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Does It Still Acceptable to Dub Yemen As the Arabia Felix in 2015?
Map of the War on the Ground in Yemen, September 2015
Current Statistics about Yemen
More than seven months have passed now from the first day of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen against Ansarullah known as the Houthis rebels. Thousands of airstrikes—done in a daily basis—have nearly destroyed major parts of the Yemeni army including its constructions, camps, heavy equipment, and even its munitions in different cities all over the country. Although the coalition forces—including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other Arab countries—have made several victories in numerous cities in Yemen, Houthi rebels still control and rule until today the most important city in the country, the capital city of Sana’a.
If we talk about numbers, we can say that by the end of September 2015, the United Nations has stated officially that nearly 4,900 people have been killed, including at least 2,355 civilians, by the coalition’s airstrikes and other battles happening on land. According also to the UN, the coalition's blockade of Yemen's seaports and airports has caused nearly 80% of the Yemen’s population to be in extreme need for exigent humanitarian aids and for life-sustaining commodities and services. Moreover, almost 1.5 million people are internally displaced and scattered in different cities and villages of the country. These statistics are only estimated by the UN but no one exactly knows the real numbers for death toll, other wounded and handicapped which could be significantly more.
What do you think about the current war in Yemen against the Houthis?
A Talk of A Witness
As a witness residing amid this war in the capital city of Yemen, I can say that ‘MISERY’ is the most suitable word for describing humanitarian situations here. Many families lost several members in the intensive airstrikes or in the fierce battles occurring in the frontlines. Through my daily walk and talk with people in the streets and other public places in Sana’a city, I notice that people currently do not care too much about essential aspects of life such as electricity or even fuel. Their main concern now is about safely surviving with their families from the daily heavy bombardments on their ancient city. Yemeni Parents do not care about their lives but they are worried about their children’s lives and their vague future. Some of the wealthy families have fled the country before or during the war in order to offer a proper environment for their children to live and study. Conversely, other destitute and even low-income families who could not travel abroad have forcefully chosen to travel internally instead. They had to leave their houses, works, and even their cars in the main cities and search for safer places in other villages and cities in Yemen.
Nevertheless, all Yemenis—and especially those who live in the capital city of Sana’a—still have the hope that the war will end and that the peace will eventually prevail again. They only live with this hope while victims from civilian are the ones who pay their lives as the price for this war. It is the nature of our life in which nobody can predict what tomorrow could bring to the people, nobody at all.