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Tag: Yemen

Famine and War in Yemen

By Helen Lackner. The Geneva ‘consultations’ on 6 September between the two Yemeni warring parties failed to happen. According to the media, it was because the Huthis failed to show. In reality their demand was not unreasonable: guarantees of safe travel to and from Geneva in a neutral (Omani) plane and without ‘inspection’ from their opponent, the Saudi-led coalition. Observers and Yemenis are flooded with statements about the good internationally recognised Hadi government seeking peace and the evil ‘Iranian-backed’ Huthis wanting to continue fighting. However events point elsewhere, suggesting that the coalition’s asserted commitment to a political solution is little more than a smokescreen for continuing a war whose main impact is the immeasurable suffering of millions of Yemenis. These include the renewed military offensive against Hodeida, which is the gateway for the majority of food desperately needed by the population. A secondary, and less advertised factor, is the continued enrichment of war lords on all sides, arms dealers and corrupt government officials, whose profits would drop should there be peace.

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Hodeidah is being attacked, but the Western media are silent

By Marina de Regt.

“Hodeidah is empty, Marina, there is no one there anymore”, says Noura to me this morning, in a short telephone conversation that is repeatedly interrupted because of the bad connection. Noura moved to Sana’a a week ago, fleeing the horrendous violence that has exploded in the city of Hodeidah since Thursday 14 June, the day before the start of Eid Al-Fitr. On that day the Saudi Led Coalition, mainly consisting of mercenaries and ground troops of the United Arab Emirates army, soldiers of the Yemeni National Army and Hiraak al-Tihama started the long planned attack on Hodeidah, Yemen’s main port on the Red Sea. In the past six months the United Nations and many humanitarian organizations have asked the Saudi-Led Coalition not to attack Hodeidah because 90 per cent of Yemen’s import, including most humanitarian aid goes through its port, but their calls have been to no avail. An attack on Hodeidah does not only lead to hundreds of thousands of displaced people who will flee the city, but also to a dramatic increase of famine and death in the country as a whole. Why is the international community unable or unwilling to prevent this from happening? And why do we hear so little about this humanitarian disaster in the Western media?

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Engaged Anthropology in and about Yemen

By Marina de Regt. The aim of my Talma Lecture, which I gave on 12 January at VU University Amsterdam, was to discuss the implications of the war in Yemen on my work as an anthropologist and, in a broader sense, talk about the role of engaged scholarship in times of war and conflict.    

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Yemen’s broken youth

Break the Silence #SupportYemen March 2011
#SupportYemen March 2011

By Marina de Regt     “Aunt, if you know any way to migrate to Europe plz just tell me, I wanna run away from this world”. Said, the son of one of my Yemeni friends, sent me this Facebook message some time ago. I was shocked and first did not know what to answer him. While I got used to phonecalls from my friend Noura, who I support financially (see blog), the desperate situation in Yemen had never reached me through chat messages on Facebook.

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Al-Ameriya bedreigd? Oorlog en de vernietiging van cultureel erfgoed in Jemen.

architettura-1Door Marina de Regt            Zon-dagochtend werd de film Qudad: Reinventing a Tradition vertoond op het Ambacht in Beeld festival in Amsterdam. De film gaat over de restauratie van de Al-Ameriya Madrassa (een islamitische school met een kleine moskee) in Rada’, een klein stadje in het zuidoosten van Jemen. Qudad is een eeuwenoude vorm van bepleistering die veel voorkomt in Jemen; het duurt een jaar om qudad te maken en het spul kan eeuwenlang blijven zitten. De Al-Ameriya Madrassa in Rada’ was totaal vervallen toen de Irakese archeologe Selma Al-Radi hem eind jaren zeventig voor het eerst bezocht. In samenwerking met het Jemenitische Departement voor Archeologie besloot zij geld te zoeken om de school en moskee te restaureren. Het gebouw is o.a. met behulp van Nederlands ontwikkelingsgeld opgeknapt, een proces dat achttien jaar heeft geduurd. In de film zien we hoe qudad gemaakt wordt, en praten de Jemenitische ambachtslieden over hun werk.