FISHERMAN 
Suleiman (45 years old) is a fisherman from Al-Hodeidah and now he is an internally displaced person in Ras Emran (Aden). His only income was fishing. Because of the war, he could not continue fishing in Al – Hodeidah after some of his friends were killed by airstrikes, and others were killed in the fish market which was hit by airstrikes several times. 

He is afraid to face his friends fate since they were killed without having committed any sins- they were only fishermen. Because of the war, he faced many difficulties in Al-Hodeidah, the high cost of living, no money to buy fishing tools and the fuel for the boat to go out to the sea.  Even before the war, his life was difficult and strenuous as he was staying   out at sea for many days, but at least it was a safe life.  Since the war started - he no longer feels safe.

When the clashes moved closer to the area where he lived, he heard people say that they should store basic food items because they would not be able to get out of their homes. Suleiman has a big family; one wife, 7 children and 2 grandchildren. He stored a few basic food items, which was enough for a few days. After a few days, the food was close to running out so he had to go out and buy some food and store it. He did this three times despite clashes coming to his area.  

One day, Suleiman made a tough decision – it was about surviving. He fled with his family, and they left with only the clothes that they were wearing. He sold his wife's jewellery and his animals to pay for transportation and travel expenses. He fled to Ras Emran (Aden) where he could continue work as a fisherman. It took three days to get here.

 As an internally displaced person he feels like a stranger in the area that he fled to. He cannot act or live as freely as he used to do in Al-Hodeidah before the war. He doesn't know the condition of his house in Al-Hodaidah. Maybe it was hit by an airstrike or is occupied by someone else.  But the most important thing for him is that he and his family are safe. 

Currently, Suleiman works together with other fishermen to provide a living for his family.  But it is not easy to find enough work. He has a wife, 7 children and 1 grandchild. He works for a daily fee between 3000 to 5000 Yemeni Riyals, and he needs many things   for his family to live as he and his family left everything behind when they fled.

Suleiman hopes that the war will end so he can return to his home. So that he can go back to his work. And his children can live in peace and safety like other children in the world and go back to school to finish their education. His message to the international community is to help and stand by Yemeni people in their ordeal and to do their best to stop this war in a peaceful manner and to make Yemen safe and secure for people.

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Yemen

Losing everything to five years of war

Five years of war in Yemen has left 80 per cent of the population – 24 million people – dependent on some form of humanitarian aid, including 14.3 million in acute need.

For many Yemenis, life was already hard before the war, but the last five years have spelled disaster for millions. Many have lost their source of income, leaving them struggling to put food on the table. Prices keep going up while many civil servants in northern parts of the country haven’t received their salaries for four years.

As many as 3.65 million Yemenis have fled their homes because of the fighting, forcing them into further poverty and despair. And on top of this Yemen has experienced one of the world’s worst cholera outbreaks, compounded by a collapsing health system.

The following stories shed light on how ordinary Yemenis have lost everything, from relatives to their homes and sources of income, over the last five years.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Tamerah lost two of his daughters, his mother, his brother and two sisters in an air strike on his house in Amran on 7 September 2016.

