Open Letter – Yemen’s Forgotten War

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SHAFAQNA – Yemen is taking its fight against tyranny to the United Nations … As independent researchers and activists are putting  together a file documenting the atrocities and villainies committed against the people of Yemen, by the Saudi-led coalition, many felt it was time to directly speak to those powers which have stood by as Yemen has cracked under Riyadh’s military pressure.

Abandoned to its fate, Yemen still has a voice … it speaks today:

To the United States of America

I am Yemen –  a country at war, a people in mourning, and a land blistered by the vengeful wrath which is imperialism.

I address you today as a foreigner in my own land … I address you today for my people, my mountains and my valleys have burnt under the furious fire of war – a fire you have yourself work to feed, prop, and offer cover for.

Although I am foreign to you, although my tongue speaks a different rhythm and my knees kneel in prayers when maybe you stand, my people … I, aspire for the same Freedom and the same Liberties you do.

Do you not hear my people’s cries? Do you not see the evil you have stood by as you argued politics and manoeuvred your way out?

Do you not taste our bitter tears … so many of them I have shed hoping you would intervene?

Am I not worthy of those principles you said to have built your house upon? Human rights, Justice, Freedom …

Am I not your brother in arms against injustice and tyranny? I speak not of violence, but those very principles your Declaration of Independence assert.

Today, I, stand before you an orphan, both a man and a woman in mourning … today, I, stand wounded and in pain; still you acknowledge nothing. Worse still you have stood in your might against me. You have denied me my rights, my dignity, my freedom to choose how I, my people, want to be ruled.

My people’s voice was made silent by Riyadh for our mouth spoke a truth which denied its rule. My land was bombed, defiled, and disgraced for my people stood tall in their right to political self-determination … yet you saw only dangerous defiance in our need for emancipation.

My blood was made to flow for I, we, uttered those very principles which your nation once spoke. Will you not see yourselves in our desperate reach for freedom … will you deny us what you cherish for yourself?

I read to you those words you hold dearest:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

My people stand in those very truths … yet you spoke not a word of our demise, yet you failed to acknowledge the legitimacy of our quest.

Let my people go!

Let my people go, is now my cry … will you cry with us?

Today I stand a pariah, for my claim on Liberty has been denied by a system which suffers no contention to its religious ideology, and its rule.

Today I stand a nation calling for justice in the name of my people.

Will you turn away?

Will you deny the injustices, the tortures, and infamies we, I, were made to suffer for we, I aspire to stand Free in the land of our forefathers?

Will you shun my people for the riches of a few make you look the other way?

Are we that insignificant? Will you not hear the sons and daughters of Yemen?

Will you deny those who ache and thirst for the right to be?

Will you still not hear?

I am Yemen, I am a son of Arabia, and in my blood, it is History which speaks …

Written by Catherine Shakdam for Yemen’s Forgotten War group – A Shafaqna Exclusive

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