A Letter to Sana’a Municipality: Why all this Mess? [Archives:1999/40/Reportage]

October 4 1999

By: Hisham Al-Qubati,
Yemen Times
Without prior notice, they arrived at Souk Madbah. The poor fruit and vegetable sellers had not enough time to run away with their goods scattered in front of them and in a few minutes, the Sana’a Municipality campaign forcibly make everybody run away leaving everything behind them to be thrown on the ground and trodden by the feet of Akhdams, who run here and there collecting what was worthy to be eaten. The wheelbarrows together with the fruit they carried were broken and destroyed by the tractor of the Municipality. It was very painful to everybody chanced to be there to see such brutal behavior towards peaceful people who spend days and nights in the open air offering their fresh fruits and vegetables in order to earn their living. The Yemen Times soon harried to the scene of the event and interviewed some of the victims of the Municipality who were still in a state of shock for losing “everything”Ali
As soon as they arrived, they started throwing everything on the ground using their hands, legs and the tractor accompanying them. We could save only a small part of our “goods”. I was brutally pushed away by a soldier when I tried to collect my belongings. I used to sell apples, oranges, grapes, bananas and pomegranates. Now I have lost all of this which cost more than 200,000 Rials. Some others lost about 600,000 Rials. All the fruits we used to sell were scattered on the ground and trodden on by the Municipality men ,as well as the passers by who found it a good chance to have fresh fruits free.
A young boy
The Municipality campaign arrived at 10 O’clock in the morning, threw the fruits on the ground and took some of them by large boxes into their cars. They even broke and destroyed the wheelbarrows. I saw the “Akhdams- working for the Sana’a Municipality” collecting the fruits and vegetables. I also saw a soldier pushing a man selling tomatoes and the Akhdams harried and took the wheelbarrow with the tomatoes in it.
Saleh Mohammed Mohammed Ahmad Al-Ahmady
I left my vegetables and fruits and went to look for some apples and oranges. When I came I found the mess you see. When I asked why? They told they were ordered to do so!. I have lost about 35,000 Rials. My neighbor, Jebran who used to sell many kinds of fruits lost more than 600,000 Rials.
Many others could not say a word as if they were paralyzed by the unhumanitarian behavior of the Municipality men who are always seen everywhere dogging this category of poor people for nothing but scaring them. On behalf of these miserable people, the Yemen Times wants to tell the Municipality of Sana’a: Please, live and let live.