In Yemen, a journey to the unknown

  • Umar Saleh Abdo, 40 years old, originally from Somalia
    Umar Saleh Abdo, 40 years old, originally from Somalia
    “Conflict forced me to flee home seeking safety. I had hoped for a chance to travel abroad through Yemen, but it was in vain. Eventually, I got used to my life in Yemen, after getting married and experiencing being safe. Unfortunately, now everything has changed, and I worry about losing my five children. I wish I could go back home.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Brana Parbatelo, 27 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    Brana Parbatelo, 27 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    “It was a very hard trip. Ten years ago, I had to leave my country with my husband and my two children.” During the journey, Brana was separated from her husband and one of her children. “I know nothing about them until today.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Waqed Al Khateeb, 39 years old, originally from Syria
    Waqed Al Khateeb, 39 years old, originally from Syria
    Waqed came with his father to Yemen from Syria in 1994. Life in Yemen has become “very complicated” now. The conflict in Syria makes it harder for him to be in Yemen “since we have no embassy.” He added that “basic needs are hard to secure on a daily basis, especially for us migrants.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Muna Alsheik, 40 years old, originally from Somalia
    Muna Alsheik, 40 years old, originally from Somalia
    After her brother died in Ethiopia, Muna and her two sons decided to leave. She looked back on the long journey to Yemen, where she broke her leg. “I spent three hours on the beach with pain in my leg. I haven’t been able to walk ever since.” Afterwards, one of her sons disappeared. “I have no news about him. Now, I have nothing to do but wait and hope that my grandson lives in peace, and has a better life.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Abaas Lazem, 63 years old, originally from Iraq
    Abaas Lazem, 63 years old, originally from Iraq
    “I used to be an actor and a media person and now, I am a barber. I used to have a good time in Yemen, but the past twenty months were the worst in my life. Both my brother and wife died in Iraq and I could not even attend their burials.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Ali Abdo, 61 years old, originally from Somalia
    Ali Abdo, 61 years old, originally from Somalia
    “My dream is to have a return ticket to my country. I am jobless, homeless and helpless. I have to live in six-by-five meter room, sometimes sharing it with more than 30 people who fled their countries looking for better chances. But our dreams were shattered by reality.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Samsun, 35 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    Samsun, 35 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    “My dream of having a safe life is gone. In our long journey, my wife, my two children and I were thinking that we are leaving for a better life. We were shocked by reality. My wife died in the conflict, and now we are stuck here. All we can do is wait for change to come by. Every day is full of misery. We all wish we could go back home.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Hamda, 20 years old, originally from Somalia
    Hamda, 20 years old, originally from Somalia
    “Despite all the difficulties that I have been through, I still have a dream. I want to finish university and build myself up. I will never surrender.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Ali Edriss, 56 years old, originally from Eritrea
    Ali Edriss, 56 years old, originally from Eritrea
    "The situation in Yemen is becoming more difficult but people in the Eritrean community try to help each other out. There are many Eritreans here due to the endless strife in our country. Although Yemen welcomed us, I wish there was a safer country where I can live for the rest of my days.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
  • Mohammed Sam, 13 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    Mohammed Sam, 13 years old, originally from Ethiopia
    “My parents, my brother and I came here 20 months ago. My mother died during the conflict in Yemen. I miss her so much. I wish I could study and be a pilot. Unfortunately, my father does not have enough money.”
    CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohammed Yasin
19 December 2016

They came to Yemen from all over in search of a better life. However, those hopes have been jeopardized by a conflict that has raged since March 2015. We spoke to ten people now living in Sana'a to get a sense of the challenges they face.

ICRC tries to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable migrants by helping restoring family links, collecting and sharing thousands of Red Cross messages.

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