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May. 10th, 2012

Slaughter our Muslim Men, Women, and Children. It’s what you do best.

We Muslim are the new Nigger or haven’t you noticed?  American soldiers can slaughter our unarmed women, and children like Robert Bales did in Panjwai Afghanistan. Soldiers like Bales can then get the American public to feel sorry for him when he gets caught.  According to Times Magazine and other western news outlets he can blame it, (the slaughter of 17 villagers) not  on the alcohol but on post war syndrome, stress from numerous deployments and the list of excuses goes on.    We should all feel sorry for him.  He isn’t the only one with post war syndrome, and traumatic stress disorder. DISORDER! The only disorder here is that 19 poor Muslim villagers were killed like the black people were killed and lynched by the KKK.  The similarity is there.  The southern blacks were considered to be Niggers, less than human.  Two thirds to be exact, and that is exactly how the Muslim is being viewed in the minds of westerners. Lynch us, beat us, or in Robert Bales case just slaughter us.  Were only Muslims, and nobody gives a damn.  We, Muslims end up being that strange fruit hanging from a tree. We’re the lynched Niggers because westerns believe we don’t feel love, compassion, or even happiness.  I am here to tell you, we do feel those things.  We love our Mothers and kin folk just like you do.

My Question is:  Where is the outrage? Where is the sympathy and concern from the American public for those Muslim villagers?  I will answer that.  There is none. The American government has shown to the Muslim world that you can kill us and blame it on the stress disorder.  Let's make a song that says, “Blame the mass murder on the syndrome.”

Robert Bales wasn’t the first American soldier to mass slaughter people. Lets not forget the Haditha Killings in Iraq on 19 November 2005.  Twenty four (24) Iraqi noncombatants, including 11 women and children, were killed by 12 Marines from 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines  This group of marines were so incompetent or careless that they went from house to house perpetrating the same evil deed in the hope that it would render a different outcome.    In each home all they got was the murder of women, children, and unarmed men.  One rational minded person would think, “I used the wrong approach in the first house, and every one ended up dead.  Maybe I should try a different approach for the second house.  But of course that wasn’t the rational thinking of that battalion of Marines. They decided to make the same careless error over and over again while the death toll climbed exponentially.  How stupid can a military outfit be?  As a result of their foolish efforts they didn't even find the man who setoff the roadside bomb.

In both the Robert Bales and the Haditha Killings cases Americans cried out to save their soldier boys from their rightful punishment of death like the many deaths they caused.  As a result, the Muslim people are left wondering what makes you so better than us that our blood can be shed so easily.  Are we the strange fruit that will hang from your trees like the Negro once did?

Feb. 8th, 2008

Combat Sport Attracts Yemeni Youths


By: Robert Franklin Drapper For the Yemen Times


Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is making its début in Yemen through the skilled hand of

Captain BIlaal Broadway. BJJ is a style of martial arts that focuses on ground fighting, known as grappling, with the goal of gaining a dominating position through using chokeholds, joint -locks, and eventually forcing the opponent to submit, which basically means to admit defeat.

Captain Broadwat, a Muslim American practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is bringing BJJ to Yemen as a "means to raise morale in people and promote real life self defense".

Broadway has a martial arts history that started with him studying Sanucus Ryu ui-Jitsu, which has enabled him to further comprehend and implement different styles of Jiu-Jitsu, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. a

He has lived off and on in Yemen since 2004, I started BJJ in the summer of 2006. Yemenis seem to like it and the price is affordable, he said.

Mohammad Al-Godamy, 16, a university student and a convert to BJJ says :" I like it because anyone can do it regardless of size and strength and I feel I can protect myself from any threats on the street."

There are other types of martial arts such as Karate, Teakwood Do, Kick Boxing, and even Judo, but they lack the holistic approach to real life self defense. These types of fighting only work if you are standing up, and they wont guarantee the defeat of the opponent. Additionally, BJJ is geared toward ending the fight quickly. Even Khalid Al-Anesi, 25, a university student, and novice martial artist who has studied some of these above limited styles believes BJJ is superior. BJJ is more affective because you use more leverage to submit your opponent, rather than using a lot of hits and physical strength.

Captain Broadway has studied and trained in many of the above styles of martial arts, and he earnestly believes that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the best, and he is here to tell us why.

BJJ gives its practitioner "self respect, self awareness of ones physical abilities, and self confidence," Captain Broadway proudly explains. In fact, Al-Godamy is proof of the above statement. His self confidence has improved and he is a better person than what he was before.

BJJ is used for close combat that is geared towards taking a person to the ground, thereby reducing their threat to you. As shown throughout the world, most martial arts is focused on punches, blocks, kicks, and chops from a standing position, but none of these are effective from the ground, and if you take away a man's affective ness, you take away his ability to hurt you. Once the person is on the ground the BJJ practitioner uses "joint manipulation (locks) chokes, submission, and overall totally dominants the opponent," says Captain Broadway.

As one can tell, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a real street fighting art, which requires a partner to learn it. "A person who studies BJJ is more likely to know how to deal with a real life street attack from an attacker because in training you are constantly training with a partner using those same self defense techniques," says Captain Broadway.

BJJ teaches people through real combat experience in a practice situation to defeat an opponent compared to someone who is just doing shadow boxing, or practicing techniques wit
hout a partner. "Yes, practicing techniques alone is good," says Captain Broadway, "and you will develop a certain level of fighting proficiency, but that person wont know how to control his adrenalin and channel his adrenalin" in a real fighting situation, and as expected he may seriously injure his opponent" or he may not fight hard enough, and then "he will be overcome by the assailant," says Broadway. Captain Broadway further explains, "With BJJ we answer the call of threat with the appropriate amount of force," and this enables the fight to be controlled and ended quickly without killing the opponent.

Captain Broadway is the only known trained practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu living in Yemen.

He was trained by Clint Leon, a 5th degree black belt in BJJ from Holland, for 6 months, 3 times per week. Under the watchful eyes of Clint Leon, "I learned close to 100 BJJ submission techniques," says Mr. Broadway. If that is not enough for the novice martial artist to want to learn from Mr. Broadway, than listen to this. The Emirates Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brought Mr. Broadway on as a training partner. Carlos Santos, head coach of the Emirates Braziliam Jiu-jitsu team monitored Mr. Broadway, and yes Mr. Santos even asked Mr. Broadway to join the team. What an honor, only the skilled are even permitted to practice with the elite team of the Emirates. But here's the big question. Did Mr. Broadway accept the offer? "I postponed the offer until later when I will return to the Emirates in May 2008 to join the team and compete in the Abu Dhabi International Cup, " he says.

