Um Rehab is a mother of four children who lives in Sana’a city. Her life is full of suffering, and her facial features express the miserable conditions she is experiencing. She is fully frustrated and exhausted with the heavy burden of a miserable life. Her gloomy eyes reflect the suffering and severe circumstances that the lady, her children and nephews are undergoing. With a broken heart and tearful eyes, she recounts her story and says, “I used to live with my husband and children a quiet life until the war of the Saudi-led Coalition was launched against our country. Then, civilian homes were targeted with rockets and bombs, resulting in hundreds of martyrs and thousands of injured people, including two of my elder brothers who were inside our house.”
“Yes, my sons and I could miraculously escape death. However, the very painful sight of the corpses and the traumatic scenes of death and destruction we lived through had affected my mental health completely,” adds Um Rehab. “Consequently, fear, obsessive disorder, and fatal mental perceptions began to control me greatly. Sometimes I imagine things happening before me inside the house, and I assure everyone that they really took place. Then I was surprised that they were just delusions.”
Um Rehab continues with dismay, “I also imagine that something bad had happened to one of my sons, or that a missile would explode soon in our house, especially when I used to hear the horrible sound of warplanes passing over our heads. As a result, I couldn’t hold on for hours; and rather felt very afraid and terrified by the terror of the warplanes flying over our heads.” When my psychological and physical conditions got deteriorated more and more, my family forced me to see a psychiatrist to help me get rid of this condition. Now, I am still under treatment, but I could not continue because of poverty.
The Saudi-led aggression caused salary interruption and hence workers’ layoffs. As a result, my husband stopped working and his behavior became very difficult to cope with. The problems between us increased, so I decided to leave him and go to my family’s house, which was also suffering from the same difficult circumstances.”
In fact, everybody suffers from a shortage of essential foodstuffs, while psychological pressures are increasing, especially on women and children. Um Rehab is not the only lady in Yemen who suffers from domestic violence and separation from her husband. Actually, it is the bad economic situation that has caused many problems within the same family. Therefore, Yemeni women have become the most affected by the war and siege imposed by the Saudi-led Coalition on our country.
Women and children in Yemen keep on asking day and night: “How long it’s gonna be like this? Is there any hope for relief? The international community and the United Nations must play a role in bringing this war to an end.”