Yemenis stuck abroad wait for a way back home

Yemenis stuck abroad wait for a way back home
Thousands of Yemenis are trapped abroad, with no way of getting home due to the closure of all entry points after the start of the Saudi-led war against the Houthis.
2 min read
02 April, 2015
All airspace in Yemen has been closed [AFP]

Ali al-Awdi, a 57-year-old Yemeni, is stuck in Jordan, waiting for a flight home that does not look like coming soon.

Awdi was seeking medical treatment in Jordan when the Saudi-led campaign began in Yemen, closing all air and sea ports in the country and leaving thousands of Yemenis stranded in airports around the world.

"I was intending to go back in spite of the recent events," Awdi said. "I've now lost a lot of money because of being forced to stay in Jordan with my wife," he said, adding he only has enough to last another week.

He was one of many Yemenis at the Yemeni embassy in Amman, where officials were unable to help them.

Yemenis in Egypt face the same problem. Abeer al-Sulaihi is one of those trapped.

     I've now lost a lot of money because of being forced to stay in Jordan.
Ali al-Awdi

"My parents live here in Egypt," Sulaihi told al-Araby al-Jadeed. "They asked me to transfer some money to them to cover their living costs but I couldn't because transfers are not allowed."

Instead, Sulaihi's parents have had to borrow money from other relatives in Saudi Arabia.

Outside of the Arab world, Maher al-Qazhi, a Yemeni student, is waiting to return home on holiday from India. "Hundreds of Yemenis living in India haven't been able to come back," al-Qazhi said.

The Yemeni head of expatriate affairs in Egypt and North Africa, Ibrahim al-Jahmi, said his government was working to resolve the issue.

"We have formed a committee to find a solution with international organisations to provide safe and appropriate means to bring Yemenis back home," Jahmi said.

"There are no accurate figures of the number of Yemenis stuck in airports and foreign countries," Jahmi added, before saying that he believed there to be about 2,000 people stuck in Egypt, as well as 250 Yemenis on a plane travelling from Egypt to Yemen forced to land in Djibouti because of the ongoing fighting.

The closure of sea and air ports in Yemen has also affected foreigners inside Yemen who want to leave to escape the fighting.

200 UN workers have been able to leave for Djibouti, but many others are trapped.