Mr. Broadway is not a black belt, he is only between a white belt and blue belt, but that doesn't hinder him from being able to defeat an opponent. Mr. Broadway jokingly says," belts are awarded to many students learning karate, Teakwood Do, or Kung-Fu to further encourage their progress in that art, even if they are not proficient in that level. On the other hand, "BJJ focuses on a student having the ability to execute a technique with proficiency while he is under duress. Gaining a belt is the second objective because in a real fight," Mr. Broadway laughingly says, "a belt won't save your life."

Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is fun, energetic, and yes, everyone can learn it. "Anyone can learn BJJ if they are willing to come to the class," Mr. Broadway says. BJJ is for anybody of "average health," says Mr. Broadway. Mr. Broadway, a certified fitness trainer,and former body builder is obviously without a doubt, a well learned martial artist who can improve the fight game for any person willing to learn the combat sport of BJJ. "My desire is to start an official BJJ team in Yemen," says Captain Broadway.

Nov. 21st, 2007

School Sports Improves students performance

School sports improve student performance

Yemen Times Staff


School sports and activities make students more energized, self-confident, more attentive in class and even increase their desire to go to school, according to students and teachers at Yemeni schools. Robert Draper reports.

Yemeni students often face crowded classrooms and lack of educational resources, on top of which many are malnourished and tired, but school sports and activities have helped change the learning environment for many.

Sports are good for girls

At Kawkaban School for girls , in Sana’a city, whose students play basketball, soccer, tennis and badminton, athletes are the best learners. “Athletes participate more in classroom activities because sports activate the mind,” observes guidance counselor Nawal Al-Masili, a 12-year education veteran.

Such students also are more sociable and outgoing when working with other students. As Kawkaban School supervisor Jamila Ali says, “Athletes work better in group activities; all of the other students follow them.”

She continues, “Athletes are more self-confident than non-athletes. They’re not shy about giving their opinion!”

Additionally, it is a team mentality, which is that everyone can achieve together, that athletes bring to public school classrooms in Yemen. Because they are used to competition, they go after the goal, not just on the soccer field or the tennis court, but also in the classroom.

Such team mentality “helps [the girl athletes] to study and get high marks in school,” as well as participate more in class, according to Kawkaban Principal Lutfiya Hamza.

Sports and learning have merged to form a mutually supportive relationship for both boys and girls. “Sports are very good for girls because those who play sports like to learn,” says Ali Ahmed Rajeh, manager of general relations at the Education Office in Sana’a.

“An athletic person is better than a non-athletic person because they are more active and energetic in class,” says 15-year-old Khulood Al-Hamdani, an 11th-grade science student at Kawkaban School. A basketball player herself, she remarks, “It’s an interesting sport. I like working together as a group.”

Fellow Kawkaban 11th-grader Sara Al-Thamari, 16, believes sports gives her more energy to answer questions in class, while at the same time enabling her to maintain a healthy body and mind. She particularly likes swimming and billiards because, as she says, “it’s better than sitting at home.”

In addition to physical sports, some enjoy activities of the mind. Another 11th-grader, 15-year-old Rodaina Al-Sanawi, has been playing chess for five years. When asked if chess makes her smarter, she simply replies, “Yes, of course.” She also believes it improves her mind. “I can concentrate more and my mind expands.”

Not just for girls

However, girls aren’t the only ones doing school sports.

Leadership, self-confidence and assertiveness are traits respected worldwide. Al-Kuwait County School coach Abdullah Mohammed Saleh notes that martial arts such as Judo and karate “improve self-confidence and get students to come to school,” so the boys can learn to read and write. Hoping to begin martial arts within six months, Saleh already has recruited students from various Sana’a schools.

When boys play sports, he says, “They are very happy and they imagine themselves as heroes.” Feeling like a hero emboldens anyone and gives them confidence in their own abilities. Sports like Judo, karate, tennis, basketball, soccer, etc., also “encourage students to come to school,” he adds.

Al-Kuwait soccer player Hamza Omar Yoursi, 18, affirms this, saying, “I come to school for the sports.”

His friend, 11th-grader Husam Jamil, enjoys playing basketball and chess because such activities “give me more energy and the desire to study more in subjects like geography and biology.”

Because he says sports encourage him to attend school, he wants to go on to university, taking his desire for sports to that level. However, in order to do this, he knows he must study his daily lessons and sports encourages him to do that.

Types of school sports played

Sports differ among schools in Sana’a, with some playing basketball while others play soccer. Because most girls’ schools don’t have inter-school sports teams, they only compete against other students within their own school.

Also, because it isn’t mandatory and not all students want to do sports, only a handful of students participate in a particular sport, notes Ahmed Hamoud Al-Haj, general director of school activities at the ministry of education

Not surprisingly, school sports in Yemen are similar to those in the United States, with most offering soccer, basketball and tennis; however, baseball and American football are absent in Yemen.

Soccer matches are scheduled between different public school districts, with each school putting their best players on their team. At the end of the school year, the districts then compete for the soccer championship. Al-Haj noted that the soccer team in Sana’a governorate won the championship in both 2006 and 2007.

Public schools aren’t the only ones offering sports, as Sam Yemen International School, the American School and many other private schools also offer such activities. However, teams mostly are confined to the individual schools, with players comprised of those from different grades and different rankings within the school.

Currently, there are no records indicating whether students in the top percentile are avid athletes or not.

Cultural views and restraints

As much as school sports and activities have helped improve the lives and grades of many Yemeni students, negative cultural attitudes and problems remain regarding both boys and girls playing sports.

Yemen still suffers from long-held opinions about females playing sports. It’s viewed as a negative thing for a girl or a teenager to jump up and down, run around and be aggressive on a field or a court because in Yemen, women are expected to be shy and not show their bodies in ways that display the female form.

According to Coach Saleh, another issue is that some parents believe school studies are more important than sports.

Additionally, athletes sometimes receive injuries and there’s no one to care for them. Injuries cost money, and with the average Yemeni working man making only $100 a month, such sports injuries only compound the problems of poverty.

