There are few starker ways to internalize the true cost of war than examining it through the eyes of a child. UNICEF was keenly aware of this when they decided to place a camera in the hands of Yemeni boy Abdullah. Abdullah, 12, took pictures of his hometown, Aden, which has been devastated by airstrikes. His captions show just how personal and tragic this conflict is.
An MSF hospital in Yemen was bombed by Saudi forces today, three weeks after an MSF hospital was targeted by US strikes in Afghanistan, killing 22. Targeting hospitals in impoverished war zones with deliberate attempt to murder innocent civilians
undoubtedly classifies as a war crime.
Since March, an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been conducting air strikes in Yemen in an effort to curb the expansion of the country’s Houthi rebels, who have been fighting government forces for control of the country. Thousands of people have died in the conflict, which has sparked a massive humanitarian crisis. More than 1.5 million people have been displaced, and many more are struggling to access the basic necessities, including food, water and fuel.
Saudi Arabia has the 3rd largest defense budget in the world, yet instead of fighting ISIS they have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Kuwait, a country whose ruling family was restored to power by U.S. troops after the first Gulf War, has been a well-known source of financing for ISIS and other violent extremists. It has been reported that Qatar will spend $200 billion on the 2022 World Cup, including the construction of an enormous number of facilities to host that event – $200 billion on hosting a soccer event, yet very little to fight against ISIS. Worse still, it has been widely reported that the government has not been vigilant in stemming the flow of terrorist financing, and that Qatari individuals and organizations funnel money to some of the most extreme terrorist groups, including al Nusra and ISIS.
Fellow Muslims, I know how many of you are feeling right now. We condemn, and condemn, and condemn. But it doesn’t seem to solve anything. It doesn’t stop these delusional lunatics from perpetrating horrific acts of violence against innocents in the name of Islam. And it doesn’t stop the hate and violence against Muslims that their actions lead to. More hate and more violence, on both ends. I know you may be feeling helpless, cornered, and frustrated. So, people of Faith, I want to remind you, that in times like these, times of desperation and extreme trials, times when you call out, “When will the help of Allah come!” [2:214], never lose hope in your Creator, for “certainly, the help of Allah is near.” [2:214]. The more severe the trial gets, the closer the help of Allah is. And there is always relief and reward for those who persevere in patience, if not in this life then certainly in the next. We were created to be tested, and this is another test. As the previous generations were tested, so are we. We ask Allah to bring an end to the hate and violence. We ask Allah to bring relief to all those who are suffering, Muslim and non-Muslim. And, we ask Allah to grant us patience. Ameen.
Just one day after bombing a center for the blind and Yemen’s chamber of commerce, the Saudi-led coalition dropped widely banned U.S.-made cluster bombs on civilian neighborhoods in the capital Sanaa.
Rights groups forcefully condemned the attack, which they dubbed a war crime in which the U.S. is complicit.
Human Rights Watch said the “inherently indiscriminate nature of cluster munitions makes such attacks serious violations of the laws of war. The deliberate or reckless use of cluster munitions in populated areas amounts to a war crime.”
Despite the deepening crisis, Unicef is on the ground in Yemen working round the clock to protect children, with over 1.7 million children currently at risk of becoming malnourished. Due to food shortages across the country, nutrition supplies are rapidly depleting and need to be replenished in most health facilities.
Warwick UNICEF on campus is holding a Fast 24 challenge, where participants will fast from 7pm on the 20th of November to 7pm the next day. This is part of a programme to raise awareness of the Yemeni Crisis and Civil War, and to raise money for those affected by this conflict.
All of our proceeds will go directly to UNICEF UK, who arein Yemenproviding long-term aid and ensuring that displaced children do not miss out on an education.Through Unicef-supported schools and child-friendly spaces, children can continue lessons and learn how to keep safe from unexploded weapons and landmines.