المركز الإعلامي للأشخاص ذوي الإعاقة

مؤسسة إعلامية مستقلة تعنى بمناصرة حقوق الأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة

The Tragic Story of Ali: A farmer who Encountered an Anti-personnel Mine

قارئ المقال

This story was written with support from IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center for Media Startups

Written by: Ibrahim Al-Munifi

Translated by: Yasser Muhammed

In Al-Jarahi district, south of Al Hodeidah governorate, 20 year old Ali Al-Faqih used to work with bakeries to provide for himself and his family. What Ali used to earn, was no longer enough, to pay for everything, especially during the rising cost of living due to the conflict in Yemen. Ali had to look for another livelihood

While Ali was thinking where to find another job, he was interrupted with a phone call from a friend who gave him the good news about a work opportunity in a farm in the nearby Al-Khaukhah district. Ali was happy with the news, and started preparing for his new job directly after Eid Al-Adha which was in a few days

Breaking a Promise

After a happy Eid vacation, during which Ali’s village celebrated with what little means they still had after the war almost took everything from them, Ali said goodbye to his family, kissed his 8 year old son, asked him to study hard and promised him a nice present if he gets a good grade at the end of the year

On an August day in 2021, Ali woke up early, as he is accustomed to, to work in the farm, and it was irrigation day

While Ali was clearing the soil with a shovel to let the water into the farm, he noticed the earth was a little hard to move, thinking It was a rock, he attempted to removed it. Suddenly, an explosion sends Ali flying a few meters away, completely severing his left hand. Ali was attempting to remove an anti-personnel mine, not a rock

Farmers from the surrounding farms rushed towards the sound of the explosion, only to be shocked by the scene of Ali thrown on the ground, bloodied and without his left arm, after being taken aback for a few seconds, the farmers rushed Ali to a hospital in the city

“I was in a comma for about five days, when I woke up, I realized I lost my left arm, and sustained several severe injuries in various parts of my body, I couldn’t move for months, I felt great indescribable pain,” said Ali to the Media Center for Persons with Disabilities (MCPD)

Alis returned to his home as a person with a disability. When he saw his son, Ali remembered that he broke his promise to his son, without saying anything he hugged his son and wife while tears came down from his eyes, he was feeling helpless

 I Wish that my Son Achieve what I Couldn’t

Ali’s new condition did not sit well with him. He never would have thought that he would be a person with special needs, that he would not be able to do the things he used to before. Ali became depressed and isolated himself from everyone around him

“I hated leaving my house, I closed the door of my room and stayed inside it, I would only leave it if I was forced, I lived like this for a year,” said Ali

Adding “suddenly, I realized that there is no use in despairing like that, and my family stood by me and motivated me, and that brought my hope in life again”

With support from a few humanitarian organizations, Ali undertook two surgeries, one in Sana’a and the other in Aden, but “there was no use” of them as he put it

For about a year now, Ali waits every day for a call from a humanitarian organization, or any other body to grant him a prosthetic arm so he can start working and provide for his family

Ali spoke to the MCPD bitterly about how he used to dream of becoming a doctor and serving his community

“I learned reading and writing, but I couldn’t continue my education due to our financial situation and to having to start work,” said Ali

Adding “now I wish I could have my own business so I can work in it myself, support my family and help my son to finish his education and achieve what I used to wish to achieve”

:Ali wanted to say something to the competent authorities and express how he felt for a long time

“We are civilians. We have been harmed with no fault of ours, we are victims of your war, don’t forget us while you are agreeing to end it. This did not happen to me alone, there are many others, especially in Al  Hodeida governorate, it is one of the most affected governorates by the war and there are many Persons with Special Needs inside it” 

What Ali said is a well-known fact. The MCPD contacted 13 Persons with Special Needs (PWSNs) in one day, they became PWSNs because of the conflict and many of them couldn’t speak with us about their pain, one of them just said “What happened has passed, our pain is great, just leave it to God”, then he switched his phone off

Even Ali Al-Faqih, refused to tell us his story, but we insisted on him, and then he agreed to tell us his story briefly

“I trusted you, and told you my story without knowing you beforehand, please don’t harm me, this is a sacred trust, even my mother did not want me to talk to you but I had already promised you,” said Ali

These innocent victims, who paid a hefty price from their soul, body and dreams, are afraid to be heard expressing their pains. Their suffering should be enough reason to end the war