Shattered Childhoods: Children of the Forgotten War in Yemen

War in Yemen

Power struggle has left us with fear
We fear dying of starvation, we fear dying by bombs.
We sit here,
Lonely, no parent, no sibling, no friend and no education.

Our salah is never ending
We pray to be saved from anguish and dismay.

Power struggle has left us with fear. We fear dying of starvation, we fear dying by bombs.

When night falls, a putrid smell of war engulfs the air
As we beg the heavens that we may awake to eternal day.

They speak of the Houthis and the popular resistance but still no mention of our suffering.

When night falls, a putrid smell of war engulfs the air. As we beg the heavens that we may awake to eternal day.

As the world slowly forgets
A glimmer of hope is all we have
That someone, somewhere will pay heed to our struggle, then take a glimpse into our shattered childhoods.

We cry relentlessly, even when no one hears us.
Trapped inside a war, with no where to run
When will you open your eyes to our pain?


Editors Note: 
This poem is dedicated to the children of the forgotten war in Yemen. It has been reported that 1.5 million children are currently malnourished in the country; 370,000 of which are severely malnourished.

The conflict in Yemen, which began in 2015, shares the same tragic horrors as the war in Syria. Dozens of schools and hospitals are frequently bombed by foreign powers, and approximately 10,000 people have been killed.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has said, “It’s probably one of the biggest crises in the world but it’s like a silent crisis, a silent situation and a forgotten war. The health service has “completely collapsed” and “children are dying silent deaths.

Just like in Syria, ISIL and rebel-held groups prevent children from getting the aid, education, and shelter they need. The United Nations has called the bloody civil war a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

If you would like to donate to help the children of Yemen, please consider giving to these organizations: 

UNICEF Crisis in Yemen 

Save the Children Yemen Crisis Appeal

CARE Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Motsejoa Belina Ntsane

Motsejoa Belina Ntsane

I am a Mosotho who is a middle eastern and North African studies enthusiast. I am currently studying and doing research on the Touareg nationalism and rebellion. I work for the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, as a Sport and Recreation officer. I am planning on obtaining a masters degree in Middle Eastern and North African studies. In the future I aspire to be a political analyst in MENA issues and the Sahel.

  1. Very well put; yet to a certain extent disheartening because it does not immediately translate into any form of hope for wellness for the situation in Yemen.

    Well done my sister! It is when we open our mouths, and stop commending the bad with our silence, that one day your faint whisper, when echoed by all of us, will turn into an uproar that even the deaf shall hear.

  2. It is really sad that children always have to bear the brunt during armed conflicts. Sadly, it is a double whammy for them – they suffer during and after the civil war. The most traumatic scars are not physical, but are imprinted in their minds, and I doubt that those who survive ever receive psychological treatment. This article is a huge contribution in making the plight of these children known. Big up to you Motsejoa.

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