Stories

Heartbreaking Story of a Man Lost his Two Legs to a Landmine

Republican Yemen - 2 December News _ Translated and edited by Sami Almaqtari

Due to landmines laid by the Houthi rebels in large swaths of war-torn Yemen, thousands of innocent civilians have fallen victim to such mines.

Today, we tell the story of a man who dwells in a village called Al-Twafa in Tho Bab district, which lies near Bab el-Mandab strait in the impoverished country.

In a straw-made tent lives fifty-five-year-old Aish Abdullah Gaber Anbari whose two legs were lost to a landmine planted by the Houthi rebels.

Sitting on a shabby wheelchair, with depression and sorrow on his wrinkled face, he started to narrate what happened to him and how his life has turned upside down.

“Two years ago, I went to Wahega Beach to work and earn some money so that I could feed my family,” said Aish in a voice full of pain. ” When I arrived,” he continued, “there was nobody there. I just thought I was a bit early. Then all of a sudden, something I had stepped on blew up. I just found myself thrown 15 meters away from where I had previously been.”

Poor Aish Abdullah did not know a landmine had just exploded beneath his feet. He was just checking his hand that was wounded with shrapnel, not knowing the worst was yet to come. He was not aware that he would not be able to ever walk again.

As his sons and grandsons gathered around us outside his straw-made tent ( The reporter of 2 December News and Aish Abdullah ), he went on to say ” I started yelling and screaming, hoping someone would come and rescue me but it was to no avail,” he added, “I just lied down and stared up at the sky giving in to the thought that I was living the last minutes of my life. Yet I fought these thoughts and determined not to simply give up. I was gathering my strength and struggling to sit up when everything just went black. I guess I just lost consciousness. “

While Aish was slowly losing his life, a camel owner happened to walk over there. He saw him and rushed into the village, calling for help.

When Aish regained consciousness, he had been already on an old car taking him to a hospital in the port city of Hodeida. He turned his head and was in a complete shock. His legs, torn into pieces, were lying next him!

“Only then did I realize a landmine had blown up and ripped off my legs,” he told the editor of “December 2 News”, not remembering all the ins and outs of what had happened and how he had ended up in a car.”

There in the hospital, little was done for the poor man; they only stopped his bleeding and asked him to pay for the modest medical treatment he received.

One of the patients gave him a second-hand wheelchair to help him move inside and outside his tent.

Aish used to feed his family of ten sons, one of whom, who seems to be the oldest, is married with four kids and suffers from Asthma.

Now, Aish can’t work, and nor can his sick son.

A pro-government soldier tries to clear mines laid by Houthis near the western coast of Yemen

Before leaving, we asked Aish if there were anything he was in need for  that we could provide for him. “Be my guest for the day,” he answered in a hospitable way despite the fact that he does not have enough food for a single day.

We paraphrased our question, “How do you need people to help you?” He answered,” I want them to pray for me that Allah ( God ) grant me patience. I would be grateful for whatever help I can get.” He paused for a few seconds, staring down on the ground, and continued, “I only need another wheelchair in stead of this. The one I am using now makes it hard for me to move, and I usually fall down and hurt myself.”

According to a report published by “The New York Times” two weeks ago, the mines have killed as many as 920 civilians and wounded thousands.

The report indicated that the minefields will leave Yemen riddled with buried explosives that could kill or maim unsuspecting civilians for decades before the devices can all be removed.

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