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August 11, 2015

Yemen Blog: Before Sunset

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

I was at home with all of my family that day on May 11th. We were all talking and laughing and everything seemed normal outside until suddenly, just before sunset, a huge explosion occurred which shook the house and left us all in shock. I quickly ran to the window to see what had happened and found the sky outside had turned red.  The air was full of dust leaving people unable to see in front of them. The pressure of the explosion had thrown people all over the place and everybody was scared and disorientated. Nobody knew what had happened until it emerged that the Saudi military had targeted a weapons depot on Noqom mountain in the middle of Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a. The air strike had caused missiles to rain down out of the mountain and onto the city, smashing into houses, schools and hospitals. Luckily the missiles didn’t explode because their batteries had been removed; had this not been the case it would have been disastrous for our city.

Despite this hundreds of people were still killed and injured. Windows were shattered, houses were destroyed and hundreds of stories began circulating of the injuries and deaths caused by the air strike. In our neighbourhood an entire family was injured when a missile crashed through a wall into their house, resulting in one boy losing his leg. Another tragedy occurred when a missile struck the house of a woman who had recently given birth. Many friends had gathered to visit the woman and celebrate the birth of her baby. All were killed by the explosion turning the celebration of life into a funeral. Such devastations lead me to question whether the Saudi intervention is really helping Yemeni’s, as they claim, because such interventions are destroying our infrastructure and claiming civilian lives.

*Image taken from Youtube*

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]spark-online.org.