  people of Yemen to  flee elsewhere. Even for families living abroad it is difficult to care for the loved ones gripped in the famine-cholera-aggression- torn homeland. Flights to and from Yemen are virtually close to zero and escaping to neighboring countries requires money which Yemenis do not have.

It is neighboring Saudi Arabia leading the war on Yemen. Since 26 March 2015, the Saudi led Coalition has kept Yemen under continuous military attacks.
Like in any given war, the simple, common people are those suffering the unthinkable.
Primarily children, sick people and the elderly.
The children of our friends-family have been out of school for months in a row out of fear of air-raids, or because schools were closed or teachers on strike having received no salary for over eight months.
A friend’s daughter contracted hepatitis caused by contaminated water. In order to receive immediate medical treatment, the family had to sell the last personal possessions. The treatment lasted longer than normal because the child was malnourished. Malnutrition maims the immune system of weakened children making them more prone to diseases.
The father of the little girl  had to donate his own blood to treat her and has, since then, been donating regularly to help others in need.The current situation allows many families to virtually just vegetate, exist, nothing else. A graceful life is no longer possible.
Schools, hospitals have shut down: government personnel have been out of salary for eight – nine months.
In the meantime, prices are soaring. A bottle of gas costs five times as much as compared to the beginning of 2015. Most people cannot afford it any longer: they use what they can to make a fire.
Speculation is rampant: some much-needed items must be bought exclusively in dollars cutting off most of the population.

There are those who have lost everything because of an airstrike: home and loved ones. Yemen is in a constant mourning.

The world is wrapped in silence, passively supporting these eight-hundred days of war crimes against the Yemeni population. Syria and Iraq have overshadowed the plight of Yemenis.
In spite of pain and suffering, there is life, though. There are tireless people, fighting with heart and intelligence for the future of Yemen. These people fight  with peaceful means vehemently against Yemen’s unjust, forgotten war.

A termination of the aggression is imperative. If I look at the situation of Yemen I feel anger along with an inexpressible sadness, because I see what  this country has become.

In the 1980s, at the time of  Ali Abdallah Saleh’s leadership, perhaps the country began slowly to open and move forwards. Yemenis saw progress in their own land and enjoyed international recognition.  After the Unification of South and North Yemen in 1990, a flourishing period began, starting from tourism. People from all parts of the world visited the long closed, untouched, historical country. Tourism became the largest employer of Yemen. Now even archaeological sites have fallen victim of indiscriminate air-raids, even towns and monuments protected by the UNESCO. Treasures of mankind have been lost, forever.

An immediate halt to the inconsiderate arms deals and sales to those aggressing Yemen, would represent a huge step towards the end of the war  on my second home. It would push the sides involved in the conflict to find solutions, involving only diplomatic means.
Had it happened before, many Yemeni children would still be alive and the homes of countless Yemenis would not be in rubbles.

Last February there was a defence and arms exhibition, ‘only’ 2500 km from Yemen. Weapons worth billions of dollars were sold while back in Yemen a nation was and is starving to death.
This forgotten country needs more attention. It is important tell to the world about the suffering of Yemenis who are at their limit. They cannot take it any longer.
The first article of our German basic law states: “Human dignity is untouchable”.
It should apply also to Yemenis. ”

Gisela Hofmann

A Young Yemeni Artist’s Dream

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:

”Do you know anyone interested in drawing .. I want to find supporters for someone I know.
His name is Louay Nabil al Farazi. He is just seventeen, lives in Sanaa and comes from a modest family of six.
Louay started drawing when he was only 5.
You know the war in Yemen, the situation… so far no one has helped him.

louay
Louay, young Yemeni artist, 17


Louay has a dream: to complete his studies and access to the international drawing field. Maybe join an institution for Arts outside Yemen. As Louay says: I would like to deliver my work to the biggest number of art lovers. Maybe find work in simple animations.  
What he needs is… cost-saving: the drawing material. Can anyone help him?

Sending material to Yemen, considering the two-year old siege imposed on the country might be hard but perhaps someone inside of Yemen has a stock of drawing material he would like to donate. Or maybe someone abroad can find Louay a way to join a school, exhibit his work or be part of a project featuring young artists. Possibilities are endless.

The page of Living in Yemen on the Edge in Facebook will be diverting any message received to Louay’s friend.
There are dreams behind those trapped in any war: they deserve to become reality.
In the meantime, you may see some of his work here (cover image also by Louay Nabil al Farazi):

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by Yemeni artist Louay Nabil al Farazi

 

 

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by Yemeni artist Louay Nabil al Farazi

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by Yemeni artist Louay Nabil al Farazi

Keep fighting, if you can hear me, keep fighting

We made up during the war when you returnt to Sanaa because you were injured. Silly things, futilities had divided us but I was so proud of you: going to the front, too young, just for your country. 
Finding each other, again, has been one of the few sensible things I have ever done  in my life.
I told you I loved you and still cared for you the same way. And you taught me to open my mouth during airstrikes and that no, fear was not admitted. Fear for what?
You are in ICU now, injured again. They brought you back from the front last night.
There are so many things I would like to tell you because you are too young to succumb to this war.
Just know I love you and miss you, always.
Keep fighting, if you can hear me, keep fighting. For yourself now.
My Little Brother, Hamoudi.

