CASE 2: Reem (26)
Hassan (5) holding his younger sister Ratif (3 months).
Reem used to live in Hodeidah with her husband and three children. In 2014 their lives changed. Violence across many parts of the country spiralled into war, their country became fractured by violence and the government stopped paying salaries, resulting in many services, including schools, being shut down. Gas, electricity and other basic supplies became harder to find and much more expensive. As violence in Hodeidah governorate escalated further through May and June this year, the family’s living conditions gradually deteriorated they were told to leave their house because their lives would be in danger if they stayed.
“So many of our neighbours got injured and killed. Most of them were young,” Reem said.
Together with her children and three sisters, Reem fled Hodeidah to Sana’a, about five hours’ drive away. Her husband remained behind with their home and everything they owned. When they made it to Sana’a, they started asking people on the streets where they could find cheap accommodation, not knowing how long they would need it for. Today they are still in Sana’a, living above a restaurant. The owner often threatens them with eviction because they can’t afford to pay the rent.
“Everything is entirely damaged now. I can’t even think about what I want or hope for the future because I know we will be disappointed. I’m not in my own house, not in my own town and I am constantly wondering what will happen next.”
“I keep telling my children that we can’t return home and that we have to stay here in Sana’a because I don’t want to lose any of you,” Reem said.
“I want the world to know that we are suffering immensely from this war. We have lost our dignity. We want peace and a liveable future for our children. We want to go back to how our lives were before.”
Photo: Becky Bakr Abdulla/NRC