Thursday, 13 October 2011

From Nasser Maweri: The Brave Little Girl from Sana'a

This story happened today in my neighborhood and i thought of sharing it with u.

Poor family consists of a young man with his wife and 7 kids, they live in a very simple house in Sana'a. Sumayya, 8 years old girl is the oldest kid, blue eyed girl and looks so adorable, with her 6 years old blonde sister, Asma'a, she roams the neighborhood knocking on the doors, asking for the food left overs, they take whatever they get to thier mom and 5 little brothers and sisters. The sweet smile of these adorable kids made everybody in the area feel sorry for how poor this family is and how they struggle to survive.

Today, when i came back from work, i found my mother so deppressed, i asked her "What's the matter mom?" she said "Earlier today, i heard some knocking on our door, when i opened i saw Sumayya, Asma'a and their little brother, they were crying and yelling "Our mom is dying, our mom is dying..." I asked them what's happening?! Sumayya replied with tears rolling on her cheek "Mom is giving birth and she is dying... please tell your son to get his car and take my mom to any hospital, please!" I told them "My son is not here right now, but i will call him and tell him to come.." The kids went back home and my mom was calling me but unfortunately my cell phone was on the car.
My mother added, "Then, about an hour later, Sumayya came and told me that her mom is ok and she gave birth to a baby girl "We named her Yasmeen" Sumayya said with a smile on her face.
- My mother : I am glad, but who helped your mom Sumayya?
- Sumayya : I did!
- You! No way! you stood with your mother? and who cut the baby's Umbilical cord , cleaned the baby, covered her and did all that?
- Hmmm, In fact, my mom used to tell me what to do, and i would do as she says.. So yeah i did all that... with some help from my sister Asma'a. she said looking at her sister and smiling
- How is your mother now?
- She is ok! but when we came crying that time, she was in a comma from all the pain she was suffering, we freaked out and thought she died, so i thought we should tell your son to take her on the car to any hospital.
- Oh my dear, I called him but he didn't answer, I am so sorry. But where was your father in all this?
- He wasn't home, and he doesn't have a cell phone so we couldn't call him.
(The father is unemployed, not educated and lost hope, so he is lazy and doesn't really care much about working and bringing food for his 7 kids and poor wife, and most propably he is satisfied with the little amounts of food his daughters get from the neighbors).

My mother also told me that the wife is still in her late twenties or early thirtees, and she has as much as 8 kids now! (Masha'Allah) and with this new born baby Yasmeen, the struggle of this family increases and continues.

End of story..

This story raised a lot of questions to my mind, cuz i am sure there are many families who suffer under the rule of this corrupt regime that keeps increasing their wealth without thinking of such poor people,thousands of people are suffering and the regime did nothing to help them.
Who is responsible of their pain? Why did Sumayya and her family had to face all this in an oil producing country, a country that is so rich if it wasn't ruled by thieves?
I wonder, how bad will this terrible incident Sumayya experienced, will mentally effect her, her brothers and her sisters in the present and future?
If this little girl was in another country, will she have to face all this pain and struggle?
What will Saleh say to God when he asks him about this poor woman who couldn't afford the expenses of giving birth in a hospital, what will he say when he is asked about all the pain this woman suffered and is suffering?
This is just one story from thousands of stories poor families in Yemen face every single day, a story of struggle and endless pain during the rule of Saleh and his family who don't care about all these poor people who go through hell and can't even have their basic human rights of health, education, and a decent life.

I'd like to send a message to those who still support Saleh and his corrupt regime, what are you waiting for? what do u expect from a regime that couldn't help Yemenis and kept them suffocating with their sighs of pain for as long as 33 years?!
We will keep fighting for our rights, for the rights of these poor innocent people.. We will end the era of Saleh and his corrupt regime, and we will build our new Yemen.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

From Exile to Exile by Yemeni Poet Abd Allah Al Baraduni

From Exile To Exile

My country is handed over from one tyrant
to the next, a worse tyrant;
from one prison to another,
from one exile to another.
It is colonized by the observed
invader and the hidden one;
handed over by one beast to two
like an emaciated camel.

In the caverns of its death
my country neither dies
nor recovers. It digs
in the muted graves looking
for its pure origins
for its springtime promise
that slept behind its eyes
for the dream that will come
for the phantom that hid.
it moves from one overwhelming
night to a darker night.

My country grieves
in its own boundaries
and in other people's land
and even on its own soil
suffers the alienation
of exile.

Translated by Diana Der Hovanessian with Sharif Elmusa

Saturday, 28 May 2011

On the brink of Taghyir

I set out to write about hunger in Yemen. But what do I know about it? About real hunger in Yemen? Nothing. So instead I'll write about something else. Change.

Young people in Yemen are calling for change. That's why they called the square "Taghyir" (change) not "Tahrir" (freedom). People are relatively free to speak their minds in Yemen. They do it all the time during the qat sessions. Their lack of freedom stems from poverty.

Young people have aspirations and they have the confidence and intelligence to move forward in their lives but they don't have the means. When you speak to a young Yemeni, the first thing that strikes you is how  articulate they are. They are proud of who they are and you'd best not forget it! They don't want charity (though in the short term that may be necessary). They want jobs and an opportunity to contribute to their societies to gain respect in the eyes of their peers and eventually to raise the next generation.

So in a country rich in tradition, history, literature, poetry, architecture, agriculture, mineral resources, music and humour, why are the people so poor? Their lies the rub. It shouldn't be that way and the youth know it.

They have said they won't move from Change square. In other words they won't move until there is change. And change won't happen until the elders step back, make some room, allow others to be heard and LISTEN.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Yemeniya finds her voice

As an Arab whose first language is English I firstly want to say that my relationship to Arabic as a spoken and written language is complicated. My receptive Arabic is fluent but my expressive isn't. I told you it was complicated!