Muscat: Nasr Al Jadhamy returned to Oman on Tuesday, having helped nearly 23,000 people who’d been severely affected by the conflict plaguing the neighbouring Yemen.
Check out more photos here
Incredibly, this is his third trip to Yemen, and Al Jadhamy—who departed from Muscat in the first week of September—distributed about 155 tonnes of relief supplies to his brothers and sisters across the border, and his efforts ensured that 22,801 Yemenis received aid to tide them through for at least a few days.
Al Jadhamy had spent about one and a half months collecting donations in the form of rice, wheat flour, oil, sugar, clothes, blankets and even some room coolers. While Al Jadhamy and a group of Omani residents had previously shouldered the burden of organising and getting these supplies to Yemen on their own, he had help from prominent Omani business magnate Mohammed Al Barwani this time around.
While Al Jadhamy’s previous journeys had seen him brave mortars and machine gun fire in Yemen, health problems meant he could not undertake such a strenuous road journey once again. Instead, his trip saw him fly from Muscat to Khartoum via Dubai, before landing in Seiyoun.
“Normally, we arrived in Seiyoun in the Hadhramawt Governorate of Yemen, but this time, we didn’t go to just one place. We distributed goods in Seiyoun, and then we travelled for seven hours to Mukalla, and from there, we travelled for another 13 hours to provide goods for people in Aden,” said Al Jadhamy, who was speaking to the Times of Oman from Cairo, where he was preparing to board his return flight to Muscat.
“The situation in Aden is very bad: there are no hospitals, no schools, the buildings and houses have been destroyed, and life here is very poor for people, but by the grace of God, we managed to give the things we had collected to the people there,” he added.
“We travelled again from Aden to Seiyoun, and spent about 20 hours driving there, to distribute medicine and food items to a hospital there. We sent the things with the plan for them to reach on Eid Al Adha, but our three trucks were stopped at the border for almost a month, though we managed to secure permission for them to go.”
The very unstable security situation in Yemen also meant Al Jadhamy was forced to change into traditional Yemeni garb to avoid attention from armed soldiers and militias stationed in the country.
“When I was travelling from Mukalla to Aden, there were many armed people on the road, and I was told to wear the traditional dress so that I would not be harmed,” he recalled.
While Al Jadhamy often travels with the best wishes of all of Oman’s residents, he was not alone this time: his actions had inspired his old friend, Sultan Al Riyami, who turns 70 this year, to accompany him on this journey.
“We managed to send everything that was collected from Oman,” he recalled. “I was not alone this time, but one of my friends came with me. I wasn’t sure if I could take him with me, because he is an old man, and I didn’t feel right to travel with him in such dangerous places, but he told me that it was better for him to die in a place where he was doing good than to die at home where he was doing nothing.”
“Even his family wasn’t supportive of him coming with me to Yemen, but he said he was ready to go, even if it meant he would die.”