We were living in this house with neighbours... Abdullah Al Tamerah family... Abdullah al Zubairy and Abdul Wahab El Emad
The incident happened at 11:30pm Many of them were martyred and a few of them survived.
From my family, six members were killed ... martyred ... My mother, brother, two daughters and my two sisters. 
My neighbour, his entire family were killed, , both he and his wife, and his son. The other neighbours survived.
My father was the only one who survived from my family... Me, my wife and my daughter were in Sana’a... we traveled two days before the attack.
My mum was about 45 years old – 48 years old ... my sister 12 years old ... my daughter 4 years , and the other 3 years old, my brother 7 years old and the other girl 8 years old.
I did not expect this. This is horrible, but the aggression is ruthless... it kills... as you can see that most  of those who were killed are children and women.
We don’t know the reason ... it’s an aggression... we were attacked with three air strikes at 11pm.
The first time I got the call I was shocked! It’s a total tragedy that I couldn’t cope with. I fell unconscious and so did my wife.
My father was thrown out of the house by the blast and he was seriously injured. 
He was burnt all over his body, even his clothes were burnt on him. 
They took him to hospital; the dead bodies were recovered. The last body was recovered at noon the next day. They were searching for it under the rubble, the house collapsed on them. The others were taken to Amran hospital. 
They died immediately. Some bodies were recovered at night and some bodies by noon the next day.
(When I left for Sana’a) we cried… I was out the door and my daughter shouted from the window, “Dad are you going to leave us? Are you going to leave us?” I told her I was only going to take our little daughter to hospital and I’d be back. She kept calling me to come back. I did not come back on the same day.
I am 28 years old. I have a bachelor’s degree, I worked for the Social Development Fund in the empowerment programme and I also worked on the cholera campaign. But now I don’t have a job ... I am jobless. 
I applied for programss and with organisations but I haven’t been given a chance yet. 
I have faith things will go the way they’re meant to go.
I want to send a message so they stop hurting us and we can start our life over again. 
I cannot express my feelings ... two, three or ten hours will not be enough … the situation is unimaginable … You go to sleep having a family, and you wake up without a family.
You wake up and see your house in rubbles all  around you ... you see your family and your kids reduced to pieces of flesh.
Thank God we got through the worst of it… it was hard.
The only way out is a political solution in Yemen. 
My message to the world is to intervene urgently to end this war on Yemen , we need a political solution and reconciliation between the Yemeni people
and provide aid to Yemeni people, provide aid to them. 
I used to receive a salary of 60,000 or 70,000 Yemeni Riyals, we were able to buy food for a whole month.
Now it’s different. We can only afford the essentials, like house rent and such things.
We got some help from an aid organisation to pay for our rent.
And we got a food basket from the authorities, and as you can see we have only the essential things inside the house
Once the attack targeted the house we took the bodies to the hospital and we left Amran for a couple of months.
We then thought of returning to reunite with the rest of our family and start over again. 
We rented a house in Bait al Faqeeh … as you can see we could not recover anything from our destroyed house.
Everything we have came from the Red Crescent and some aid organisations, like mattresses and kitchenware.
We started our life all over again, step by step.
The situation in Yemen is getting worse, as you can see. Destruction, devastation and killing every day. 
If the aid stopped, Yemen will end up with a famine. So my message to the world is to find a political solution.

Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC
Photo taken on 30 January 2019
Read caption Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC

Mohammed Abdullah Al Tamerah lost two of his daughters, his mother, his brother and two sisters in an air strike on his house in Amran.

“I did not expect this. This is horrible, but the aggression is ruthless... it kills... as you can see that most of those who were killed are children and women.”

Haifa Ameen is 10 years old. She has had to flee with her family multiple times because of the fighting.  She is currently living in  a camp in Abs district.
"I used to go to school. But now I don’t go anymore. We can’t afford it. It was nice going to school. I felt smart. I was learning to read, but what can I do when my hands are empty? I wanted to be a teacher".
"I want to ask them to stop the war. What’s happening to us is so unfair, unfair for the children and for everybody. We would love to be just like other children outside Yemen, living in safety.”


 Photo : Karl Schembri/NR
Read caption Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC

Haifa Ameen is 10 years old. She has been forced to flee with her family multiple times because of the fighting. She is currently living in a camp in Abs district.

"I used to go to school. But now I don’t go anymore. We can’t afford it. It was nice going to school. I felt smart. I was learning to read, but what can I do when my hands are empty? I wanted to be a teacher."

"I want to ask them to stop the war. What’s happening to us is so unfair, unfair for the children and for everybody. We would love to be just like other children outside Yemen, living in safety.”

Dr Hamoud Hodeish, Paediatric Oncologist at the National Oncology Centre in Sana'a.
"It’s a hard time that we have been through since 2014. The centre is facing a lot of problems which include lack of medical drugs, capacities and types of treatment. We cannot treat patients who need chemotherapy because of the current situation. It is very hard to import drugs. Radiotherapy machines have already collapsed. 
"Our main problem now is the borders and the airport, and finding the easiest way to import. The current situation in the country and the closure of the airports has created a big problem for importing drugs and medical equipment. 
"For patients who are critically ill, it is impossible to travel big distances. They might die on the way. 
"Most people say that cancer is untreatable and the say that no one can live with cancer. This is not true! If you provide the patient with proper treatment, you will be able to save his life. So we try to do our best using what we have. This is not enough, but we try. Many cancer patients don’t come to our centre because of poverty, difficulties on the roads and lack of health centres. 
"We receive approximately 400 new cases of children with cancer every year. Children should not suffer from any disease, including the psychological effects on them because of the war."
Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC
Read caption Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC

Dr Hamoud Hodeish is a paediatric oncologist at the cancer hospital in Sana'a. He describes the impact of the closure of Sana’a airport on children with cancer and the health system:

"The hospital is facing a lot of problems which include a lack of medical drugs, capacities and types of treatment. We cannot treat patients who need chemotherapy because of the current situation. It is very hard to import drugs. Radiotherapy machines have already collapsed. Our main problem now is the borders and the airport, and finding the easiest way to import."

