October 12, 2015

Yemen Blog: Beauty in the Hard Times

Written by Afrah Al Sana’ani- Programme Assistant & Communication Administration

Despite the hard times in Yemen, and the ugly acts being committed here, Yemen remains beautiful. Its beauty comes from the Yemeni people, their culture, Yemen’s landscape and weather. Yemen breathes beauty; you can see it in the hope in the eyes of the Yemeni people. For seven months Yemen has lived under this aggressive coalition. We fall asleep and wake up to the voices of their missiles. Some days are horrible, but it differs from one day to another; sometimes we feel the missiles falling like rain but other days life feels almost normal.

Despite the current difficulties of living in Yemen, Yemenis continue to show determination to face these hard times, showing strength and unity.  On September 28th, a wedding Hall in Taiz (Maka’a) was targeted by the coalition and over 130 guests were killed, all of them civilians, all of them women and children trying to live their lives normally and without fear. Nobody knows the reason of targeting the wedding hall.  The beauty I found is that people didn’t show fear of their missiles and continued to celebrate life throughout Yemen.

The coalition forces concluded September by bombing a busy roundabout in Sana’a known as Al Musbahi. This roundabout links four important roads in the capital and is used by thousands of civilians every day. On September 30th two missiles targeted this road, besides which sits a petrol station. Yet the very next day people were using the road and station normally.

October arrived and with it more acts of aggression, with the coalition forces targeting the Asfrh Bani Matar Bridge so as to cut the road between Sana’a and Hudeidah, another busy section of road which thousands of vehicles pass along daily. The Yemeni people came together, working as one  to find a solution, fixing the road by hand so it can be used normally again. This behavior is a typical representation of the Yemeni mentality; when times are hard we become one, working together to help each other for the greater good, forgetting former divisions and differences.

Even in this difficult time, SPARK staff and their partners continue to support ambitious Yemeni youths by training them in start-up techniques and connecting entrepreneurs to banks to begin their business. We have faced many problems implementing these programmes with continuous electricity cuts, fuel shortages and security problems. Just like the Yemeni people we find alternative solutions, using solar energy to generate electricity and bicycles instead of vehicles.

Through their resilience Yemenis have they will not stop working, living, or celebrating life. Despite the prevalence of divisions and hardships, the Yemeni people are capable of beauty, joy, and perseverance in the face of adversity.

* Image taken from *

Check out the ‘Everyday Yemen’ campaign featuring striking photographs of everyday life in Yemen, capturing the heart and beauty of Yemeni people despite the turmoil within the country. You can find Everyday Yemen on InsagramFacebook and Twitter.

YEMEN BLOG is SPARK’s blog of stories, updates and opinions by SPARK staff, of their personal experiences of the Yemen conflict on the ground after Saudi led military intervention- Operation Decisive Storm- launched and first struck the capital, Sana’a.  If you would like to share your own experiences of the conflict, we welcome external contributions; to contribute please contact media[at]