“No escape when he crashed her with his motorcycle, there was nothing worth fleeing from. Just the blood of a black child which in his eyes is cheaper than the cost of providing medical treatment at a hospital,” wistfully the marginalized Mahmoud Bhckeli stated.
The young black girl, Liali, from the marginalized class within the Ibb province, exposed to the repercussions of being struck by a motorcycle. The offender did not manage to escape from the scene and even refused to resuscitate her to the hospital all because he believed that her life had no true value. Thankfully for the crowd that swarmed them, Liali, was able to get the attention she deserved. The people surrounding the accident forced the motorcycle driver to rush her to the hospital, which he did or so we thought. Instead he took Liali to an isolated place where she was unconscious and had blood stains everywhere.
Liali’s family figured out that their daughter had been in an accident and began looking for her throughout every hospital within their vicinity with no luck. By a rare chance a man passing from the isolated place found her after a few hours of the accident and sprayed some water on her to have awaken and then Liali mentioned to him the place of her family.
Liali’s family was very poor so they took her to the hospital and had her lips threaded. Although she had fractures and bruises she had to go home because her family did not have enough money to pay the cost of the medical care and hospital stay. Security services did nothing after the accident and Liali did not shake the feelings of the state men. No one in politics, human rights activists or the civil society did nothing for her treatment, till an unknown man came to her family, took Liali and paid all the cost for her treatment.
Mahmoud Bhckeli said that Yemen these days suffer from security breakdowns having children in general subjected to different kinds of violence, but the black (marginalized) children are suffering the most “if the victim was a white girl, I am sure, all the citizens who were there would go with the driver to save the life of this girl but because of her skin tone (marginalized) no one cared, an issue that we all experience throughout every country not only in Yemen.”
In Yemen there is a class of people known popularly as “Akhdam” and more officially as “marginalized.” They are the extreme lower class of Yemen’s populations and also are known as “Yemen’s Blacks”. For them, there is a red line around all government positions. Some Akhdam scholars have announced the establishment of a National Federation of Marginalized Persons as a key step in the struggle of securing their equal rights.
Marginalized people in Yemen number over one million, but their plight hardly receives a correspondent degree of attention. Perhaps this is because they are kept out of sight; many marginalized persons live in shanty houses and shacks propped up far from the rest of Yemeni society. This is the effect of discrimination and racist attitudes passed down generation after generation.
Fifty years after the establishment of the republican regime in Yemen, public jobs and government positions are still entirely off limits for this class of people, whose men can only work cleaning streets and whose women can only beg. The strange irony is that the sanitation work done by these people creates the healthy environment for the rest of the society that turns a blind eye to their tragedy and stymied quality of life.
For the marginalized people of Yemen the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) was a chance to offer their vision of a better reality for their class. The marginalized have been voicing this vision and recommendations for the future through Noaman al-Hodefi, the representative to the NDC of the marginalized issue in Yemen. Marginalized people look forward to participating in various national bodies and competent committees and joining the effort to implement the Gulf Initiative. As they say, their exclusion from all of Yemen’s bodies and institutions since the establishment of the Yemeni revolution till today only exacerbates their bad situation, especially when there is no channel for their voice to reach Yemen’s decision-makers.
NDC discussed carefully their issue and came up with some outputs that need to be applied. The prominent NDC outputs for marginalized people are constitutional text includes protecting the rights of the marginalized in the political participation and representing 10% of public jobs, also they have the right to hold leadership positions in all bodies, institutions, councils and elected legislature authorities. NDC also provides the equality of all Yemeni citizens, regardless of differences in color, sex, race or religion.
Related to their right of life, NDC texted on the state shall take legislative measures to protect persons or certain groups (such as the marginalized – women – children – people with a disability or handicap) because of discrimination against.