I only heard about the situation in Yemen 5 months ago and it has taken me a while to make any sort of sense of it. I didn’t know what a Houthi was, or a Hadi, the city names were mysterious, and who was dropping the bombs? Where did America fit in?

Well now I’ve finally got it. Or at least, I’m starting to figure more out.

And now that I know more I’ve been wondering, should I be promoting a side in this blog? Should I support the Saudi-led coalition since that is who the US supports? Why would I want to support bombing civilians?

When I first started this blog, I tried to read so much trying to understand it all. I still don’t understand everything, but I’ve come a long way from seeing news and posting it with a quoted excerpt since I couldn’t make sense of it to come up with my own. And now, I can tell the difference between news sources that support one side: some are clearly in support of Saudi Arabia, some distinctly anti-American.

So…. Who should I be supporting here? Who should win this?

Five months ago, I had never seen a dead body (outside of a funeral parlor where they try to make you look nice). We are very sheltered with our news media here in America. I’ve tried so hard to avoid any and all graphic images… It’s hard because some people have different opinions of what is graphic, some ignore giving warnings, and some not-American news media put them right on the front page.

I’ve seen people from Yemen, maybe around the world (I don’t always check locations), filled with sadness and anger over the Saudi airstrikes commenting that the world needs to see these images… the graphic, horrifying images. Allow me to pause this for a moment. I’m a bit strange. I treat inanimate objects like they have feelings. I once got a little stuffed monkey at the store when I was younger because the tail was falling off. I was afraid no one would buy him, he’d be alone forever, so I wanted to fix him and love him. So images straight out of real life Game of Thrones are not an attention grabber for me. Headlines are enough. Now back to the world needing to see these images coming out of Yemen…. America unfortunately sees too much fake violence. Game of Thrones violence. Video game violence. So even though I try to avoid the most graphic pictures due to my extremely weak stomach, when I see the real ones? I look away quickly after a brief churning stomach. It’s almost as if these photos aren’t real.

But those dead bodies I had never seen until 5 months ago? The tv shows, the movies, the video games? They all get this wrong. Seeing the real thing? A man holding his mother who was at a funeral when it was bombed? No made-up story can capture that. I’m not used to seeing anything like it. The real thing is sad. Extremely, terribly, breaks your heart SAD.

And I do not want to support the ones who did that.

Soooooo….. what does this mean? The opposite of not wanting to support the ones dropping the bombs means supporting the other side? Well… not necessarily. I have decided that I am on Team Let’s not kill each other!

I don’t want to see university students becoming soldiers to pay for their tuition.

I don’t want to see children arming themselves.

I don’t want to see old men fight in a war because they have fought for enough already and deserve to live the rest of their lives in peace.

I don’t want to see anyone else starving or sick when those things can be prevented.

I want to see humanitarian aid making it to all the places that need it.

I don’t want to see girls married too young, when they’re still children.

I want to see children be able to go to school without a care, without worrying about the next airstrike.

I want to see people fishing on their boats.

While trying to read up as much news as possible, I’ve been trying to read about Yemen’s culture. I think this is important. When you are fighting in a war, this is what you are fighting for. Well, other than people not dying. How many UNESCO World Heritage Sites do you have, Yemen? How would Americans feel if bombs fell on our Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone? Our country is young and our monuments (the not natural ones) are young. Yemen’s are much MUCH older. We wouldn’t want to see our history, symbols of our culture destroyed. This is just like us.

And I have noticed in my 5 months of blogging that it’s not images of war that suck people into wanting to know more… to wanting this country to be helped. Some of my most noticed, popular posts so far (as much as my little blog has to offer) have been cultural ones. The Old City of Sana’a, food, Socotra’s Dragon Blood trees, a bride, COFFEE. Where would many Americans be without you sharing coffee with the world, Yemen? I have seen people refer to Yemen as culturally backwards. Spit your coffee out right now, people. Yemen also built skyscrapers before we even existed.

Photos of Valentine’s Day in Sana’a? I was not expecting that to be my most popular post this month! But you know what? Americans can relate to Valentine’s Day. We can relate to everyday things. These are things we see as normal, just like us. 

What I want to know: If so many Americans are so against abortion, against even funding international organizations that support it, because abortion is not pro-life… Then why are Americans ok with their tax dollars paying for bombs that kill innocent people? Why are they supporting this?  Because there are some people who will never think we’re all equals or that others are just like us. I’ve seen some nasty comments on my journey.

Some people think everyone in Yemen is a terrorist out to get us.

Some think Yemeni immigrants to America are going to force all Americans to convert to Islam.

Some think Yemen is not taking in their fair share of refugees. Do they think it’s currently a blissful wonderland over there?

Some even justify women and children dying in our Navy SEAL raid because get this… the fake news media got it wrong. Those people weren’t innocent. They were terrorists.

This raid brings up a good example of who should I support? What side should my blog support? I saw what I shall call the Houthi rebel side condemn this raid calling it a terrorist attack. I also saw ousted Hadi praise it. I saw my own government praise it.

I cannot praise it. That is not Team Let’s not kill each other! I think there are a lot of people out there who think the same way, who see a beautiful culture, innocent people dying, and do not want to personally or financially support it.

People who are still reading my long spiel, and who actually pay attention to my blog, I am still learning. I will post news reports I think offer important information, no matter what side of the conflict they support. You can decide for yourself.

I have decided that I want the people of Yemen to be happy and healthy and whoever leads their country to that seemingly simple request is fine with me. Let’s not kill each other.

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