The writer, Zamena Manekia Manji (Bujumbura, Burundi) is a bookworm with a passion for writing and community service.
As I baselessly scrolled through Instagram, I came across an image of a little boy lying his head on a piece of cardboard. His beautiful golden hair sprawled on the floor as every ounce of his energy drained, looking minutes away from death as his parents helplessly watched him from a short distance, their hearts shattering to pieces, just like millions of parents in Yemen.
Then came the harrowing clip off a documentary by Vice, showing a mother rushing to the make-shift clinics in a small town in Yemen holding her severely malnourished child tight, desperately asking for help and receives a few nutrition powder sachets. A closer look into her child and his hands had blood oozing out of them to which the mother mentioned how her son literally eating his hands out of hunger. The little boy died a few days later in his mother’s arms while she rushed to the same clinic in a desperate attempt to save him for the little aid she received, wasn’t enough to help her baby survive.
In a quest to save their children despite fighting their own poverty , millions of parents in Yemen have done everything they could in their capacity to provide for their little hearts only to watch them dying in their arms, just like the poor father who walked for three hours, barefooted under the scorching sun with his 5 month old starving son as he tried to rush him to the nearest clinic from his village only to realize his son had already died by the time he reached the hospital. As they wrapped the tiny little baby and handed him to the father, he walked back the entire route and into his village to bury his little heart and in the process burying his own.
One such image showed a grown man with bones sticking out of his frail body with the caption mentioning how he was found on the streets of Yemen, eating dirt and shouting ‘I am Hungry’, while another captured little children eating leaves to survive. People who were once affluent businessmen/women, were reduced to selling the very last of their relatives’ gold rings in order to bring food on the table, while the poor are on the brink of starvation. An entire country is vanishing and sometimes it feels like we couldn’t care less.
These are very few examples of the living nightmare in Yemen as it enters its 7th year of war, the kind that bombs schools and hospitals leaving one wondering how little children and the sick are a threat the Saudi Monarchy. A recent study also revealed how children in Yemen are now dying every 75 seconds. The UN stated how it is the Worst place in the World for a child to grow up in for the country is now ravaged by an unfair war, aid blockades, man-made famine and diseases that are claiming lives at an alarming rate. The people of Yemen are now losing hope and if we don’t act now, Yemen will forever disappear from the map.
We have the World on our fingertips, quite literally. Signing petitions, raising awareness, sharing posts and even donating to organizations like A World Without Barriers’ will bring a change. Together, let us bring an end to the world’s worst humanitarian crises so that no father would ever have to carry his little dead baby again.
Sources of Reference:
- Matw Project
- The Muslim Journalists/Zainab Rights
- Press tv
- Al – Jazeera
- Zainab Habib ( A Yemeni)