2020 / 10 / 25
When the pandemic hit the world and spread all over Yemen, Yemeni people knew that vulnerable members of their community could not get the necessary health checkups and the medical care and they will definitely die as there is no hospitals´-or-health clinics to support them.
Corona virus disease remained in Yemen only for a few days and then news of victims of covide-19 completely vanished especially in the northern parts controlled by the Houthi rebels. This is not due to the disappearance of the virus as this is impossible but this is due to the lack of the necessary capabilities to take care of the infected people and this caused them to lose their lives whenever they were admitted in hospitals and they were buried without bidding farewell to their families. Everyone got to know about this fearful situation and that infected people with Corona would inevitably die if they go to any hospital. Thus, Yemeni people refused to go to hospitals even if they certainly knew that they were infected with Covid-19. And this is how the victims of this pandemic since the outbreak of this deadly disease till this moment did not reach 3000 cases according to the concerned authorities.
Despite the secrecy that surrounds the real numbers of covid-19 victims in the northern parts of Yemen, the United Nations announced a while ago that the death rate caused by Corona Virus in Yemen is four times compared with the global average. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health deaths at this moment reach about 28.8% of the total number of cases as per the records for the rest of the world.
A Nation without Identity
Former President Ali Saleh stepped down and then a transitional government was formed under the leadership of the current transitional president Hadi, but as soon as the Yemenis began to form their desired government, the Houthis rebels carried out an armed coup that changed the political situation with the help of foreign parties such as Iran and some Gulf states that interfered in Yemen s affairs in an attempt to change the identity of the Yemenis into other identities. All of this has made the Yemenis lose their identity as they followed the foreign parts intervening in Yemen at the expanses of their Yemeni identity. To be more accurate, due to this intrusion of foreign identities, Yemeni people have a confusion about the meaning of the Yemeni identity that they have adopted for years. If you ask any Yemeni what it means to be a Yemeni, nobody has a straightforward answer as their identity has now become represented in personalities´-or-foreign identities and recently it has become more restricted to be represented in cities only.
In my opinion, this makes it a difficult problem and Yemeni people will not realize its outcome until it is too late. They will come to know that with the loss of their identity, they will be more vulnerable to defeat, division, fragmentation, and this even will lead each party to be more hostile against each other.
Where are we in this world?
It is known that countries all over the world are concerned with how to provide amenities for their citizens, except in Yemen, where Houthi rebels ask citizens to either go to the fighting fronts´-or-pay one-fifth. If you do not know what one-fifth means, then let me tell you that it is one-fifth of what you earn as an income. It is collected as what is claimed to be a divine and sacred payment that people should pay from their income to the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad represented by Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi and his followers. Had you been one of them, then fortune would have come in your way as you have the right to take unlawfully people s money and properties in the name of the prophet Muhammad. So, if you earn one hundred dollars a month, you have to pay twenty dollars to these rebels otherwise prison is your fate.
The world is planning how they invade space with Elon Musk and how to provide a decent life on Mars, but Yemen is still lost in the darkness of internal wars. Most of Yemeni people struggle on a daily basis to survive with their families from starving and fighting and some people die due to being infected with normal diseases and epidemics that can be cured for free in most parts of the world in addition to hunger. Due to this ugly war, people fall victims and are dragged into fighting each other and think of how to kill each other.
Everyone knows that the situation in Yemen is currently very tragic and that the suffering of the Yemeni people is increasing day by day, but no one cares about them. The United Nations and civil society organizations turned a blind eye on the sufferings of the children of the elderly people. Due to this situation, people go willingly to get recruited with different parties and fighting fronts in order to provide the basic needs for their families and prefer to die in the battlefields fighting for no reason over watching their dears die in front of their eyes.
It really seems to me that human rights organizations do not know that the students are compelled to leave their schools in order to join the fighting fronts and those who refused to join them can either leave the country in search of a livelihood´-or-they will be detained in prisons. Some of them who are not detained are hanging out in cities in a search for work so that they can earn what fills the stomachs of their families.
More than a million Yemenis fell victims to cholera in the past few years and the real data of those who died have not been published. While the whole world is fighting new viruses and diseases, Yemen is still fighting normal diseases like cholera that have ended decades ago in most parts of the world.
I think that after this article, you will not be surprised if someone tells you that Yemen is experiencing the worst stage in its history and that we can even say that we live as if we are in the beginning of the twentieth century and perhaps before that. The electricity has been cut off for more than five and the thieves have started to cut electricity cables in order to sell them to metal shops. Gas is not available and many either live on firewood´-or-buy a gas cylinder from the black market at three times price than its real price. People cannot get clean drinking water as they resort to ponds and water barriers to drink.
Weeks ago, heavy rain fell on Yemen that resulted in torrential torrents and due to the lack of water drains in the roads, many people died and many properties were lost as well. Dozens of houses and farms were destroyed including the house of the famous Yemeni poet Abdullah Al-Bardouni, which must have been a museum of his things and his literary works.
What s Next ?
We do not need a time machine to take us to the future so that we know what will happen to Yemen as things are clear before us. In fact, Yemen is in front of a dark and complicated tunnel as long as there is someone who fights in the name of religion and claims that he is entrusted by God to rule the people. This dark tunnel contains sectarianism, racism, extremism, revenge and other elements that wars and religion have made Yemen a hotbed of terrorism and extremism, and all of this will inevitably spread to the entire region and will lead to unpleasant consequences.
The only solution to save Yemen from the grip of terrorism is to not allow any extreme religious group to rule the country.