Ahmed doesn’t ask for much. Maybe some walls for his bombed-out school in Yemen. Windows would be nice, too, so he doesn’t get wet when it rains, he smiles. But 9-year-old Ahmed doesn’t complain. Even though he is blind, he’s too busy teaching the younger kids when the adults on staff (who are not paid) can’t show up. He likes the Quran and science, he tells the BBC.
Every day in Yemen, kids like Ahmed are starving. A civil war has spiraled out of control as Saudi Arabia and Iran use Yemen to wage a battle for regional influence. The children of Yemen are the greatest losers as the combatants weaponize hunger and misery. Yet those children still go to school. Yet Ahmed still teaches amid the wreckage. Still, they hope.
The lack of global help is a “failure of humanity,” says Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council. But how can we help Ahmed? Aid is one way, certainly. The Biden administration has also stopped supporting Saudi military operations in Yemen. That’s a “good thing,” Mr. Egeland adds.
But just as vital, he says, is to help those involved see the needless brutality of a senseless war. There can be a human impulse for all “these grown men with arms and power [to] sit down before they kill all the children.” That will take energy and leadership, Mr. Egeland says. Thankfully, a blind child in a destroyed schoolhouse is offering a glimpse of what that looks like.