Thursday, August 18, 2016

The sky is crying over Yemen: the lost cleft children of Arabia during the war on Yemen 2015-2016

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It is now over 500 days since the Saudi led invasion of Yemen left thousands dead and wounded,most of them helpless children and innocent victims. Personally I think this was the most careless decision taken by leaders of a nation to invade another country that did not provoke them with violence.

March 25th 2015:
I had just completed a Smile Train USA cleft camp for several dozen impoverished cleft children from the regions of Hodeidah and beyond.Most of them were so poor, we had to find sponsors for their travel and food during their time  at our free unit in Hadda.
Having completed one camp, I went over to the nearby Travel agency to get us tickets to fly to our next camp in Taiz after a day or two. As I walked towards the agency,the sky suddenly turned dark and it rained heavily. It looked really ominous so I called my friend and told him something was wrong and we would have to cancel this trip.

Midnight 26th March 2am:

 I was awakened by a horrible bomb blast; we rushed out to see the nearby Faj Attan hill burning.The next week that followed was  horrific with several bombings every day and night;many of us slept in makeshift bomb shelters. We were evacuated after a week to Djibouti.
Many of our Yemeni friends fled to nearby countries but some stayed on.

The year and a half was a nightmare with many massacres both by the Saudi coalition and local warlords. Many died of health problems and starvation.

Let us face a few facts:

1. No Yemeni leader,no matter how crooked he is would  get another nation to collectively massacre and punish his own people like Hadi did.

2. What was considered an easy victory has now turned into  a terrible millstone around the neck,especially for Saudi.

3. The French Defence Minister rushed to Riyadh to sell weapons of destruction to the kingdom. The UK made billions of dollars from arms sales to the kingdom.Some of the profits would pay for pensioners in Scotland and elsewhere. The US was actively involved and made over 110 billion dollars in arms sales to Saudi.

No one knows how to stop it now. The west is desperately trying to wiggle out now that media power houses are on the offensive.

Yemenis are being collectively punished. America is a powerful and rich nation. This horrible tragedy could have been avoided.

As for the thousands of cleft and plastic surgery patients on our list, I do not know how many are still alive cos over 15,000 children have been massacred by airstrikes. No one knows the total body count.
It was hard enough without this unjust invasion of Yemen for the cleft and plastic surgery patients under our units. Not only have patients lost all hope of healing but most do not know when the next bomb will massacre them along with many others.

It is almost impossible to make restitution for deliberate acts of cruelty to a poor nation. But God has not forgotten Yemen and her people.

Yemen will rise again to show the world that they are able to rise and live.
May God help and bless Yemen.

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