Yemen: The suffering and hunger follows us every day
Khayriyyah and her children ran into the hills to escape from the fighting in her hometown in Yemen. Here is her story.
“My name is Khayriyyah Bakhet Mousa.
“We were sitting in our homes, nice and safe, one night, when we heard a noise: the sound of terror. We didn’t know what it was, was it thunder or lightning. Then we felt a crash that made the chairs tumble.
We heard wailing and shouting till sunrise. What terror. I hope you never see what we saw.
“Women were shouting from their houses, and children were running, the women started running. My husband was in Saudi Arabia, I was home alone with the children.
I didn’t know what to take, and not take, and how do I run?
“I went out with my children, and I found refugees like me – we were all running, running away uphill, then running downhill. Some people told us to go uphill. They said ‘Down there, it’s war.’ We ran and ran, my mother and I, and our children, and the other families.
“My family and I came here [a village in the hills] and the people in the village were very kind to us. They welcomed us, we stayed at their homes for a time.
But how can someone leave their home? What about our old life?
“We left our own homes! We left our honour behind. Yes, we were poor, but it was a good life. Our children studied in school, we were comfortable for each day to start. Now, the suffering and hunger follows us when the sun comes up.
If you are a refugee, who will make things right for you? Who will make things right for us? No-one was there to make things right for us.
“When refugees first came here, diseases were rife. Water is scarce, there was nothing sanitary. The water from the well is dirty, but if someone is thirsty, they will drink from it. We drank from it, and we got sick. People who could took their family to hospitals, and others left it to fate.
One day, two women from CARE came. They asked where were the refugees, and we were all refugees.
“They wrote things down, and they said we won’t promise you anything, but let’s hope for the best. And we hoped for the best. I had hope.
“They left, and we waited for a few days, and they came back. The first agency that came to help us was Al Amal Association, with mattresses, bed covers, and jackets.
“CARE came and they helped us with water, food, eye drops, female dignity kits, soap. They brought us water; they also brought us water purifiers. They gave us cooking oil, canned food, and sugar. And thank God, we started to eat.
They covered everything, CARE covered it all. Thank you CARE.
Two different ways to die in YemenKilled by an airstrike or dying from hunger: these are the possibilities faced every day by millions of...A plea for peace, written by Mohammad, our colleague and last staff member in Hodeidah, Yemen....