Salah is a young internally displaced boy (13 years old). He fled from Taiz city because of the war, and he now lives in Al-Mishqafa IDP camp in Lahj. One day while he was out grazing his sheep along with two female relatives, one of the girls  found a shell and brought it back with her. While they were playing Salah knocked on the shell.  He didn`t know that it would explode. It exploded on him and the two girls. He suffered injuries to his stomach, and one of his hands and one of his foot had to be amputated. 
Salah misses his home, playing with his old friends, playing football and riding his bicycle. 

Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC
Read caption Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC

Salah, 13, fled from Taiz city because of the war, and now lives in Al-Mishqafa camp for internally displaced people in Lahj. One day, while he was out grazing his sheep along with two female relatives, one of the girls found a shell and brought it back with her. While they were playing Salah knocked on the shell. He didn't know that it would explode. It exploded on him and the two girls. He suffered injuries to his stomach, and one of his hands and a foot had to be amputated.

Salah misses his home, playing with his old friends, playing football and riding his bicycle.

Rahma Ahmed 32 years old a teacher at Yemen Al-Mustaqbal school in Sana’a – Bani Al-Harith district.

Rahma teaches Arabic lecture, she started her career in teaching since 2012 as a teacher. Her life was stable with her husband and her child Mohamed, 10 yrs. Before the conflict started, Rahma and her husband were able to afford the daily needs as the income could cover the house rent and food. 

Since the conflict started, education sector in Yemen collapsed, Teachers who have not received regular salaries for two years, can no longer meet their most basic needs and have been forced to seek other ways of income to provide for their families. Rahma one of the teachers who haven’t received a salary and she could stay seeing her son starving after her husband also left them because he could not afford anything for them. Rahma has skills on drawing, an alternative way to get income she draws scholastic arts and sells them for schools in a nominal amount 400-500 Yemeni Rial which’s (1$) per piece. 

“Before the war, we were receiving salaries, somehow it’s little but at least we can afford everything as prices were affordable. But now no salary and if we get the same amount of salary it will not cover 50kg of wheat… it's nothing.”

“Sometimes, I borrow money to get my son a sandwich for breakfast and some stationary for my son, I want to keep him motivated after his father left us. I don’t want to destroy his future.”

“I use my skills on drawing to draw scholastic arts for the schools, I get around 1$ per piece, it not much, but I love doing it” 

Despite all the challenging she faced, Rahma continues going to school and teaching the students. Her motivation is to educate the next generation who’d build her country and she believes that it not fair to let those children without education. 

“The motivation to come to school is to educate and build the next generation, and it’s not fair to let Yemeni children without education no because of the salary, the salary is nothing. I want also to keep my son motivated to not leave the school.”


Rahma sees the students suffer the most, the student behaviors changed because of the war and the students become more violent and aggressive, in addition to that some of her students cannot afford the transportation or breakfast, they sometimes come to school hungry which make them unable to comprehend the classes and some cases fall down during the day because of hunger.

“I remember one of my students has fallen down because she did not eat breakfast and she cannot afford”

“I can see also some student cannot be active in the class because they eat only one meal per day according to my discussion with some students.” 

“Students also traumatized because of the war and they can no find a safe place to study.” 

Rahma’s son Mohammed 10, years old, 5th grade, He is the only child for her. Raham takes Mohammed every day with her to the school to save more money even if she has no classes to teach, they go together to the school to by walking. The school is one kilometer far away from the school it exhausting for her son.

“I take my son every day with me to the school, in order to save some money, we share the breakfast together even if I don’t have classes I stay until he finishes.”


School situation
The school is a poor condition, small and it hosts more than 1500 students. The school building is basically a rental house and it has no school facilitations or yard for students. In addition to small classrooms with almost no desks. Some students take their classes on the roof of the school building due to a shortage of space. 

“The building is a poor condition; the classes are small and student set on the ground. The affect negatively on students. Some of them the study on the roof under the sun.”

“The fear also from the diseases, the crowded place could be a place for spreading the disease.”


Rahma’s dream is to become an artist, she wants to sell her artworks to help vulnerable people in Yemen and help them to get medical treatment. Also, she wants the war to end 

“I want to become an artist so that I can sell my arts and give the money to people in need especially who need medical treatment that causes by this war.”
“I wish the peace returns back to my country. I don’t want to see children’s future unknown.” 



NRC is responding to Yemen Al-Mustaqbal School with European Union Humanitarian Aid fund by building new classrooms and desks, in addition, to conduct training for the teachers and creating temporary Learning Spaces (TLS). The students will be able to move the new building in the coming school year. 

