OP-ED

Yemeni Students Extend a Hand to Yemeni Families in India and Egypt

National Yemen

Cairo Airport

By Esra al-Najar

Over 5,000 Yemenis are stuck in different airports around the world. In Cairo alone, 200 Yemeni citizens are being prevented from entry without a visa, a procedure that only took place after the war began.

The attack on Yemen did not only affect the people in Yemen but also Yemenis abroad. Due to the closure of airports, hundreds of Yemeni families are stuck in different countries. Those families are left without shelters and food, some are even left with expired visas. While Yemeni families are scattered in the streets and are waiting restlessly to go back to Yemen, Yemeni students have started making a move. They have started collecting money in order to provide families with a place to stay. They advertised for the campaign on social media.

India

A lot of families that came to India for medical purposes are unable to go back to Yemen due to the critical situation that Yemen is currently undergoing. Yemeni students around India have opened their homes to such families. In New Delhi, the support was established by Dr Walid AlBakili. He says that there were around 50 families in New Delhi alone, with around five members in each family. All these families were taken care of.

Dr. AlBakili says that whoever is stuck in New Delhi and doesn’t have a residence can contact him. As for other areas, they can use the numbers announced on social networks or through the Yemeni Council in Mumbai.

Egypt

In Egypt it all started when the student Samar Ameen was talking with a friend about the families that were supposed to leave for Yemen but couldn’t due to the attacks. Samar’s friend, who also happens to be a businessman, showed interest in supporting the families. He suggested that Samar post the idea of the movement on her Facebook page. The campaign is called “Al Yemen Yad Tamtad” or “Yemen provides help”.

The main goal of the campaign is to find stuck families thwarted around Egypt, provide them with a place to stay and detect their needs. Yemeni students living in Egypt have joined the campaign. The students are helping more than 40 families.  Working together, they started moving families to cheaper apartments. Different small families share an apartment, with males and females kept separately.

As for bigger families or the ones having a patient to take care of, these are kept in smaller apartments with reasonable prices. Food is also taken into consideration. Volunteers like Samar and her friends prepared bags filled with the essentials similar to that of Ramadhan.  Until now, the apartments have helped to take care of 11 families – a total of 38 people – plus an extra 12 individual cases. Food bags (enough for a week) were sent to around 27 families, a total of 127 individuals.

“We need someone to help us with the accommodations. A building would be preferable,” says Samar. “Currently there is an apartment in Medan Lebanon with 16 people in it who are completely incapable of paying rent. The demands are continuous and the calls don’t stop.  Just two days ago a family was left helpless on one of Egypt’s streets,” Samar added.

This crisis could easily be eliminated by providing safe air zones that could help transport all Yemeni families from Egypt to their homeland. At the time being and until Yemenis are evacuated, any humanitarian contributions providing shelters and food are welcomed.

Those movements are not only restricted to Egypt and India, though Yemenis are found there in large numbers. Such supportive campaigns only reflect the brotherly morals that Yemenis share and their readiness to extend a hand to those who are need. It’s through these campaigns that Yemenis set a beautiful example of such noble cooperation and unity.