The Struggle for Yemen

Canada, among other nations, has pledged almost $47 million in aid for Yemen and the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Notwithstanding, a $15 billion arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, struck under the Harper government and maintained under the current government, provides for armored vehicles to be sent to the Kingdom for use in the war against Yemen. But herein lies the paradox: we are providing funds to rebuild a nation while our the arms deal may be potentially destabilizing at the same time.

Historically, we can see that a good number of genocides could have been avoided were it not for the impact of colonial interference, recalling the tragic loss of life in Cambodia, Rwanda and Iraq, to name a few. This is testament of the shameless hypocrisy and violence that results from colonialism.

And now Yemen. My heart aches for the people of Yemen. Millions are starving under an oppressive exploitation that is bringing heavy casualty and suffering, and while Western powers may taunt themselves as the guardians of international human rights, we are failing Yemen.  These shameless acts of “charity” do nothing for the Yemenis.

But we can do something to impact the greatest humanitarian crisis that is causing widespread famine and devastating the lives of 14.1 million Yemenis.

Spread the word to make sure the plight of Yemenis does not go ignored. Make use of your platforms to speak up against this injustice and against our government’s role in the oppression of Yemenis.

Donate what you can to relief efforts. There are organizations doing difficult work on the ground. These are people who have access to the locals in ways that we do not. Donate what you can to their drives and share them for others to do the same.

Do not lose hope…I say this with a heavy heart. Do not lose hope. Perhaps you have seen the image of the young girl, Amal, whose name means hope. Perhaps you were struck by how malnourished she was. How weakened she had become that she could not even swat the flies away. Perhaps, like me, you were heartbroken to hear the tragic news of her death. The loss of Amal. The loss of hope.

But we owe it to the people of Yemen to be strong against their adversaries. To remain steadfast in our resolve for ensuring their freedom from oppression and starvation. We owe it to the people of Yemen. We owe it to Amal.

Remember the guardian of human rights, Imam Hussein, the one who stood alone on the plains of Karbala and called out, “is there any helper to help us?” Remember Imam Hussain’s bravery, his patience. Remember his strength and his kindness. Remember that he sacrificed, not just for Muslims, but for all of humanity. Do not let the cries of the Yemeni children starving, too weak to swat even flies away, go unanswered. Do not let their adversaries get away with the wickedness of these shameless acts of “charity.” Speak up. Speak loudly. Let the world know that today, we answer this call for help and we do not sit idly by as abusive powers terrorize helpless nations.

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