Some athletes also lag behind in their studies. Hussein Abdullah Al-Bashani, a Qur’anic teacher at Al-Kuwait County School, believes that students only care about sports and they dismiss their studies. “Students have a desire for sports, but no desire to study,” he asserts.

Currently, there are no rules punishing athletes making poor school grades. Al-Bashani believes that those students who don’t pass their classes should not be permitted to play sports.

Oct. 9th, 2007

Close Cousin Marriages and many other issues lead to Breast Cancer in Yemeni Women

Smoking sheesha, genetic abnormalities, and menstruation are all factors that contribute to breast cancer in Yemeni women, say doctors.

“Breast cancer is on the rise and it is the leading cancer among women in Yemen today,” said Dr. Nadeem Nagi, general director of the National Oncology Center in Yemen. The increasing tendency for women to smoke sheesha accounts for some of this increase in cancer statistics, he explained. 

Sheesha is highly dangerous because it mixes tobacco with fermented fruits, according to a document from Tobacco News and Information. The smoke contains carbon monoxide, tar, and heavy metals, which are known carcinogens, just like any other tobacco product. 

There are mixed views about the link between breast cancer and tobacco, but according to a study published by the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization, Danish women interviewed at the time of mammography, who had smoked for more than 30 years had a 60 percent higher risk of breast cancer. 

Sheesha is not the only factor causing breast cancer in Yemen. A link has also been found between genetic abnormalities and this disease. These abnormalities are more prevalent due to the practice of first-cousin marriages in Yemeni society said Dr. Nagi. 

One third of all marriages among Yemenis are between first cousins. According to a document published by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, two specific genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are key elements in the development of breast cancer. Every woman has these genes, but some women inherit a mutated form of one or both genes, leading to an increased risk of breast andovarian cancer. 

This mutated form of BRCA1 or BRCA2 normally accounts for only about 5 to 10 percent of all cases of breast cancer, but because these genes are inherited, a long history of inbreeding within a family may cause them to predominate within a family’s gene pool. 

Additionally, both early and late menstruation can be a catalyst for breast cancer. When a woman is menstruating, she is hormonally active, said Dr. Nagi.  These hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, have been found to contribute to breast cancer.  Women who begin menstruating early, at 9 or 10 years of age, or those who continue menstruation later than average—past 50 years of age—are exposed to these hormones and their effects for a longer period of time than the average woman.

“If we detect breast cancer early, we use surgery known as a lumpectomy. We surgically remove the cancerous area and some of the surrounding tissue,” said Dr. Nagi. Also, depending on the stage, radiotherapy or chemotherapy is used. If the hormone receptors are active in the body, the patient will receive hormonal treatment in the form of tablets. These tablets depress the hormones estrogen and progesterone, decreasing their catalytic effect on the cancer, according to Dr. Nagi. Due to the high cost of these procedures, all of the treatments are free of charge. 

Many women suffering from breast cancer are seen by Dr. Nagi and his staff at the National Oncology Center. 

Alema Mamood, 45, from Taiz, is currently living with breast cancer. Her situation is much more advanced than most because the cancer has spread to her liver, said Dr. Masood al-Joriki. Mamood was one of the few breast cancer patients willing to receive treatment during the holy month of Ramadan. 

According to the doctors, she doesn’t even know that she has cancer, only that she is sick. “With some patients we don’t tell them they have cancer, because they will refuse treatment,” said Dr. al-Joriki. “They think cancer means death. We tell their family, and we give them treatment,” he said. 

When Ms. Mamood is asked about her health condition, she describes pain in her ribs and underarm. Dr. al-Joriki said that she has had breast cancer for around 5 months, and that her condition started two years ago with a small painless lump in the left breast. It gradually increased in size, and six months later another lump formed. She is one of many patients that undergo chemotherapy and is on her fifth cycle of treatment. 

Mamood is one of the many breast cancer patients who sought treatment during the late stages of the disease and as a result, she had her entire left breast had to be removed.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer begins as a tumor in the cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but can also be found in men. 

The female breast is made up mainly of milk-producing glands, tiny tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple, fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, and blood vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts, some begin in the cells that line the lobules, and the rest occur in other tissues.

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. From a total of 58 million deaths worldwide in 2005, cancer accounts for 7.6 million—13 percent—of all deaths and breast cancer is one of the most common contributors to overall cancer mortality, accounting for 502,000 deaths in 2005. 

Countries such as Yemen, which suffer from poverty, suffer greatly from breast cancer as more than 70 percent of all cancer deaths in 2005 occurred in low and middle-income countries. Deaths from cancer in the world are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 9 million people succumbing to cancer in 2015 and 11.4 million in the year 2030.

"Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. The female breast is made up mainly of lobules (milk-producing glands), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple), and stroma (fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels, and most breast cancers begin in the cells that line the ducts ( ductal cancers); some begin in the cells that line the lobules ( lobular cancers), and the rest in other tissues," according to a breast cancer health document published by the American Cancer Society.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. From a total of 58 million deaths worldwide in 2005, cancer accounts for 7.6 million (or 13%) of all deaths." Breast Cancer is one of the main types of cancer leading to overall cancer mortality rate. "Breast Cancer cause 502,000 deaths in year 2005, according to the WHO. Furthermore, countries like Yemeni, which suffer from poverty is at high risk for an increase in breast cancer because "more than 70% of all cancer deaths in 2005 occurred in low and middle income countries," according to WHO. "Deaths from cancer in the world are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 9 million people dying from cancer in 2015 and 11.4 million dying in 2030," according to WHO 

Qat & Epstein-Bar Virus Induces Cancer in Yemen Men

Click here for Yemen Observer's copy of this article: http://www.yobserver.com/sports-health-and-lifestyle/10013157.html
Qat chewers who are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus are flocking to hospitals in large numbers complaining of symptoms including difficulty swallowing, tumor like lumps growing on their bodies, and neck pain.

Farming chemicals used to grow Qat and fruit have been found to be catalysts for nasopharyngeal cancer in people who have previously been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, according to new medical findings. 

The National Cancer Center of Yemen is confronting this epidemic with medical treatment in clinics and educational seminars in the public school system. 

