Today • • 24 June

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War, Famine, Cancer, and Covid-19: the suffering of a Yemeni father

With the continuous deluge of heart-breaking news we face every day, is it any wonder that many of us choose to turn away from the terrible things happening around the world?

This is understandable; but for millions of people, avoiding atrocities is simply not an option. Yemeni people, who are facing what the UN describes as “the worst famine the world has seen in 100 years”, are crying out for our help – especially with the added threat of the coronavirus. The UN has warned that COVID-19 could even “delete Yemen from maps all over the world”.

However harrowing it may be, we have a responsibility to listen and to help.

That’s why we’re sharing just one person’s story; the story of Jaber, a Yemeni father suffering from Cancer.

“Yes, I know. This world is cruel. But was it meant to be this cruel?

We were leading a happy life, living peacefully and minding our own business in our small village. Then this cursed war turned our life upside down and plunged us into a bitter and sad reality. We were forced to escape, leaving our house, and sweet memories of a beautiful place behind us.

We needed a shelter for our shabby and tired bodies. We were housed in a school prepared as a makeshift camp for displaced families in Sana’a. But that wasn’t the end of our plight. Those responsible for the camp had changed their tune and asked us to leave and find a place on our own.

I found a small house to rent, but it is far too expensive for us. We have no income, we cannot get necessary food and my health steeply declines. Days pass and we can’t get any help from anywhere.

Sometimes I find temporary work to feed my children who have dropped out of school and are wandering the streets, begging or offering their help in return for a measly amount of money.

I am a patient with Cancer, and I find it incredibly hard to work now. I am on the verge of collapsing, waiting for my impending death. Without knowing I was crying silently; tears of despair were rolling down my cheeks.

Recently, I opened the door of my house and there were some young people smiling at me and giving me instructions to go to a certain place to receive food. I fell on my knees, prostrating to The Almighty.

I thought this food will be given to me continuously, but it was only for one single time. Nevertheless, it was better than nothing. May Allah bring us glad tidings soon.

[Source: Penny Appeal]