Mash’Allaah, we heard this morning that several of the students in Damaaj were killed when the Houthis attacked them yesterday. One French brother, two American brothers, one Russian brother, one Malaysian brother, several Yemenis and at least one Indonesian. Twenty-five students were killed (may Allaah have mercy upon them all), and fifty are wounded, about half of them critically. They are not allowed to leave the village for medical care.
The Houthis began their attack out of the blue.
“It was quiet; there hadn’t been any shooting, people were walking around,” said Mujaahid.
Then the Houthis attacked the mountain with both mortar shelling and anti-aircraft guns. Several students were injured in the first attack, but they managed to hold their positions, even telling the people below not to come up because it was too dangerous. The attack lasted from a little after eleven in the morning until after the afternoon prayer around three pm.
At some point the single students started up the mountain to try to lend assistance to the others. Mujaahid was watching- the Houthis were attacking the path with the mortars- rocks and dirt were pouring down the mountainside. They took up life-giving water; they came back down with a sadder burden, as they carried the dead and wounded down to the village.
I called Mujaahid today; I had been without a phone, and had only heard the news of the fighting that morning. Alhamdulillah, I was able to get through. He said he hadn’t called me because he didn’t want me to worry. Of course, hearing bits and pieces from various sources worried me much more than hearing it straight from him.
Today, he said, things are quiet. He was able to get some raisins and dates, rice and corn flour, and they still have a little white flour. I told him how to make tortillas, thinking they would be quick to cook, not taking up much propane or wood, and not necessarily need oil. He said they have also been able to get a half a chicken a day, an incredible blessing, alhamdulillah.
“Please,” I told him. “Please call when things happen, you won’t worry me at all.” Well, not worry me as much as not knowing will worry me, anyway. I paid my phone bill to be sure I can always call him back when he needs me, insh’Allaah.
Celebrating in Sana’a. Funeral prayers in Damaaj for twenty-five people. Only Allaah knows what the future holds, and He is the Best of Planners.
Until then, we wait, and we pray.
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