(I remember these words of Leo Buscaglia now:

‘There was a girl who gave me a poem, and she gave me permission to share it with you, and I want to do that because it explains about putting off and putting off and putting off – especially putting off caring about people we really love. She wants to remain anonymous, but she calls the poem
“THINGS YOU DIDN’T DO” and she says this”:
Remember the day I borrowed your brand new car and I dented it?
I thought you’d kill me, but you didn’t.
And remember the time I dragged you to the beach, and you said it would rain, and it did?
I thought you’d say, “I told you so.” But you didn’t.
Do you remember the time I flirted with all the guys to make you jealous, and you were?
I thought you’d leave me, but you didn’t.
Do you remember the time I spilled strawberry pie all over your car rug?
I thought you’d hit me, but you didn’t.
And remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal and you showed up in jeans?
I thought you’d drop me, but you didn’t.
Yes, there were lots of things you didn’t do,
But you put up with me, and you loved me, and you protected me.
There were lots of things I wanted to make up to you when you returned from Vietnam.
But you didn’t.”

Why World

School becomes a privilege during a war.
In the meantime, you help your family making ends meet selling sesame sweets in the streets. You happen to pass by a school and your soul crushes. It’s the big divide: the world of others and yours. The lucky ones and you. Those whose parents can afford a private school and your parents who rely on you to bring food home.
War hurts on so many levels.

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The above picture has gone viral on social media: it was taken in Sanaa a couple of days.
Presumably we all felt guilty, powerless, useless in front of a child whose childhood has been stolen. It’s not only a matter of poverty: we are dealing with a war which is always bigger than the will of an entire nation.
There are no children left in war:  they become grownups overnight, with the first bomb dropped.
I woke up this morning receiving a message from Acram Mothana Haider, a Yemeni friend who is nothing short of a living poem. He also had seen the picture and decided to cope with the emotions in his usual way: with words. He attached the picture of the first flow of words and within an hour, he made a public post.

‘The poem I have written is dedicated to you my readers, I hope to enjoy it.
قصيدة أهديها لكم أيها الأحبة عنوانها (لم أنا أيها )العالم!’

Why world,
worst and weird,
At nest of minds
Where virtues
Have its rest
And there imbibed
Queues of boys
Eying up
To whom the phrases
Are uttered out,
While miserable
Sesame lad
Standing behind
Immovable and shy,
Peeping and meditating
“O’ my God!
Blocking me some coins
To be involved
I wish I could join.

How sweet the words are!
While uttering out of their mouths
What kind of books
Their bags contain?
How fair their pens are!
Even I have not seen
Are they red or yellow or brown?
How those boys look like?
When they laugh
How sweet their faces seem!
When they repeat anthem’s sounds.

Now, sesame got blushed
Breaking into pieces
And politely said
“May I come back to
The oven, I have been first made”.

Acram Mothana Haider
Thursday, 2/3/2017 – 11.54 A.m

 

As of today, roughly 2 million children continue to be out of school in Yemen and schools are repeatedly airstrike targets: Why World.

On Human Rights Day

Dedicating a day to those with disabilities, the hungry, the grandparents, lovers, teachers, children, human rights, healthy cooking, left handers, penguins, migrants  remains – as of 2016 – a farce.
The day of speeches and ribbon cutting ceremonies, a toast and a lunch in full fanfare show a reality fully disconnected from the ground, from our lives.

On a day like today, Human Rights Day, I received a message from Bob Oorts, founder of World Peace Embassy (obnoxiously we still believe in peace) which reflects all my thoughts:

For 7 years I wrote for WORLD PEACE and made over 6000 posters for the same. I thought that over 1 billion Facebook users were the answer to end all this unimaginable suffering – unimaginable to those who don’t live in war zones, refugee camps, forced slavery, or false imprisonment – apparently.

For every day on the net, now, after 7 years, I feel myself slipping into a deep resentment of living in what I can only describe as nothing short of hell – not for me, but for all those, especially children and animals, who are suffering the consequences of a barbaric society that is unwilling to find the way to Peace.
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The new generation is left with what the old generations have provided, false doctrines and lies that are established as normality while truth does not enter the conscience.

The legacy all those adults, preachers, politicians, “world Leaders”, social “experts”, parents and partners have provided for children from the day they are born is near to impossible to erase – “near to impossible” because somewhere there still flickers a glimmer of hope that people begin to see how insane and barbaric this society really is and that without change there will never be an end to wars, destruction, and intolerable suffering.

Seven years ago I started out writing for World Peace while still believing that most people live with a common but silent wish to see this world become a better place. But 7 years have shown me the reality about most people. They may want Peace, but everything else comes first – religion, politics, materialism, ego and the illusion of millenniums old conditioning that there are justified reasons for killing either human or animal.

There are no justified reasons for killing either human or animal, nor to put either through the living hell of torture and sadistic exploitation and abuse – nothing, no religion, no belief, no political propaganda, can justify any of this atrocious behavior and be seen as more important than World Peace.

It’s ironic beyond the joke that one who writes for World Peace due to a love of Life, people, animals, and environment, finds him/herself caught up in a web of insensitive words resulting in resenting the only species that can turn things around and in the process lose friends and make enemies. Shall I keep on writing? – words are slipping from my memory, it has become a mental mission impossible game of wits with apathetic ignorance.

While reading Bob’s words, the news came from Aden, Yemen, of an ISIS suicide attack at Al-Sawlaban military camp claiming the lives of soldiers who were just queuing to get their salary.
15327317_1604460612901018_811792794985258206_n
Nisma Mansoor, a university student who blogs and thinks sharply never forgetting her heart, soon after wrote:

It’s scary to live like this every single day,
Not knowing where the next bomb will be,
Not knowing if the car next to you will explode,
Not knowing if your love one will make it home safe,
Not knowing if you yourself will die as one peace or will turn to million pieces.Rest in Peace all poor soldiers who were in line for their salaries to feed their families

I do not know if the ‘die as one peace’ was meant as ‘piece’. Freudian.

In the meantime, the US has approved a 7.9 billion dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates despite the evident war crimes committed in Yemen.
Much of a human rights day.
We are victims of our own madness.
What a relief: it’s tomorrow already. Just hope Bob continues to write.