“Nasopharyngeal cancer is on the rise in Yemen,” says Dr. Faisal Abdullah Khurasani, a general physician at al-Jumhori Teaching Hospital. “I have seen approximately 120 patients per year with nasopharyngeal cancer. Qat farmers use chemicals to grow plants more rapidly, and it is these chemicals that cause the cancer,” says Dr. Khurasani. 

“[Nasopharyngeal] cancer is increasing in Yemen because a lot of carcinogenic chemical substances are sprayed on vegetables and fruits,” says Dr. Yahi Mogally, a cancer specialist. Dr. Mogally has seen about 100 cancer patients in the outpatient department. Those chemicals have been found to catalyze the development of cancer cells already encouraged by the Epstein-Barr virus. 

The Epstein-Barr virus, also known as EBV, is a herpes simplex that is widespread in all human populations. Many cases of nasopharyngeal cancer worldwide are associated with the Epstein-Barr virus, according to a document entitled ‘Infectious Agents & Cancer’ published by Cancer Research UK. 

EBV-induced nasopharyngeal cancer affects many Yemenis, and Farris Mohammed, 21, is one of its victims. 

“Mohammed lost weight and he was drenched in sweat when he came to us,” says Dr. Khurasani. Mohammed has been a patient for the past months. When Mohammed is asked how he is feeling, he simply says, “there is some improvement.” Mohammed has had EBV-induced nasopharyngeal cancer for six months, but Dr. Khurasani says that he was wrongly diagnosed as having tuberculosis, and took TB medicine for two months. That is why he came to Al-Jumhori Teaching Hospital five months ago. 

He was referred to have a biopsy of his lymph nodes and that is when the doctors realized he had cancer. Mohammed is one of the few patients expected to have a full recovery because his cancer was caught in the early stages, says Dr. Khurasani. 

Other Yemenis with nasopharyngeal cancer will not be so lucky. “I have been chewing Qat for 20 years,” says Saleh Ali Abdulrahman, 45, a farmer from a village on the outskirts of Sana’a. Eight months ago he knew he was sick when a mass grew on his neck and he had difficulty swallowing. “The mass was 80 centimeters wide, now it is 2 centimeters,” says Dr. Khurasani. Abdulrahman has been a patient for three months and is on his second cycle of Cisplatin, a medicine used to treat cancer patients, explains Dr. Khurasani. In addition, he will be treated with radiotherapy in the future.

Forty percent of cancers can be prevented by a healthy diet and physical activity, according to a document about cancer published by the World Health Organization. “Since I started treatment, I stopped chewing Qat, and I decided to stop chewing Qat all together,” Abdulrahman said. It is this new healthy path in life that will ensure that he remains cancer-free. 

Cancer-free is a goal that Yemen is striving for, and, like other countries, it is a goal that Yemen will probably never achieve. Because the chemicals used to grow Qat are linked to cancer, brochures about the dangers of chewing are handed out to patients at the NCCY. Also, those dangers are taught in the public school health curricula three or four times per year, according to Dr. Khurasani. 

Doctors from the medical clinic go to boys’ and girls’ schools in Sana’a, but because the National Cancer Center of Yemen “is suffering from a massive influx of patients, we don’t have time to do the full educational program,” says Dr. Khuransani. 

According to an American Cancer Society brochure called, General Information About Nasopharyngeal Cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer is relatively rare in most parts of the world. In the United States it occurs in seven out of every one million persons. This may add up to about 2,000 cases a year there. However, this cancer is much more common in areas of Asia and North Africa. Nasopharyngeal cancer most often affects people beginning at age 30 and older, but can be seen in children. About half of the world’s patients are less than 55 years old.  


Oct. 7th, 2007

Antiretroviral drugs help HIV patients, specialists say

Antiretroviral drugs help HIV patients, specialists say
Antiretroviral drugs and counselling are being used to heal both the bodies and minds of HIV infected people in Yemen, specialists have said.

The National Aids & Sexually Transmitted Disease Program (NAP), which is headed by Dr. Fouzia Abdullah Saeed Ghramah, who is a community medicine specialist, is confronting the HIV epidemic in Yemen by providing free medicine, HIV/AIDS education, and group counselling, but the stigma of HIV prevents people from seeking the free help.

As of right now, "$191,000.00 for 200 patients has been spent on antiretroviral drugs, which comes from UNICEF," says Ms.Ghramah. It is the antiretroviral drugs “that stops the reproduction of the HIV virus," according to Dr. Achmed Yahya Al-Nehmi, a lab technician at Al-Gumhouri Teaching Hospital.

As of present day, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS but there are antiretroviral drugs to stop the spread of the infection at different stages. "We get combinations of antiretroviral drugs from the World Health Organization, and the dates are on the packet, and so it is not expired," says Dr. AL-Nehmi.

After testing the Cd-4 count of the patient, the doctor gives drugs to patients who have a CD4 of less than 200. Dr. AL-Nehmi explains to the patients that the "antiretroviral stops the reproduction of the HIV virus “We slowly decrease their (HIV infected people) fear about this problem (HIV)," says Mr. AL-Zomor.

Antiretroviral drugs are available in all western countries, and "antiretroviral treatment for HIV infected patients was first introduced in 1986.

Zidovudine (ZDV), a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor(NsRTI), was the first drug that was used and was shown to reduce deaths," of HIV infected people, according to the World Health Organization.

The organization added that "in Europe and North America, AIDS mortality has dropped significantly in large part due to access to regimens of 3 or more antiretroviral drugs."

It is this decrease in mortality rates that NAP is looking to manifest in Yemen. The Ministry of Public Health and Population has a list of 2,075 cases of people living with HIV/AIDS," says, Dr. Areej M Taher, a NAP technical officer. Many Yemeni people can be helped by the antiretroviral medication, but "because of the stigma they (HIV infected people), are afraid to come, they refuse to come here," says Dr. Taher.

HIV stigma

Stigma of HIV & Aids has been thwarted drastically in most western and modernized nations because of the numerous HIV/AIDS awareness programs in grade schools, middle schools, and even high schools. These programs have been able to educate the youth, and in many other third world countries.

Also, HIV/AIDS is associated with non-Islamic practices such as homosexuality, fornication, and drug addiction,

"Most people feel ashamed, and they don't want anyone to know about them," explains, Dr. Nehmi. "There was one man who had sex with a women, who was a servant in the house. By chance he found out he had HIV when he went for a routine medial check up,” explains Dr. Nehmi.

