OP-ED

“I Am Not a Houthi! I Am Not Da’eshi!”

National Yemen

In war, both innocent people and soldiers die, and only the people responsible for the bloodshed survive.

A market was almost completely free of people because of the violence in the city. Naji, a Yemeni man, he was on the corner of the street standing in front of his leeks’ wagon sprinkling them with water. While he was taking care of his leeks a customer stopped by and asked him, “Where are the people? What happened to them?”

Naji answered that the people died and also the buying and selling had stopped, “I was working and had people to buy but when Ansar Allah entered Taiz to fight Da’esh and the Saudi-led coalition everything stopped.”

While they were talking, the sound of explosions echoed, reverberating through the market. Naji was scared and repeated, “I am not Houthi nor Da’eshi! I am Naji, the owner of leeks!”

Naji saw a man running quickly toward him saying, “Naji, your home has been bombed!”

Naji push his wagon and ran to his home, leaving his leeks falling on the sidewalk.

When Naji arrived, he saw the worst scene of his life. The small home that he spent half of his life to build became a tomb for his wife and his daughter Mariam. Mariam was taken out from under the rubble in front of his eyes and died carrying her doll in her hands.

Naji was screaming, “They killed Mariam! She was not a Houthi, she was not Da’eshi!”

Why was his daughter killed? The days pass and Naji is still looking for an answer.

On the battlefront, Naji appeared with his weapon in his hand, the scene of his house replaying in his mind.

A bullet passed near his head, ripping the silence. “Be careful,” his friend shouted.

With a faint smile, he bitterly said, “Death took my daughter. I am going to my family, they are waiting for me.”

Within days, Naji would became another dead body on TV.