Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Yemen too hosts Syria refugees  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 05/12/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Two shrouded black figures sit in the middle of the road, barely moving. One of the figures is holding a small child. Cars approach, some toot, but the niqabed figures do not waver. Every now and then a car slows down and deposits a handful of coins.

The two figures are refugees from Syria, forced to leave their homes and livelihoods in exchange for a life on the street, living hand to mouth. This has become a common sight on Yemen's roads.

Latest estimates suggest more than 2.5 million Syrians have fled their country since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011. While most have gone to neighbouring Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, the UN estimates several thousand are in Yemen too which is already home to a quarter of a million other refugees from around the region, not to mention the more than half a million internally displaced. My translator Ekrum, a 20-something educated, articulate graphic designer from Aden who breaks all the stereotypes I've ever heard about Yemeni women, says she has seen a lot of Syrian refugees pouring in to the country.

"It's really sad. They come here and ask for money. They used to have houses and they used to have lives and all of it's gone and they're now here and they're poor."

It is mostly women who take up this occupation, though it is not unusual to see them with their families. In this case, the young child is six months old, a boy named Hamada. The women, from Dera'a, say they have been in Yemen for five months.

"The war started in Damascus? But Dera'a was the worst hit."

They left Syria a year ago, but spent the first seven months in a refugee camp in Jordan before moving on.

"There was no freedom in the camp," the older woman, Hanan, 30, explains.

While there was food and supplies in the camp, "we didn't want to be trapped in one place."

Back in pre-war Syria, the women, who are sisters-in-law, had a good life. They were independent, middle class and owned a bakery.

"It's very hard, it's strange, it's sad. This had never happened to us before, it's not easy."

Despite being in the situation for a year, their newly impecunious life feels like a bad dream.

"Our children used to be at school. Now they're in the street, asking for money."

However, the decision to move to Yemen has not proven economically successful, and the women, along with their husbands and 10 children, are now trying to return to Jordan.

"We have to pay 3000 Rial per day (at our hotel here), that's the problem we face."

For a poor country, the people in Yemen have been very generous. The women get between 5000 and 10,000 rials each day. The rest of their children are off begging in other locations, while their husbands sell beaded necklaces made by the women.

They say no one else is giving them money, and they have no other choice but continue their current occupation.

"We have to stay in the middle of the road," 25-year-old Eman says.

But there is a place that is preferable to the middle of the road.

"We want to go back to Jordan, and then when Syria is getting better, to go back there."

First, they must scrape together the 60,000 Rial necessary for the passage back to Jordan. They say they decided to come to Yemen as the country is also poor so they expected people would be sympathetic. They say they have been, but the expenses in the country are surprisingly high.

In the middle of our conversation, another woman approaches. Her name is Lula Saeed, and she works with jailed children. She says it distresses her to see these women in the middle of the road, especially with their young.

"This is not right, there must be an organisation or some responsible place that will get them out of here. Some women are going to have a problem, there will be a truck that hits them.

"Why is no one looking after them?" While there have been no reports about Syrian refugees getting hit, previously Yemeni beggars adopting the same strategy had been. Saeed is not just worried about the women getting hit.

"We know some people have been raped."

But in a country that has refugees from all over the region, including the Horn of Africa, as well as internally, it is a difficult task trying to look after all of the neglected and poor.

Lula tries desperately to get the women to move, at least to the side of the road, but the women's resolve is strong.

"I want to stay here," Eman tells her. They say they are not worried about their safety "God will save us" and anyway it is financially advantageous to run the risk.

"Nobody sees us on the side. We're sitting in the middle of the road so people see us."

 


Khaleej Times




  MENA News Headlines
 Mar 3 2015 - Cruise liner traffic bound for Abu Dhabi to grow 25 percentMENAFN
(MENAFN) An increase of 25 percent in cruise liners calling at Zayed Port will help to lift the number of cruise tourists by 50 percent this season, The National reported.This season above 94 vessels ...

 Mar 3 2015 - UAE non-oil business growth declines in FebruaryMENAFN
(MENAFN) Business activity growth in the UAE non-oil private sector decreased to a five-month low in February but remained strong and above the average for 2014, a corporate survey showed, The ...

 Mar 3 2015 - Kuwait Fund grants USD23.8m to irrigation project in Lao RepublicMENAFN
(MENAFN) Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed a loan agreement in the city of Vientiane with the Democratic Republic of Lao, whereby the Kuwait Fund will offer the government ...

 Mar 3 2015 - Bahrain to launch USD22b development projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) The government of Bahrain will be carrying out giant development projects with a value exceeding USD22 billion, Minister of Information said, KUNA reported.Bahrain is continuing with its ...

 Mar 3 2015 - KFAED finances USD13.47m loan to BelizeMENAFN
(MENAFN) Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) provided a USD 13.47 million loan to Belize to help in a road restoration project, a statement by the fund showed, KUNA reported.The ...

 Mar 3 2015 - FDI in Qatar posts USD30.65bMENAFN
(MENAFN) Foreign direct investments (FDI) inflow to Qatar registered USD30.65 billion at the end of 2012, a 1.2 percent growth from a year ago. Though the FDI has targeted various economic activities ...

 Mar 3 2015 - Oman's Raeco to invest USD395.75m for power expansionsMENAFN
(MENAFN) A total of USD395.75 million will be invested by Rural Areas Electricity Company (Raeco) in the next three years to raise the power generation capacity, transmission lines and distribution ...

 Mar 3 2015 - Kuwait Investment to cut US investmentMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), the London branch office of sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority, is gradually reducing its overweight stance on US assets after keeping that ...

 Mar 3 2015 - Oman's NDC hits sales revenue of USD60.47m in 2014MENAFN
(MENAFN) National Detergent Co. (NDC), one of the leading FMCG companies in the sultanate, has posted total sales revenue of USD60.47 million for full-year 2014, compared with USD56.13 million a year ...

 Mar 3 2015 - 100 per cent rise in FDI expected this yearKhaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Egypt expects 100 per cent increase in foreign direct investment, or FDI, during the current fiscal year compared to last year, Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said on ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help