As a result of cases like these, the person fears social stigma from family members, and fellow employees, which causes them to "escape from others and they don't do social activities," the specialist added.

It is because of this stigma of HIV that "only a little bit of medicine is needed," officials say. Dr. Mayada Faisal Nabih Mohammed, a medical specialist at NAP, says : “Since February 2007, we have just reached 82 cases that receive treatment with Aids medicine.”

Also, there are 240 people from different governorates that are receiving test, and other medication for infections, she adds.

According to her, NAP is expecting to reach 250 patients that need the AIDS medications by the end of 2008. The medicine for these people is far from the registered 2,075 cases at the Ministry of Health, but it is start.

Akbar, 27, is infected with HIV and his case is registered with NAP. He says :"I already wanted to kill myself, but then the hospital sent me to the NAP counsellors’ office. He says to his counsellor, "I wanted to chew Qat, drink alcohol, and shoot myself.”

However, Mr. Abdul Basset Al-Zomor, who is a nurse and counsellor for patients with HIV/AIDS, convinced him that life was better than death. Akbar says: "I had sex with a female friend from the Philippians. I had sex with her once, and that's all. She doesn't know I have AIDS."

Four months ago he went to the hospital for a routine investigation about his health for a VISA to Saudi Arabia, and the administration of the hospital told him that he had HIV.

Akbar says, "If I kill myself, my family and village will look down on me, and because of that my family doesn't know."

According to Mr. Zomor, "No one understands this problem in Yemen," and that's why families are not told unless the patient gives his permission. When Akbar's mother asked why he didn't travel to Saudi Arabia to work and bring in money for the family, fear of social stigma compelled him to lie.

Akbar justified his not going to Saudi Arabia by saying that he had hepatitis B, and he can't travel. "I want to marry a woman from the NAP program who has HIV but is healthy," he says.

Akbar looks like a healthy trim Yemeni man. No weight loss is apparent, and no sicknesses are plaguing his disabled immune system because he has been taking a combination of antiretroviral drugs since he became aware of his HIV status 4 months ago.

Unaware patients

"I don't know how I got HIV," says Muhammad, 31,a truck driver. Muhammad, like many people in Yemen found out he had HIV when he got a 2 year medical check-up.

"At that time I tested positive for HIV, and yeah I cried." During this time, "I felt sick in my body, and my weight came down." As Muhammad waits for his CD4 results at Al-Gumhouri, he says, "my CD4 count was 107, but after 3 months of (antiretroviral) medicine it went to 216."

Dr. Al-Nehmi says, "No need for drugs. His CD4 count is still above 200."

According to Mark Cichocki, a HIV/AIDS nurse specialist at the University of Michigan's HIV/AIDS Treatment Program,

"CD4 Cells are cells that have molecules called CD4 on its surface. These 'helper' cells initiate the body's response to invading micro-organisms such as viruses. HIV is a retrovirus, meaning it needs cells from a 'host' in order to make more copies of itself (replication). In the case of HIV, CD4 cells are the host cells that aid HIV in replication.

HIV attaches to the CD4 cells, allowing the virus to enter and infect the CD4 cells, damaging them in the process. The fewer functioning CD4 cells, the weaker the immune system and therefore the more vulnerable a person is to infections and illnesses. It is the antiretroviral drugs provided by organizations like NAP that prevents the CD4 level in a patient from decreasing

Another Yemeni man, 60 year old, who voluntarily brings HIV patients to the clinic at Al-Gumhouri Teaching Hospital, takes both antiretroviral drugs and Zindani' herbal medication. He is also health-looking, maintains a good CD4 count, and looks forward to the future. "I have no complaints," he says about the antiretroviral medication and Zindani herbal drink for HIV, which he takes daily. "I convince people to come here (Al-Gumhouri) to get treatment with HIV," he says.

"I am a new patient," says Fatima, 47, "I got it (HIV) from my husband. Maybe he committed adultery."

"I was very angry at my husband, and I felt very bad. He said that he was sorry and he didn't know how he got the disease. He was having kidney problem, before loosing his weight, which is common amongst AIDS patients who don't receive treatment.

"He was shouting at me before he died. When he died my brother took me to the hospital, and made the test. Health workers told me I had AIDS."

Fatima is one of the many women from the Mediterranean region that has contracted HIV from her husband. "In general about 80% of women in the Mediterranean region get HIV infection from their husbands," says Dr. Ghramah, but men get infected, too. Presently, Fatima is taking antiretroviral drugs, and she expects her CD4 count to rise above 200.

Also, to curb the patients fear of members of the public knowing that they are HIV infected or if they have full blown AIDS, "We receive patients here (Al-Gumhouri), give them a code number for personal security, and we give them info about AIDS," says Mr. Al-Zomor.

Because of the sensitivity and the shame associated with HIV & AIDS, to identify patients, "we have a number system, so the patient is confident of his security," explains Dr. Al-Nehmi.

Only the age, nationality, and sometimes the city of the patient is written down in the record. No pictures or any other identification is documented. Because of the documenting system no statistic can be gathered about where the majority of HIV infections occur in Yemen, or the average age, or occupation of HIV patients, but according to Dr. Al-Nehmi, "most cases are aged between 20 to 40 years old."

Free medications

The quality of medication is a major issue in Yemen. Yemen is knowon for selling medicine that is expired or lack effectiveness in its ability to cure or decrease the problematic health issue that plagues the patient, but this is not a problem with the HIV medication according to Dr. Taher. "All drugs are approved by the World Health Organization, and by companies known and registered with the Ministry of Public Health and Population," she adds.

How long will free medication be provided to Yemeni people is another question that resonates in the minds of Yemeni & refugees alike. Since Yemen is a third world developing country, most of the people live in poverty, and they depend on the government to help provide the antiretroviral drugs needed to help HIV infected people.

Funds are coming, but there is no long term project to take care of the HIV infected people. "We have money from the Global Fund to support us for 5 years, and if God wills the Ministry of Health and Population will take care of the procurement of the drugs for AIDS patients for the future,” says Dr. Taher.

