By Mohammed al-Absi
In the main Emergency Hall at al-Aourdi Hospital, I see a slipper among the destruction. Dr. Mohammed al-Kamim pulls me along carefully, pointing to the slipper. “This belonged to the manager of the German GTZ program in the hospital.” The German wore the slippers, he told questioners, to be fast and light in his movements.
On the second floor, the grandson of the President Hadi was also killed in a brutal fashion.
Filipino nationals Kresten and Joshue are the only survivors of the massacre. They were in the sterilization room at al-Arady Hospital, a small, narrow room on one side of the building. The room was not completely safe, though: Drs. Al-Bajam and Vinzola were killed in the same space. Dr. Vinzola had been helping Yemeni patients for 30 years; all of the hospital’s staff saw him as a father.
One meter from the place where Dr. Vinzola was killed, Mokahtar was killed by four gunshots to the head while hiding in a closet of medical uniforms. His story will be told in posts to follow
In the Operating room on the second floor, Kresten told Mustafa Mansur and me about how one terrorist killed a doctor currently operating on Yemeni patient. The patient was lying on the operating table, still half-conscious as the anesthetization just administered began to take effect.
Kresten narrated the story of the last breaths of the patient.
Only the construction and decoration workers were lucky during that terrible situation, escaping the terrorists by hiding in a basement under the stairs. The supervisor of the 21 workers hidden under the stairwell expressed gratitude that none of the attackers had thought to examine their hiding place. “If the terrorist looked down, he would have seen us. We were all lucky except Ghalib al-Adini, whose blood is still there on the ground.
From the massacre’s heart at al-Aourdi Hospital, I don’t know if I’m lucky or unlucky to be reaching places that weren’t captured by the hospital’s surveillance cameras. We must wait for the remaining reports and stories about the massacre of al-Arady Hospital and the Defense Ministry, about martyrs and victims and the difficult moments and feelings of those who lived through that brutal situation.
It’s another novel entirely to think of the massacre from the humanitarian’s corner. Photos exist of all those places where victims were killed one by one, and yet I am sure that most Yemenis think of this massacre from its political side, rather than rom a moral or humanitarian perspective.
The public opinion that cares and busies itself in suit for President Hadi, it does this in hatred, attempting to turn peoples’ minds way from the truth, which is that this attack was a dirty act of assassination.
The media has similarly turned the victims and martyrs of that day into just numbers without narrating the life story of each one and how he or she was killed. It’s a lousy media.
Society is busy accusing its various members, without thinking of the kind of satanic thought behind the attack and how it can be fought. It’s a lousy society, too.
Some are busy pegging the number of the attackers at 12 or 20, more than they focus on the killing of Dr. al-Thalaya or the influential call of a judge’s wife to name her sons “the soldiers kill us.”
Instead of consoling the martyrs’ families, whether Yemeni or foreign, spectators are busy accusing each other, saying “the attackers were Houthis” or “the former president was behind it” or “no, it was done by Hadi to extend his time in power.” Not one of them calls on people to draw pictures of their loved ones to put in the streets amongst wreaths of flowers. Maybe this will be done by the amazing Murad Sabaie.
Do they know that the costs of burial in the Philippines can reach three thousand dollars? Mr. Sakhr al-Wagih and Mohammed Salem Basendwah refuse to spend this amount for the state, instead saying to the victims’ families “we will back your sons who have served Yemen so that you can bury them by yourself.”
What a shame!
No one said; let’s send one million love massages, even by email, to people in Germany and Venezuela as an apology for the crime committed by people who do not represent Yemen.
Let’s create a page or a website.
Let’s give Dr. Venezuela and his wife the Yemeni citizenship, a house, and a good salary. This man coached 40,000 thousand surgeons and worked in Yemen for 30 years on a salary of only $4000, increased to $4000 only two years ago.
Let’s give him a burial that won’t be forgotten for generations and call on the president and government to receive their family officially.
Let’s gather reparations for the martyrs’ families. It’s illogical to send them their homelands with just a month’s salary.
Let’s donate a car to Dr. Ahmad al-Kamim, who miraculously survived the attack.
Let’s protest in the Foreign Ministry in order to force them to send a high delegation to the house of German Kerr and the manager of GTZ to offer their condolences, They protest for killers and informants and for nothing.
Let’s look after the family of the young soldier Ghamdan al-Soufi, who went up to the gate to take his gun but was killed without warning.
Let’s reward the hero martyr Brigadier Ali Yahia al-Anesi who was killed and his son Sami after attempting to delay the attacking car, killed by the blast when he went to take his gun from the car.
Let’s do anything true
I don’t believe the positive entrepreneurial spirit is non-existent among the Yemeni people.