To the people of Yemen,
Why has my country neglected to acknowledge your suffering? Why was I unaware of the extreme starvation of your friends, family, and children? While I have educated myself now, I am truly sorry that I could not have learned earlier. I am also extremely disappointed in the ignorance of the public, and the lack of representation from the media. While people in America are worried about which restaurant is open for take out, you are worried about the fact that you are suffering through the worst humanitarian crises in the world. While America is arguing about wearing masks, you are marking your fifth year of war. While America is making jokes about quarantine, potentially 85,000 Yemini children under the age of five have died from starvation since 2015. I wish that my country could be more grateful. I am not, however, implying that we have perfect lives here. I am simply saying that we should be grateful for the privilege many of us have due to living in America.
During this time, I have become closer with my God through prayer. I hope that if you worship a deity or multiple deities, that you have been able to do the same. If you do not belong to a religion, then I hope that you have found some source of joy and peace during these treacherous times. I have also found happiness in listening and making music. That is another thing I am grateful for, that I have the time to pursue things that make me happy. The virus, the Black Lives Matter protests, and learning about your country has allowed me the chance to view things from many different standpoints.
I will forever keep you and your people in my heart and prayers, but that is not enough. I will do all that I can to spread awareness, to give you a voice. I have never been in the situation you are in, but I can only imagine your strength and perseverance, and hope. While advice from me would be invalid, I can share with you a quote I read from The Hunger Games. “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” You can have fear for your own life, your friends’ or family’s, or fear for the future of your country, but even the smallest ounce of hope can help you overcome it. One of the teachers at my middle school used to say “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the pollution.” While he used this to educate people on climate change, I think that it applies to your current situation. If I am not actively helping you, then I am only hurting you. I’d hate to end this letter on a solem note, however, it would be foolish of me to sum up your pain in a sappy sentence that does not provide anything to you. A sentence similar to that would only act as words on a page, with neither a meaning, nor a purpose. So instead, I will not end this letter in a formal way, because your suffering has not ended. Yemen, I hear your cry.