Three Tier Screening Process Stops HIV Contamination

Click here for original article: http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=1100&p=health&a=1

In the past, blood transfusions in Yemen were plagued by poor screening, and as a result, patients were infected with HIV. However, a new three-tier screening process comprised of the ELISA test, the Western blot and the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test has changed the way blood transfusions are handled in Yemen.

ELISA machines test blood samples for HIV, Habituates B, C and other infectious diseases. “It’s very sensitive to infectious disease,” says Dr. Arwa Ahmed Awn, a Ph.D. in hematology, and blood transfusion and general director of Yemen’s National Blood Transfusion and Research Center. Hematology is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the blood and bone marrow as well as blood clotting and vascular systems. “Because of the nature of blood, the science of hematology profoundly affects the understanding of many diseases,” like HIV according to Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary.

“Now every unit of blood is screened,” says Dr. Sa’eed Al-Sheibani, assistant professor at Sana’a University and general manager of Yemen’s National Center of Public Health Laboratories. “If blood tests HIV-positive with the ELISA test, next is the Western blot and then the PCR,” Al-Sheibani explains.

The Western blot is the second step in confirming a positive HIV test confirmed by ELISA. According to registered nurse and HIV/AIDS specialist Mark Cichocki, “Western blot is a test for specific antibodies to confirm repeatedly reactive results of the HIV ELISA or EIA test.”

Once a blood sample has been subjected to the Western blot test, the sample will be either positive or negative. “A positive Western blot confirms HIV infection,” Cichocki explains. Next, is the PCR test, which tests for the (RNA) Ribonucleic Acid, of the HIV virus. RNA is a nucleic acid molecule similar to

DNA but containing ribose rather than deoxyribose. RNA is formed upon a DNA template.

According to Medicine.net, “The PCR test is 100 percent effective. There’s no way you can get a negative result,” because the actual building blocks of the HIV virus are searched and confirmed in the blood sample provided. “PCR is a key technique in molecular genetics permitting analysis of any short sequence of DNA (or RNA) without having to clone it.”

Yemeni truck driver Mohammed Akhmed, 26, is one of many who donate blood “because I want to give to patients,” he says, believing that God will bless him for it. His friend, 29-year-old soldier Khalid Saad Al-Jaef, shares his sentiments in receiving blessing from God. “The person who receives my blood is my friend,” Al-Jaef says.

It’s loving, caring blood donors like these who “give only for the blessing. They don’t give for money,” says Dr. Ismail Akhmed Al-Radamy, “They think that if they give blood to patients, Allah will bless them.” It’s this blessing and others like it that will be subjected to the ELISA test, which is mandatory.

Not all blood donations are subjected to the three-tier screening process. If a blood sample tests negative for HIV in the ELISA test, then no other test is needed. Only those ELISA tests that are HIV-positive are subjected to the Western blot and PCR test. Most blood that’s HIV-positive is contaminated with the “SEARO HIV strand, which comes from different parts of Africa,” Dr. Sa’eed Al-Sheibani explains.

“It’s very rare that we get positive results,” from donor cases, Al-Sheibani explains, “approximately 10 cases annually,” he says, noting that the public health lab receives approximately 60 donors each day.

All blood confirmed to be HIV-positive is associated with identification information specific to that donor. In the rare case that a donor at the public health lab tests positive for HIV, his or her information packet is sent directly to Al-Sheibani. “We then take them (the HIV-positive individual) to a committee, which educates them (him/her) about HIV,” Al-Sheibani explains.

HIV positive blood that’s screened via the three-step process either is thrown away or used for scientific purposes.

“We deep-freeze the HIV-positive sample, storing it with the serial number, examination date and type of test. We keep the sample for research purposes or to test new procedures or diseases,” explains Dr. Abdullah Al-Hababi, who holds a master’s in virology.

Finally, when it’s time to dispose completely of HIV-infected blood, such biological waste and medical laboratory products are placed into an autoclave machine to sterilize them before incineration.

According to Dr. Al-Aiman Adel , it’s this rigorous screening process that confirms HIV-infected blood and prevents some 20 cases of patients receiving blood transfusions monthly from becoming infected with HIV.

HIV Infected Refugees Protected by a Memorandum between UNHCR & The Ministry of Public Health

HIV Infected Refugees Protected by a
Memorandum of Understanding
UNHCR & The Ministry of Public Health

A memorandum of understand for HIV infected Refugees between the Ministry of Public Health & Population and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), is improving the lives of countless refugees who live with the deadly disease of HIV/AIDS. Without this memorandum of understanding many refugees who suffer from HIV/AIDS, most likely would not receive the access to medical care, HIV preventive education, and the emotional support of a caring inter organizational effort to help them live dignified lives in Yemen.

"I advice any refugee coming here," about HIV/AIDS awareness says Dr. Mayada Faisal Nabih Mohammed, a medical specialist at the National Aids & STD Programme, which works with the Ministry of Health & Population in supplying HIV infected refugees and Yemenis with medical care, and support. It is caring doctors like Dr. Mohammad, who enact the beliefs entailed within the articles of the memorandum of understanding, which states that HIV infected refugees "enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, similar to what a Yemeni national could expect," according to article 3 of the memorandum. "Refugees are provided with antiretroviral medication," says Dr. Mohammad and they are the same type of drugs given to HIV infected Yemeni citizens. Also, "the medicine is free," for refugees just like it is for infected Yemenis, says Dr. Mohammad. All HIV infected are "registered by a code number, we do a CD4 test investigation, and then after that we discuss with the Ministry on how to give medicine to those in need," says Dr. Mohammad. A CD4 test is used to determine the number of T cells present int he body. If the T Cell level is below 200 the person has AIDS, but if it is above 200 the person just has HIV, and that person does not need medicine. "We send the (RVs) antiretroviral medication to either the Aden sight or the Sanaa sight of the HIV infected refugees," explains Dr. Mohammad.

Also, HIV/AIDS education for refugees and support workers, which is stated in article 3 of the memorandum of understanding, has been and will continue to be enacted by the NAP program. "There is s counseling for them (HIV Infected refugees)," explains Dr. Mohammad. In this year Nap and Maristops combined forces to "give a seminar/lecture to refugees living in Yemen," says Dr. Mohammad. Nap has a long history in educating refugees and foreigners about HIV/Aids prevention. Nap worked with the "Triangle organizations to hand out info flyer's to refugees in Somalia about the HIV in 2004," says Dr. Mohammad. This memorandum between the UNHCR and the Ministry of Health & Population has helped numerous refugee families to live in dignity, and in good health.