“Thanks for the donor, we are really excited to move the new place, I am sure that the new build will be a motivation for the children and change to their behaviors.” 
“Students will have a place to learn and play, the new building has a lot of facilities that would help students to have a quality education.”

Photo Credit: Mohammed Awadh/NRC
Read caption Photo: Mohammed Awadh/NRC

Rahma Ahmed is a 32-year old teacher at Yemen Al-Mustaqbal school in Sana’a’s Bani Al-Harith district. Her world was turned upside down when her pay was suddenly stopped three years ago. Before the conflict in Yemen began in 2015, she had a good life in the western city of Sana’a with her husband and son. Now she teaches for free and scrapes a living selling posters.

"Before the war we used to get a regular salary. It was quite low, but so were the prices. Now I sometimes borrow money to get my son a sandwich for breakfast or to buy school stationery. My motivation for coming to school is to educate and build the next generation."

Misha’al Salah,4, hears about his village but he doesn’t remember anything as his family fled the area when he was one years old.

"People here say we have a house in our village. but I don’t remember it. I hope to live inside the house one day," he says.

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Misha’al Salah, 4, is a displaced child living in a tent in Taiz. He hears about his village but he doesn’t remember anything as his family fled when he was only one year old.

"People here say we have a house in our village. But I don’t remember it. I hope to live in our house one day."

Ghaleb Mohammed Al-Faqeeh, in his late 50s, is a father of 10. Alongside his work as a farmer, Ghaleb used to own a car and a motorcycle which he used to transport goods from the city to residents in his village.  But he lost everything when the war reached his village. 
“My wife and son tried to go back to the village to collect some of our belongings. But as they were entering the village they stepped on a landmine which exploded and killed them both. I didn’t only lose my house and car but all my hopes were dashed after the death of my wife and son.” 

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Ghaleb Mohammed Al-Faqeeh, in his late 50s, is a father of 10. Besides his work as a farmer, Ghaleb used to own a car and a motorcycle which he used to transport goods from the city to residents in his village. But he lost everything when the war reached his village.

"My wife tried to go back to the village with our son to bring some belongings, but as they were entering the village they stepped on a landmine which exploded and killed them both. All my hopes were dashed after the death of my wife and son."

Thawreyah, 28, hasn't cooked with gas since she fled her house in 2017. 
"Like all  the other women in this camp, I collect firewood from the mountains so I can cook. Otherwise we stay hungry. We have been struggling in this camp. Our children share our suffering. They go to school in the morning and in the afternoon they go to fetch firewood and water."

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Thawreyah, 28, hasn't cooked with gas since she fled her house in 2017.

"Like all other women in this camp, I collect firewood from the mountains to cook, otherwise we stay hungry. We have been struggling in this camp and our children share this suffering with us. They go to school in the morning and then afterwards they go and collect firewood and water."

Geyad Ahmed, 6, is a student in first grade at primary school. He attends school in the mornings. Straight after school he goes to the mountain to collect firewood. 
"I collect firewood every day to help my mother so she can cook for us.”

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Geyad Ahmed, 6, is a student in first grade at primary school. He attends school in the mornings. Straight after school he goes to the mountain to collect firewood.

"I collect firewood every day to help my mother so she can cook for us."

Mohammed Al-Hawsali is in his 40s. He used to work as a land broker in Hodeida city.  Before the conflict escalated he owned three houses. 
“The shooting came from all directions and warplanes were hovering above us. The airstrikes hit a house next to my three houses. Two of my properties were completely destroyed and can no longer be rented, and one was badly damaged. Those houses are all that I had. They were my life’s work.” 

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Mohammed Al-Hawsali is in his 40s. He used to work as a land broker in Hodeida city. Before the conflict escalated he owned three houses.

"The shooting came from all directions and warplanes were hovering above us. The airstrikes targeted a house next to my three houses. Two of my properties were completely destroyed and can no longer be rented, and one was badly damaged. Those houses are all that I had. They were my life’s work."

Aboos Faisal, 13, depends on collecting plastic bottles and selling them to recycling factories to eke out a decent living for her family.

Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC
Read caption Photo: Nasser Abdulkareem/NRC

Aboos Faisal, 13, was displaced from Hodeidah to Amran. She depends on collecting plastic bottles and selling them to recycling factories to bring in an income for her family.

"It is my dream to read and write but my father can't provide us with enough food. I have to work every day to help my family. Food is a priority for us. All my siblings work like me. There is no way to study."