We all remember when a sudden massive explosion was heard in al-Aourdi hospital. Only moments after the explosion, terrorists in military uniform stormed the hospital reception gate and fired live bullets. The attack claimed the lives of two Germans, the manager of the German Foundation for International Cooperation, Dr. Michael Neplong, and his colleague,Health Project Manager Dr.Kai.
Dr. Neplong came toYemenwith humanitarian aid of more than 40 million Euros per year. He helped establish development projects in water, sanitation and solid waste management, health, family planning, basic education, economic reform and institutional capacity-building. One of his last duties was to help preserve the historical sites ofYemen, which he began about a month before his death.
In the night before al-Aourdi hospital attack, Dr. Neplong suffered a mild heart attack so he was taken to the hospital to receive treatment.
“I took him to the hospital myself in the morning of the crime” said Dr. Mohammed al-Kumaim, a friend and physician. He had barely undergone to medical examination in the emergency room on the first floor when it was stormed by terrorists. His long worsened: Dr. Neplong’s bed was the first to be seen when his room was entered.
Dr. Kai was killed while standing alongside colleague Hani al-Falahi in the hospital yard at the moment of the car explosion. Al-Falahani told an account of Dr. Kai’s final moments on his Facebook page.
“Ten meters from us the car bombed, and because of the intensity of the explosion pressure, we found ourselves under the FG car which was parked at least 5 meters away from the place we lie on. The pressure raised the parked car and completely fell over us. The car stabilized on my German colleague, Kai, and my movement was free under the car, although my shoulder was stuck with Kai’s. Yet, I was sure of the safety of all my body parts, I called Kai and tried to drag him out from under the car, but he immediately died.”
Is this the Yemeni hospitality we choose to give to men who wished only to benefit our country? It is terribly tragic that two men who invested their lives in helping to makeYemenbecome a better place now return toGermanyin coffins.
We at National Yemen, and in the country more broadly, are only beginning to feel the gravity of this loss. Their expertise, and character, is sorely missed, and we will not be able to replace them very easily.