Ramadan in Yemen. Manifestations of solidarity fade due to war and high prices | Lifestyle

Sanaa – The custom of exchanging dishes is no longer prevalent among Yemenis in the capital Sanaa, and since the first days of the holy month, people have been locked in themselves and their homes due to poverty and war, while manifestations of solidarity and harmony that has always existed among Yemeni families has faded.

Until morning time, “Imran” kept looking at his phone, waiting for a message from someone inviting him to break the fast at his house, but that did not happen until today, and the month has passed, so it departs to the neighborhood. the mosque to join a small table cared for by one of the neighborhood merchants.

Imran – who left his village for the city during the month of Ramadan each year to work as a sidewalk vendor – said people’s conditions had changed and were no longer the same as before the epidemic. had the fight to break the fast in the homes of his acquaintances and friends.

He added for Al Jazeera Net, “People were competing to invite me to their homes in the morning to earn a salary, but this year will be like last year, as no one can invite anyone to their home.”

The largest charity kitchen in the capital, Sanaa, reduced its meals to just 500 poor (French) families

Reducing manifestations of solidarity

Rising prices to record levels and lack of wages in Houthi-controlled areas and their lack of government-controlled areas; In one of the worst humanitarian crises, the middle class was completely suppressed as the poverty circle widened.

The shortage of oil and gas for cooking exacerbated the crisis, as the price of a liter of fuel on the black market reached at least 1,200 Yemeni riyals (equivalent to two dollars), while the price of a gas cylinder reached 25,000 Yemeni riyals. $ 42).

Yunus Daoud – an employee of the Ministry of Local Administration in the capital, Sanaa – says that “the current situation has made one of us think about himself and his children, and if he thinks of inviting someone to the breakfast table, the question remains. expensive and is no longer what it used to be. “

He added for Al Jazeera Net, “Before the war, I invited 3 or 4 for my breakfast every day, but today is not enough for breakfast for my five children. If I add an item to the breakfast table, it requires a budget. We have 7 years. without pay and all work has been suspended.

Limited breakfast tables

And there were no large tables in the mosque that families offered to passersby, street vendors, and the poor, and the issue was limited to small plates of crushed tomatoes, bread, and dates, often reserved for a few individuals.

Efforts by youth initiatives and NGOs to break the fasting fast also fell after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sanaa, which transferred a large portion of Zakat resources to its subsidiaries.

One of the merchants told Al Jazeera Net – who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons – that part of his zakat was set aside to eat the breakfast of fasting people, but the Houthi group forced him to pay most of to their authority of zakat, adding: “Every year they ask for more.”

According to the people, it has become rare to see collective iftar tables in neighborhoods, streets and markets, and if several trading families are organized, it is not free from the large crowds and clutter of the fasting poor.

Ramadan youth initiatives in Yemeni capital become rare after 7 years of war (French)

Youth charity activity fell

Youth initiatives launched in the holy month to distribute aid and breakfast to passers-by and slums have also disappeared. Jamal al-Sabri – one of the members of the “Shanabe Army” initiative, which has worked in recent years on fasting breakfast projects – says the situation has gotten worse.

He adds to Al Jazeera Net, “There are still some initiatives in the country, but they are no longer at the same time, especially with the shrinking of funding. After 7 years of war, we rarely find anyone funding a charity, in exchange for a raise massive number of people in need ”.

Some young people seek to meet the full needs of all those in need, but their efforts have failed in light of declining funding and rising prices.

Closed charity kitchens

The current situation also caused the suspension of the work of most of the charity kitchens that had flourished during the first years of the war and only a few of them remained operational in the capital Sana’a.

Journalist Majid Yassin – who ran a large charity kitchen in Ibb’s central province – apologized on Facebook to those who depended on the kitchen, saying the ban this year was due to a lack of gas and high prices.

As for the largest charity kitchen in the capital, Sanaa, it reduced its meals to 500 impoverished families, having supported more than 3,000 families last year, according to its Facebook data.

In the country’s southern governments under government control, charitable kitchens have disappeared, as have charitable initiatives in light of rising commodity prices and the collapse of economic conditions, and aid activity has been limited to United Nations organizations in light. of the declining purchasing power of the majority of Yemenis.

And the United Nations International Organization for Migration announced yesterday, Friday, that more than 25.5 million Yemenis are now living below the poverty line, as a result of the war in the country, which has lasted for more than 7 years, noting that “the population in Yemen needs our support more now.” since when”.

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