Saleem* is 11 years old and was displaced from Al-Haimah, in the north of Yemen, along with his parents, one brother and two sisters. Saleem and his family were displaced from Al-Haimah when the conflict started in March 2015. They left everything. Now they are all living in a very small apartment that Saleem’s father is renting. Saleem and his brother stopped attending school when their school was targeted in Al-Haimah. Their father is no longer living with the family so they no longer have an income, which forced Saleem and his brother to work on the streets to sell eggs to feed their family. Recently Saleem and his brother were able to join Al Zubari School in Sana’a, but they really miss their old school.
In their own words
“It was a perfect morning that weekend; we planned to go out with friends to play with my new bike that afternoon. Suddenly, we heard massive explosion, I was crying with my brother. Our house was hit by shrapnel. Next day we moved to Sana’a.
We had to walk to Sana’a as there was no fuel so transportation was very expensive and my father couldn’t rent a car. The road was so long, it took us a couple of hours. After arriving, my father found a small apartment for us to stay in. My father went to fight with the military to pay the rent. My father left us without income and we didn’t have anything to eat. My mother asked me and my little brother to go outside and sell eggs in the streets to make money for us to buy food. We were forced to stay here because it is still too dangerous at home; my friend who went back to his house was killed by a missile.
While I was selling eggs in the street, I heard some of children saying that the school had reopened again, I went back quickly to my mom and asked if I could go to school again. She said yes.
On the first day, it wasn’t like my old school. I have no one here, no friends. I was depressed. Also, it is very difficult to study in very crowded classrooms where they put three grades in the same classroom. It is overcrowded. It is not good. I cannot understand what the lessons are about. I dream of waking up one day to hear that the war has ended. I want to see my friends again! I want to study in my previous school.”