"At the end of the day, a refugee is a refugee," says Abdul Malik Abbound, executive relations assistant at the UNHCR, when asked about family planning for HIV infected refugees. "Reproductive health is a right, and like all other human rights, its applies to refugees and persons living in refugee like conditions," according to the Reproductive health in Refugee Situations manual provided by the UNHCR. Yes. Everyone has the right to reproduce and have children, but at what health cost will this bring to HIV infected refugees and the citizens of the country they live in is a question that looms in the minds of many Yemenis and expatriates. A prime example of an HIV infected refugees family is Omar and Mariam, which are false names used for a husband and wife couple, who are 41 and 25 respectively and parents to 5 year old boy and 6 year old girl, from Ethiopia. They learned about their HIV status right before the Ramadan Holy month of fasting when they went for testing at the Central Laboratory. They are HIV positive but their children are HIV negative.

Omar comments, "I don't know how I got HIV. I came here (Al-Gumhouri Teaching Hospital) for the CD4 test, medication, and then I will go to the United Nations for more help." According to Mariam, "we feel scared about the future of our children." "We have no family to take care of us," says Omar. They hope the refugee camp will take care of their children when they die explains Dr. Al-Nhemi who translated on Omar behalf. "Our fate, and the fate of our children depend on the United Nations, says Mariam. One would expect a mother and father, who is facing death to be fearful, sad, and crying, but Oman explains, "No, I am not sad, because disease and death comes from Allah. I am a Muslim and I believe in Allah. Everything is from Allah. If sickness comes to a person, there is a cure." Mr. Abbound, says "we advice HIV infected refugees not to have children because they could pass the disease onto their kids." But there is no way to impose this practice on them. Omar and Mariam is an HIV infected refugee family who has taken head to Mr. Abbound's advice. They have stopped having children because they don't want to pass on the deadly HIV disease on to their love ones.

The concept of HIV infected refugees living in Yemen and conceive children scare many Yemeni and expatriates. Abdul Hizaam, 43, a Yemeni man who is Manager of bank says, "That (HIV infected refugees) is a problem. They should live in their own countries." Mymy Perez, a paraprofessional says, "I think it is better to help them out because they don't have the chance to get help at home," but "Isolation from others who are not HIV infected is better." Johan, a Filipino guest service agent at a hotel says, "No they should not be allowed to have children because he/she have Aids." They should be sent back to their country. It's better for them to stay in their country. I would be afraid if they were in my neighborhood." Not everyone has harsh opinions about HIV infected refugees living in Yemen. Lyunmila, a Russian lady who is a guest relations officer in a hotel, says, "I don't think HIV infected refugees should have children. It's not good. I use to meet one who had HIV and she had a baby and the baby died one year later of Aids." It is this sad experience that has molded the viewpoint of Lyunmil, but at the same time she is sympathetic to the HIV infected refugees in Yemen. While many people fear that HIV infected refugees will conceive HIV infected babies, and possible spread the HIV to Yemenis and foreigners, Ms. Lyunmila sticks with the more modern approach by saying, "they should use birth control," and this is her belief that birth control will be suitable for preventing the spread of HIV. Yes fear is present in the hearts and minds of many Yemeni and foreigners alike, but Dr. Mohammad puts these fears to rest by saying, "They (HIV infected refugees) are not the problem. Most of the infected Yemenis are returnees from other countries," and it is not the refuges giving us HIV." So we should not be "afraid of the refugees," says Dr. Mohammad.

Sep. 27th, 2007

Scabies & Leishmania still rampant in Yemen

Scabies & Leishmania still rampant in Yemen
Scabies and leishmania are skin diseases that remain prevalent in Yemen due to poor hygiene, a lack of awareness, and a lack of qualified health professionals to address the problem. Rural areas and major cities alike are breeding grounds for these two contagious parasitical diseases.

Scabies is caused by a small parasite, which tunnels through the skin, causing severe itching. Although the disease is non-fatal, the sensation is highly unpleasant, becoming worst when the eggs hatch beneath the skin. Since the disease is highly contagious, if one member of a family gets scabies, the whole family requires treatment.

Scabies affects both adults and children, in rural areas and major cities alike. “Scabies comes from animals like dogs and cats, and sharing dirty or infected clothing,” says Dr Khalid al-Azbi, a Sana’a dermatologist & laser therapist. He says scabies is one of the major skin diseases found in the rural areas of Yemen because hygiene is a major problem. Many villages in Yemen lack a sufficient supply of water to maintain cleanliness. To compound the problem, illiteracy prevents many people from learning about skin diseases, their symptoms, and preventative measures.

“Fighting the disease requires a community effort,” says Dr. Al-Azbi. He visits his village, Hajaj in al-Daeh County, southern Yemen once a month, where he sees patients and informs people of the disease. “Many patients come and complain of itching. They sometimes think the problem is cancer, because they don’t know about scabies and cancer is better known in Yemen,” he says.

However, it is not just rural people who contract the disease. Many city dwellers contract scabies because “some people bring the village life into the city,” says Dr. al-Azbi. By using their backyard to house goats and sheep, they may be unwittingly bringing the disease into their homes.

Insecticides and pesticides can kill scabies in farm animals, and in infected clothing, but “a change in lifestyle is what is really needed,” says Dr al-Azbi. He set out a three-step process for curing scabies. Firstly, an antihistamine is given to the patient to stop the itching; secondly, an antibiotic is used to fight the infection; and thirdly, a medicine is used to kill the parasite that causes scabies. Infected clothing should also be kept away from people for at least three days, since the parasite dies if it is not in contact with humans during that period.

Another skin disease common in Yemen is Leishmania. Leishmania causes inflammation and destruction of bodily tissue and creates wounds which eventually leave the patient scarred for life. Leishmania is endemic in certain areas of Yemen such as al-Joaf, Mareb, and al-Ryashia. Dr Abdulrahman. M. al-Wadei, a consultant dermato-virologist and a faculty member at Sana’a University, treats about 300 leishmania patients a year. “My patients come from all over Yemen, but mainly low altitude areas where sand flies, which carry the parasite that causes leishmania, transmit the disease from rodents or infected persons to the next victim,” he says.

