A Young Yemeni Lady with Big Hopes

Unpublished


*Abeer is a 20-year-old student from a town named Saber in Lahj governorate.


The period of the conflict was the most difficult and unexpected period of my life. I remember the moment when the war erupted vividly. My family had to move and everyone went to a different part of the country.  We tried as much as possible to check on the lives of one another from time to time.

We left our house and everything behind. I had to drop out of school. Due to the war, the situation was bad; there was no security, and crimes, such as abduction and assassination, increased significantly. Therefore, I was forced to drop out of school for two years. It breaks my heart because I love education, I always achieved high marks at school. I only managed to return to school this year, now I’m in my last year of high school. But I am supposed to be a first-year-university student.  

When we moved to Aden, our life changed completely because we used to live in a rural area in Lahj governorate where life was quiet and peaceful. Back home people got along with each other very easily, but in Aden, where we live now, things seem different.

Coexistence is hard in Aden where internally displaced people come from different areas and accepting them isn’t relevant as well as the hardship of living in an ongoing conflict led people to not trust each other made people angry. I’m still not able to adapt to this new situation. Even my mother always tells me not to trust anybody. “We don’t know them, be careful and stay away from them,” my mother says. It took us a longer time to settle down and accept the new life.

Basic services, like education and healthcare, are not available and collapsing which has affected me as a student. For example, electricity is intermittent, and this is particularly a problem during the exams days, as I am forced to study under the phone flashlight, which is not very efficient. Yet, when I explain this problem to my teachers, they don’t seem to understand it.

 In summer, the power is off most of the time.  Schools are overcrowded with 75 students in each classroom. It is difficult to understand the lessons in a situation like that. The teacher cannot focus on each and every student.  As girls, we don’t have activities such as sports or art classes; we just sit in the schoolyard chatting or doing homework. These circumstances make us look older than we really are.

My younger siblings go to fetch water every day, because my older ones dropped out of school and looked for a job. They tried their best to find a job, but during the war in Yemen the more qualified the person is, the less possible it is to find work opportunities. I feel heartbroken when I see how they go to look for a job, and two to three days later they return broke and very disappointed.

Before the war life was easier. I didn’t even think of leaving Yemen. However, all I think of now is leaving this country to a place where I can pursue my education and find basic services. There is no good education, safety, stability or even the most basic services in Yemen.

I had a dream to become a medical doctor like my father, but due to some pressure from my family who can’t afford the cost of this major, I changed my major in high school from the scientific section to literary in order to study English in university and to become a translator.

My new year wish is to finish high school in 2020 and achieve a high score, and have safety and happiness as many people around the world. I wish I could walk peacefully on the streets in Yemen instead of finding my mother out looking for me every time I am a little late to be home.

 


*Name has been changed for security purposes.

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