Sunday, August 7, 2011

Iftar under the candle light

Iftar under the candle light sounds great, but it's not. It's one thing to enjoy iftar under the candle lights for one night, it's completely a different story if it's something constant, which it is. Since the start of the holy month, with the exception of today, we have lacked electricity for 22 hours of the day. We devour every minute of that hourly electricity we're getting. We often have so much to do during that previous moment. When the heavenly lights turn on, we jump with excitement. One of us quickly steps outside to turn on the water pump and the other gets the vacuum cleaner. Some days we both just turn on the computer and pray that internet connects quickly before electricity shuts again. Before we sleep my husband and I make sure to charge our two phones, two computers and of course our re-chargeable small lamp. At least if we charge those when electricity is cut we're able to use word for work or watch a movie on the computer to entertain ourselves.

Trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Walking down the streets of Sana'a you still hear the honking horns and the loud shouting of people. You also hear a lot of "trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" the generators that are in many stores. Everyone needs one now, and in fact yesterday we went on a four hour chase to try and get a tiny one. They are overly priced now, and in high demand. We will soon join this group of inconsiderate neighbors as we will have to buy a generator to be able to function. Internet is a must for work and light is necessary for my sanity. Yes, I truly am a product of the 21st Century.

Sensory Overload for the past week, I've been on edge, with ears as strong as satellite antenas. I hear EVERYTHING and anything that sounds remotely close to a gun shot or an explosion I stop and think about it. I then turn to get a confirmation from my husband or anyone near by that what we heard was NOT an explosion. Given that we are having DAILY random fireworks and lots of thunderstorms, it's often hard to differentiate between thunder, fireworks and explosions. This is making me on edge with every little sound and making my husband really irritated by my constant questions.

Need a salary increase please $$$$ To go to our favorite cafe it used to cost us 250 Yemeni Riyal one way by taxi, now it's at least 500 YR. Fuel prices used to be 1,500 YR per dabba (20 liters), when fuel shortage occured it went up to almost 9,000 YR in the black market. It now went down to 3,500 YR and it is widely available (hence the trafic jams). While the prices has doubled from the original 1,500 to 3,500 YR I'm surprised that people are not complaining and in fact happy that we at least have fuel. Unlike the ghost town that Sana'a became for a short while, traffic jams are now back. The worry I have, and what seems very likely is that these price increases in fuel, transportation, and basic food items will stick even if prices are reduced.
But despite all these negative things, Sana'a seems to be coming back to life slowly. Sana'a is experiencing a typical Ramadan when life at night is the norm, but with major setbacks.

Of course these are very minute things compared to the greater issues facing people in Yemen such as death, human rights violations, hospitals that can't function, displaced people, malnutrition, water crisis.. etc.. the list can go on. This post is just a personal reflection of my day to day and as someone on twitter said, the accumulation of small distresses.


Unknown said...

Nothing lasts forever , things will get better soon or we'll die trying.
but for now we shall all stand tall and strong we are at the end of the darkest tunnel in the history of yemen.

Unknown said...

i hope's true change takes a long time.. and it has to get very bad before it gets better.