Unlike scabies, certain types of leishmania can have very serious effects on humans. Visceral leishmania is a fatal variant of this disease, which is also known as black fever. If left untreated this form of the disease is nearly always fatal. It spreads into the spleen, bone marrow and liver and attacks and destroys the immune system. Another harmful form is mucocutaneous leishmania. This produces disfiguring lesions, which destroy the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth and throat. Leishmania is found in tropical countries in the Middle East and Africa.

To treat Leishmania Sodium stibogloconate is injected every 21 days, or a tablet is given to the patient to stop it from spreading to other parts of the body and destroying facial tissue, and tissue of other exposed body parts, explains Dr al-Azbi. Sometimes cosmetic surgery is needed to reconstruct, areas of the body that have been scared or destroyed by leishmania.

A mosquito net over one’s bed can also be an important preventative measure in epidemic areas.

Dr al-Azbi, sees many cases of both scabies and leishmania. “When I receive such cases, I refer them to Al-Thorah Hospital for free treatment,” he says.

One example is Adries, a 20 year old farmer from the outskirts of Sana’a. Adries contracted scabies at a friends wedding and went to consult Dr al-Azbi, who gave him the three treatments and a multi-vitamin because he was malnourished.

The treatment was a success, but according to Dr al-Azbi temporary medical treatment is only the first step. Preventive measures, including the boiling of clothing belonging to an infected person or laying them in direct sunlight, are vital if the disease is to be contained. Dr al-Azbi’s simple but practical advice works. “Most of my patients listen to my advice because they are desperate,” and they know “they will spend more money if they get sicker,” says Dr al-Azbi.

Sep. 20th, 2007

SOUL works to improve Yemen by empowering women

Posted in: Reports
Written By: Robert F. Draper, III
Article Date: Sep 18, 2007 - 12:39:56 PM
SOUL works to improve Yemen by empowering women

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SOUL meets to discuss ways of improving vocational and educational opportunities for women in Yemen.
The hurdles women face in pursuing careers are huge, say Arwa al-Deram, Afrah al-Zouba, and Subhiah Abdullah, the founders of the SOUL organization—an NGO concerned with empowering women to pursue their educational and vocational goals.

Cultural beliefs and traditions, such as early marriage, combined with a lack of government support make the pursuit of educational and vocational goals especially difficult for women. Because of this, the women have banded together with others to create SOUL.

Al-Deram was employed by the Ministry of Health when she came up with the idea of creating SOUL. “I got to know many international NGO’s,” said al-Deram, “but they were mainly focusing on things like giving clothing to people. We thought it necessary to create an NGO that used a developmental approach, as this approach helps the people to help themselves.”

“They say, information is power,” said al-Deram, “and it is through Information Technology that SOUL is providing impoverished Yemeni women with the power to contribute to support their family and society.” Al-Deram believes that SOUL gives women a chance to get better jobs, and support themselves, and, as she put it, “it enables Yemeni women work for the betterment of themselves and their family.”

When al-Deram was a child her family told her that she would only be permitted to study until the sixth grade. At that moment she feared she would become one of the many Yemeni women who never have a chance to pursue their passions and accomplish their life dreams Although she was young, she spoke honestly to her parents and brothers. "They saw my devotion to learning, and it convinced them to let me continue," she said. On many occasions her family suggested that she stop her educational pursuits, but despite their dissuading suggestions she continued, and gradually she gained their respect by her persistence and willingness to achieve in high school, and beyond.

Despite the difficulties al-Deram faced, she graduated from high school, which for most Yemeni women indicates that the time had come to get married, have kids, and live a life of domesticity, but this is not what al-Deram had in mind.

“When I graduated from high school I was surprised that my brother and father agreed to pay for me to attend college," she said. "They agreed that it was good for me to continue my education.” With the support of her family she attended college in Yemen and eventually traveled to America, where she studied at the University of Minnesota. Her story shows how a supportive environment can assist Yemeni women to achieve great success. But this is rarely the situation in Yemen.

Subhiah Abdullah, principal of the Khadijah Basic School and High School tells the story of a 7th grade student who was due to be married, but wanted to continue with her studies. “The student wanted 30 days off for her honeymoon and she wanted to make up any missed homework, classes, and exams," Abdullah said. But such accommodations could not be made and her request was denied. "As a result of her 30 days off, she missed a great deal of class work, and eventually dropped out," said Abdullah.

Afrah al-Zouba, a member of SOUL who has a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceuticals and a master’s in public health, said she wanted to work as a professional, but was never given work opportunities. "I wanted to work in public health to help poor people, but they didn't provide the actual work, and research for me to do,” she said. A lack of resources and funding, and a lack of support from the Ministry of Public Health prevented her from helping the poor. "I wanted to develop medicine for sick poor people," said al-Zouba, but when poor people came to her she was unable to help them. "I felt embarrassed because I didn't have medicine to give to them.” al-Zouba believes that it is because of corruption that she wasn’t able to help in the way she’d intended.” It is simply corruption. The money doesn't go where it should," she said.

"I knew one lady who used to work, but her family would force her to give her money to them," said al-Zouba. According to al-Zouba, the woman was from a broken family, and "when you have broken families, financial corruption is a problem.”

SOUL functions on the idea that it is not just women, but the whole of Yemeni society that stands to benefit from enabling Yemeni women to realize their ambitions. This is a view supported by others in the community.

"I think it is good for Yemeni girls to work because sometimes the men at home can't work,” said Mohsen Abdullah Ali Hadi, 22, an English teacher. He believes that Yemeni women are sometimes encouraged to work because of poverty, and if women work they can increase the household income. Although Ali-Hadi supports the right of women to work, he also represents a culture that is resistant to women and under-values the role they may play in society. “The role of a secretary or receptionist is best for women,” said al-Hadi. “Some jobs require women to be brave, and they are not suitable for these positions. It is in the way of the Prophet Muhammad that men are the leaders of the community,” said Ali-Hadi.

Al-Deram, who also has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, accepts that careers in business or politics, for example, can be challenging, but sees no reason why women cannot excel in these fields if given the chance “You have to manage your priorities,” she said. “If a woman has a good sense of priority and if her husband supports her she can do anything.” She strongly believes that women can be assertive when dealing with difficult decisions, and one’s gender does not interfere with a person becoming a professional.

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