country in West Asia

Yemen, officially the Republic of Yemen, is a Middle Eastern country located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. The current president of Yemen is Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Now is the time for women to stand up and become active without needing to ask for permission or acceptance. This is the only way we will give back to our society and allow for Yemen to reach the great potentials it has. ~ Tawakkol Karman


The conditions in Yemen are very difficult. ~ Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah
  • In neighboring Yemen, the Houthi rebel group had seized the capital Sana’a in September 2014 and brought down the internationally recognized government. The Saudis accused the Iranians and Hezbollah of supporting and arming the Houthi rebel group whose fighters belonged to a Shia subsect known as Zaidi. When Sana’a fell, Prince Salman was defense minister and his son Mohammad was his aide. The young prince was incensed by what he perceived as the weakness of King Abdallah in dealing with the Houthis and Iran. Some Iranian politicians declared smugly that Iran now controlled four Arab capitals: San’aa, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut. Worse, Iran’s sphere of influence had extended to Saudi Arabia’s southern border. Soon, the Houthi rebels would start lobbing rockets into the kingdom. On January 23, 2015, King Abdallah died and Salman became king. He appointed his son as defense minister. The duo and the coterie around them wanted to push back against Iran and step into the vacuum that America was creating. The Saudis wanted to beat their chests, restore Sunni pride, and bolster their leadership of the Muslim world. And so, for the first time in its recent history, on March 25, 2015, the kingdom went to war.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • The Saudi military operation, launched with barely a warning to the Obama administration, was called Decisive Storm. Within hours, bombastic Saudi analysts went on television claiming the campaign would be so successful it would be studied in history books. Airplanes from Saudi allies joined in, at least initially. The Sunni world watched the Saudi air strikes against the Houthi rebels and felt their pride restored. And Prince Mohammad bin Salman, two months into his job as defense minister, was certain this would make him king of the Middle East chessboard, a mastermind who could rival Suleimani. The days of King Abdallah’s consensus politics were over, his penchant for compromise not part of Bin Salman’s repertoire. The military campaign would be anything but decisive. The Saudis had never fought a war in such a way; they had never deployed troops. They couldn’t do precision strikes with their fancy fighter jets. They were now facing a guerrilla force in rugged, hilly terrain. The conflict would drag on for years; tens of thousands of civilians would die by 2019, in air raids by the Saudi-led coalition and ground fighting, but the worst impact would be the starvation and diseases. Ten million people were on the brink of famine because of the blockade the Saudis and the United Nations had imposed, and the country was battling a dangerous outbreak of cholera. Almost ninety thousand children died. It was the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, almost on par with Syria.
    • Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)
  • The formula that food is the way to derive peace actually should be more properly understood in reverse. The answer to my question of why we have so many hungry people on the planet when there is no need for that is that it is a deliberate decision that some human beings make in order to appropriate the resources of others, or, as in the case of one of the hot spots on the planet right now for hunger, which is Yemen, it was a deliberate strategy to disrupt the food system specifically to weaken the country in the pursuit of the war between proxies, Saudi Arabia and Iran. And so, it’s important to remember that hunger does not always happen because of natural disasters, which is a mental model that most of us fall back upon; it is often the result of things that we actually do to each other deliberately.
  • I know that just as WFP receives this coveted award, in a nameless village in Yemen, a skeletal child will be hovering close to death, hooked to a feeding tube.
    You have, no doubt, seen these children in fleeting images on your television screens. Well, let me tell you those images don’t come close to the reality. I have met these frail Yemeni children, most often in hot and dusty clinics filled with flies. The mothers usually give up on shooing the flies away and sit quietly by their sides. When you enter the room they pray you are the western miracle that has come to save their child. You know you’re not and you could not be more uncomfortable.
  • Hunger in Yemen is complex – fighting still rages and donor confidence is ebbing, while food prices are up 140%... Millions are food insecure and famine-like conditions have begun to appear. It is, simply put, a country in chaos. But we have brought Yemen back from the brink before... Coping with the bitter politics in Yemen will surely test us. But if we are determined, we can succeed again. We cannot let hunger simply fade into the background in the age of Covid-19. My dream for today is that all the feeding tubes in Yemen will suddenly vanish and those tiny children will go home smiling in the arms of the mothers. What is happening in Yemen now is a shame. We all share that shame and we need to end it together.
  • The latest fighting in Yemen has exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis — where the United Nations warns about 80% of Yemen’s 30 million residents are in need of assistance. World Food Programme director David Beasley said Friday that Yemen tops the list of nations at risk of famine due to war, disease and the climate crisis... Beasley predicts a record 235 million people around the world will need humanitarian aid next year — a 40% increase from 2020. The World Food Programme will receive the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, International Human Rights Day.
    • World Food Programme Chief Warns of “Catastrophic” Humanitarian Crisis in 2021, Democracy Now! (7 December 2020)
  • What it actually reveals is a far darker, more shameful truth. The truth of a Saudi-led coalition armed by Britain and the United States, which from the very start of the conflict in 2015 has sought to use starvation as a weapon of war. Most obviously, their on-off blockades of any ports and airports controlled by the Houthi rebels have drastically cut supplies of food to a Yemini population that relies on imports to eat. But far more insidiously, and in the absence of imports, the Saudi air force has systematically and deliberately destroyed the domestic means of producing and distributing food inside Yemen. Their bombs have constantly targeted agricultural land, dairy farms, food processing factories, and the markets where food is sold.
  • On NPR... there is barely a mention of the refugee crisis emanating from Yemen. And, this is a big omission, for as the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) has recently reported, Yemen had more people displaced last year due to conflict than any other country on earth. Thus, 2.2 million people were displaced by the armed conflict in Yemen in 2015, a figure which accounts for over 25% of the 8.6 million people displaced around the globe due to conflict last year. In addition to Yemen’s refugee crisis, the IDMC also notes that over 14 million Yemenis are on the verge of starvation as a result of the current conflict.
  • ...The only discussion I have found that NPR gave to Yemen in the context of the world refugee crisis was one, solitary piece back on May 11, and that piece was very telling in what it refused to say about the causes for Yemen’s mass displacement problem... The result of this disproportionate news coverage is that the listener could very well miss out entirely on any discussion of such issues as U.S.-backed crimes in Yemen. And, even if one does hear a segment or two on this matter, this issue will be easily forgotten and certainly not taken as seriously or treated as urgently as the misdeeds of the U.S.’s ostensible enemies, such as Syria’s Assad government, to which NPR gives nearly obsessive attention.
  • In this way, we in the U.S., who may otherwise be moved to care about the fate of millions in Yemen whose lives are being upended with our own government’s complicity, are lulled into complacency, with our comfortable feeling about our nation’s inherent goodness fully intact. The result is that those in power in our ostensibly democratic government are given a free hand to aid and abet such atrocities as the near-total destruction of Yemen without the fear of any reprisal or approbation.
  • Piety prevails today. Yemen seems in the grip of an almost feverish bout of mosque building.
    One Sanaa columnist reckons 50,000 mosques have risen across the nation, compared with 12,000 new schools.
    • Brian Barron, in "Yemen's tenuous grip on stability" BBC News (24 November 2007)
  • Women should stop being or feeling that they are part of the problem and become part of the solution. We have been marginalized for a long time, and now is the time for women to stand up and become active without needing to ask for permission or acceptance. This is the only way we will give back to our society and allow for Yemen to reach the great potentials it has.
    • Tawakkol Karman, as quoted in "Renowned activist and press freedom advocate Tawakul Karman to the Yemen Times: 'A day will come when all human rights violators pay for what they did to Yemen.'", in Yemen Times (3 November 2011)
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