Sunday, 21 June 2015

What have you done to my Saada(Sadda) in PICTURES

Please Feel free to use any of the images in this post where ever you like

The old city of Saada is one of my favourite cities in Yemen, which I visited several times before, as a journalist, translator and visitor, before this war began. It sits like ancient treasure. The 'City of Peace' it is known as locally. It bore the scars of the six wars in Saada  from 2004 till 2010. Little did I know then that it was to see much greater damage than it had ever known before.

It was with some apprehension that I visited Saada again on 15th and 16th of June 2015 to see the damage that had been caused following 80 days of Saudi coalition airstrikes. I was shocked by what I found, although I am told that what I saw just a fraction of the total destruction, since rural areas had been much more badly affected than what I found in the city. During my short visit I tried to gather as many images as I could to show the world what has been done to my favourite city in Yemen.

On our way from Sanaa to Saada we saw dozens of fuel and food trucks burnt out. The closer we got to Saada the more damage we could see on the main road, which was almost empty in some areas with little traffic in either direction.

There were a few check points with guards on high alert looking to the sky whenever they heard a fighter jet, telling people not to gather and to keep moving quickly.

We arrived at Aljomhory Hospital, the only fully operating hospital in province of Saada. This hospital is in the safest place in Saada because of the presence of a group of doctors from MSF/DWB working there. Everywhere surrounding the hospital has been targeted. The hospital director gave us these facts regarding the current situation of the hospital:

1- It has only 10 to 15 days of fuel left to run the electric generators.
2- The intensive care section was set up after the Saudi coalition started its bombardment of Yemen.
3- The intensive care section was set up in a storage space in the basement of the hospital.
4- The hospital is in debit of 232 thousand dollars just for the cost of the intensive care section and its supplies alone.
5- Most of the staff are working as volunteers, coming from Saada and other cities.
6- Three fuel trucks belonging to the hospital were targeted by the Saudi coalition at three different locations on the road to Saada. 
7- The hospital can't send ambulances to bring the injured because of fuel shortages, destroyed roads and constant airstrikes on all moving vehicles.
8- People depend on themselves to bring their injured relatives to the hospital.
9- Three medical staff were killed during their response to Saudi coalition airstrikes.
10- The airstrikes target the same area more than once in order to kill as many as they can and to stop the injured from being taken to hospital.
11- It takes 5 to 8 hours to get people to hospital because of airstrikes targeting roads and any moving vehicles on the roads to Saada.
12- Doctors have to use the minimum of everything even though it's not medically advised.
13- The hospital will run out of the most needed medicines within 1 or 2 weeks depending on the number of airstrikes and casualties.

In Saada city I found that the Saudi coalition airstrikes had destroyed many places:

1- The old city of Saada was badly damaged and entire neighbourhoods had been flattened.?
2- 80% of gas/petrol stations were destroyed.
3- All shopping centres, new and old markets, especially in the old city of Saada, were destroyed.
4- Many car sales businesses were destroyed.
5- All fruit and vegetable coolers and storage places were destroyed.
6- Most of Saada's mills were destroyed.
7- All private and state banks were destroyed.
8- All government and public sector buildings were destroyed.
9- Many schools were destroyed or badly damaged.
10- Most of the medical clinics in rural areas were destroyed, according to the Aljomhory Hospital director.
11- Roads had been targeted making some rural areas inaccessible.
12- Communication centres were destroyed.
13- Farms were targeted with cluster bombs.
14- Powers stations were destroyed.
15- The water company was destroyed.
16- Water pumps and wells across Saada were destroyed.
17- The cooking gas company was destroyed.

All of this is just a fraction of what the Saudi coalition airstrikes did in Saada province, because areas and villages near Saudi Arabia's borders have been totally destroyed by Saudi coalition airstrikes and their constant shelling.

As the old city of Saada and most villages are built with mud, just like other old cities across?Yemen, I have been told by doctors?that many dead women and?children?were killed by?suffocation when?they?were buried?alive inside their flattened homes following the Saudi coalition airstrikes.

Please feel free to republish my article. Below are the photos I took during my visit which are free for you to use. For any further enquiries please contact me, Hussain Albukhaiti, on:

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