What You’d Say if Someone Invites You to Their Birthday? Martyr Child Asked Shortly before Yemen School Massacre
At al-Ahqaf School a Saudi airstrike targeted yesterday, the last class before the strike was English, this sentence: ‘What do you say when somebody tells you it’s their birthday' was part of the hard last lesson written on the white board, where one schoolboy martyred under the board of his 10th grade class, his blood trails still there and his backpack as well.
By al-Ahed Correspondent
Sana’a - The English lesson was very hard at one of the two schools targeted yesterday in Sana'a where 13 pupils were martyred and more than 90 wounded, some critically.
One schoolboy was martyred at al-Ahqaf Private School, the rest are from al-Raee Public School. At al-Ahqaf, there were about 600 pupils, Abdul Rahman al-Hadhrami, brother of the school director told al-Ahed Monday morning.
Al-Hadhrami stressed the director of the school has gone to al-Kuwait Hospital, to meet the martyred schoolboy whose body is still there. It's not clear when the funeral might be held. The school director’s car was parking at the school gate, with its rear windshield shattered.
At around 11:30 A.M. on Sunday, and at the third floor of al-Ahqaf School, all the classmates of Nasser Ali Jahaf were outside their class for a break after they had finished the English class.
Jahaf didn't know it was his last class, when he returned to the class to take his backpack with him during the break unlike the rest of classmates.
Samar al-Sanai, deputy of al-Ahqaf Private School, told al-Ahed that the student returned the class to take his backpack with him, as he used to do so, but appeared this time he forgotten to take it, so he returned to the class alone.
Then, US-backed Saudi airstrike in broad daylight took place, a stone flew to Jahaf's class, to break the window and hit his head.
He was found martyred, according to al-Hadhrami, with blood near his backpack under the board written on it "an invitation" as a title of their English lesson.
Many sentences were written on the board, among them "somebody tells you it’s their birthday".
Commenting on this sentence, deputy of the school, Al Sanai told al-Ahed: "Of course, it was Jahaf's birthday, martyrdom is a new birthday, not the end of this life."
Al-Sanai stressed that all enemies must understand this hard lesson.
On the other side of al-Ahqaf Private School, Education Office of Shuab District was organizing an event at the other school, al-Raee School for girls, where about 12 schoolgirls martyred, mostly from the stampede to escape the school and run for life.
Many of the pupils' backpacks are still left at the classes and corridors of the school, shoes fill the corridors and gate of the school as well where more than 1500 schoolgirl study.
At the solidarity event this morning, attended by security and educational officers, Faraj Hassan, director of Shuab Educational was among the attendees who stressed that education is the key to sustainable development and the process won't stop for reason of being under threat of air strikes.
He condemned allegations of the Saudi-led coalition especially Saudi "al-Hadath" Arabic Channel, which says Saudi coalition have targeted a military camp, pointing out that all victims are pupils.
"I call all main stream media to reach the scene of the crime and make sure of that," Hassan told al-Ahed at the courtyard of the al-Raee School where pupils, teachers from all Shuab district of Sana'a city we're gathering in protest of the crime.
Hassan concluded that "the airstrike has a deliberate, spiritual target. It targets all Yemeni people, for its children, because they targeted pupils at the flowering ages 9-13 years old."
As al-Ahed reporter in Sana'a, who happened to live in this targeted neighborhood of Sawan, Shuab District, Sana'a, I was about 200 meter from the scene of the strike.
The explosion shook our neighborhood, I went out of the house, I saw children run from street to get shelter at houses, then men and women run out of home toward the schools to look for their children.
In 8 minutes, I filmed a schoolgirl crying near al-Raee School and the nearby mosque, no friend, no parents to ask for her. The footage went viral on social media.
What is strange is that the neighborhood is highly populated by supporters of radical Wahhabi Islam, but the warplanes of Al Saud didn't distinguish between Shia or Sunni, it targets them all, according to political activists.
After 20 minutes, I saw a mother in her covering near the gate of the shattered al-Ahqaf Private School. She was screaming: "where is my son," but the bodyguard of the school told her all pupils went home on school buses, fine.
However, the mother seemed as if not believing his reassurances as she came from home and the son has not arrived, so she screamed more and more and went forward the scene of the crime. Al-Ahed reporter couldn't recognize her identity this morning.
This mother is an example of mothers of about 600 pupils who will be in trouble for their safety at al-Ahqaf School.
UN humanitarian groups must act soon, to protect children, or they are in collusion with eliminating the future of Yemen and its children.