Ramadan in Yemen Filled with Sorrow

Ramadan in Yemen Filled with Sorrow

ACTNews, HODEIDAH – Like in many other parts of the world, Ramadan in Yemen started on Monday (5/6). However, unlike many other Muslims around the world, the Yemenis have to face yet another Ramadan in sorrow, as the ongoing civil war has turned into the worst humanitarian crisis, pushing Yemen on the brink of famine.

The crisis in Yemen has been going on for far too long, but there is still no sign that the crisis is ever going to stop. Now, in the beginning of Ramadan, war and fighting have pushed millions of Yemenis to live in dire condition. Among the people that are greatly affected by the war was Mohammad Abkar and his family.

Abkar and his family have to spend the Holy Month of Ramadan in the refugee camp. In the government-controlled Khokha Camp, located 130 kilometers south of Hodeidah, Abkar and his family have been living for a year after being driven out from their village of Munther in June 2018.

"We have been here for about a year. A whole year, and we're still displaced. We will remain patient, and the rest is in God's hands,” said Abkar.

Abkar remembered how he was driven out of his house bringing only the clothes on his back and the crutches he uses to walk. Abkar and his family are disabled. "I am disabled, and my children are disabled, and that it is why we cannot work," he said.

Because they are unable to work, it’s difficult for this family to make ends meet. With the prices of basic needs soaring, Ramadan has become very dire for refugees like Abkar’s family.

"Back at home, we used to get all sorts of food during Ramadan, such as soup and yogurt, but this year we are displaced," said Abkar.

He thought that he would be able to come home by the time Ramadan arrives, but the ongoing fighting has forced the father of three to live in a refugee camp.

Fighting in Hodeida, whose port serves as a lifeline to the rest of Yemen, has largely stopped since the ceasefire went into effect on December 18, but there have been intermittent clashes. The people can only hope that the warring parties abide by the ceasefire at least during Ramadan.

 Preparing iftar and Ramadan packages for Yemen

It has been the second day of Ramadan, but the Yemenis are still fasting amid difficulties. The war has been something too familiar for the Yemenis. It is not easy for 28 million Yemeni Muslims to prepare suhoor and iftar dishes.

Andi Noor Faradiba of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) said that ACT will reach Yemen again this Ramadan. For Yemen, there will be meal packages for iftar and suhoor as well as foodstuff packages to help to fulfil their needs.

“Insha Allah, we are doing our best for Yemen. Please pray for us. May we be able to continuously deliver the aid from Indonesia,” said Faradiba. []

 Photo sources: New Straits Times, ACT