Yemen Suffers As It Deals With Over 343 Cases Of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Yemen has little capacity to test those suspected of having the virus because of the 5-year-long civil war.

Yemen Suffers As It Deals With Over 343 Cases Of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Yemen has little capacity to test those suspected of having the virus because of the 5-year-long civil war.

By

Maryam Zaynah
Photo - Wail al-Qubaty/AP

June 1, 2020People of Yemen have to deal with coronavirus cases (COVID-19) and face a big pandemic that is on the rise. 

Yemen encountered its first case of the virus on April 10, after which hundreds more have been affected across the war-torn country. 

The country is already facing the ramifications of a bitter five year war. Some sources say there are currently 343 confirmed cases but to know the reality of cases and deaths is near to impossible. 

Sky News spoke with the head of the United Nations Refugee Agency for Yemen Jean- Nicolas Beuze, who fears that “coronavirus (COVID-19) may be the straw which will break the camel’s back in Yemen.” 

Yemen was already dealing with a range of severe illnesses including dengue, malaria and one of the worst cholera epidemics in history. It’s therefore unclear as to whether the recent deaths have been due to COVID-19, or as a result of prior illnesses already present in the country. Because authorities in the country have banned reporting on the virus, it’s likely that figures are much higher. Either way, it seems that if nothing is done to help the struggling nation, it could deteriorate to its lowest point. 

But what makes Yemen worse off than other countries battling the virus? One of the biggest factors stopping people from recovering is the more or less nonexistent healthcare system. The UN has announced that Yemen’s healthcare system has “essentially collapsed. 

A large amount of doctors and nurses have fled the country, leaving the people with little to no help. The lack of beds, medical equipment and oxygen has forced hospitals and ICUs to turn people away, even the most vulnerable. The BBC said the country is surviving on only 200 ventilators for a population of nearly 30 million. 

The people of Yemen are already known to have low immunity, since they’re used to an environment of illness and infection. The absence of proper medical attention to victims of the virus means the risk of further illness and death rates are much higher. 

 While the rest of the world takes stringent measures to stop the spread of the virus like social distancing and extra sanitation, Yemen is not able to do the same. It’s hard to find clean water when infection is rife, and the water that is available must be used for essential needs. To add to that, social distancing is out of the question. Large families live in small makeshift tents and big groups are restricted to one bathroom. 

Although coverage on the war in Yemen is not a regular occurrence, it has been dealing with an array of obstacles for half a decade, from constant fighting to starvation. 

To put it briefly, the Houthi rebels, a Shia group based in Yemen, have been at war with the Saudi-led coalition which is backed by the Yemeni government. The ongoing dispute between the two parties has negatively affected the citizens of Yemen more than anyone. 

It has led the Hudaydah port – one of their main sources of food and supplies – being blocked off by the Saudi-led coalition. The blockade of such an important port has resulted in shortage of supplies and food which the people are in desperate need of. Even before the war, 90% of Yemen’s food was imported. The UN estimates that this hostile conflict has killed more than 100,000 as a result of starvation, disease or missiles and airstrikes. 

With America recently announcing it has cut off around $70 million in aid, the future looks bleak for the people of Yemen. While we can appreciate that the entire world is enduring this virus collectively, most governments have a structured plan and thriving health care system to ensure their citizens are cared for in comparison to Yemen. It’s described by many as the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. If swift action is not taken soon, COVID-19 could be the thing to completely destroy the country.

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Dear Non-Black Muslims, Your Silence Is Deadly

Once again, non-Black Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, have remained deafeningly silent on this crucial issue.

Dear Non-Black Muslims, Your Silence Is Deadly

Once again, non-Black Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, have remained deafeningly silent on this crucial issue.

By

Saj Bey

Photo - Believers Bail Out

Disclaimer: every article expressed in our opinions section is that of the writer.

We have once again witnessed the murder of a Black man at the hands of the police. Once again, we have been reminded of the sheer disregard for the lives of Black men, women, and children that characterizes this nation. And once again, non-Black Muslims, both in the United States and abroad, have remained deafeningly silent on this crucial issue. 

The silence that has reverberated in the wake of George Floyd’s murder is symptomatic of a larger issue that plagues Muslim communities: anti-Blackness. For those who are unaware, the term anti-Blackness refers to a specific brand of racism, opposition, and hostility toward Black people. Despite what you may think, anti-Blackness is not an ideology solely espoused by White people. Rather, anti-Blackness is inherent to virtually every racial, ethnic, and cultural group. Anti-Blackness is endorsed through the movies and shows you watch, the products you use to bleach your skin, and the use of pejoratives such as “abeed.” Anti-blackness is your willingness to step on the backs of your Black brothers and sisters in order to gain proximity to whiteness. Anti-Blackness is your deadly silence in the face of injustice. 

The myth of people of color solidarity has deluded non-Black Muslims into believing that our experiences with racism are the same. More dangerously, this myth has allowed non-Black people to ignore their role in upholding white supremacy. Tou Thao, the Hmong-American officer who stood by as Floyd was murdered, epitomizes the many ways in which non-Black people of color perpetuate and enable anti-Black violence. 

The few non-Black Muslims who have spoken about these issues often equate Black peoples’ experiences with racism in America to the plight of the Palestinians, the Uyghurs, and other subjugated groups to explain why we should support anti-racist efforts in the United States. 

While similarities do, in fact, exist between these various forms of oppression, it is shameful that the suffering of Black people can only be validated through its resemblance to the hardship of others. The need to draw parallels between oppressed groups in order to identify with the pain of Black people is an additional product of anti-Blackness. State-sanctioned violence against Black people deserves outrage, not because of its similitude to other forms of oppression, but because it is an injustice in itself. 

As Muslims, we have no excuse to remain silent on issues of oppression. Our belief in Islam demands that we fight against injustice wherever and whenever we see it. If, as you are reading this, you are wondering what steps you can take to stand in solidarity with your Black brothers and sisters, here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1. Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund

2. Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit that pays bail for protestors who have been arrested 

3. Educate yourself and others on Black history and resistance movements

4. Support organizations such as the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative

5. Interrogate your own anti-Black biases

6. Hold your communities to a higher standard by calling out anti-Blackness in all of its forms

 

As you conclude this article and reflect upon what I have written, remember that your silence is not just indicative of your contentment with the status quo, it is your complicity with a system that thrives on reigning terror upon Black people. Remember that your silence is dangerous, that it is deprived of humanity, and above all, that it is un-Islamic. 

“And incline not towards those who do wrong, lest the Fire touches you, and you will not have any protectors, apart from Allah. And you will not be helped.”  (Hud, 11:113) 

 

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Muslims Can’t Get Enough Of ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’

We put together the all-you-need-to-know guide to the hit Turkish show.

Muslims Can’t Get Enough Of ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’

We put together the all-you-need-to-know guide to the hit Turkish show.

By

Mareena Emran
Art - Hedzlynn K.

If you’ve been lurking around Muslim Twitter recently, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed tweets circulating around a Turkish show Dirilis: Ertugrul and a warrior named Erutugrul. At first glance, it may seem like another foreign Netflix show. However, among the global Muslim population, this show represents an unprecedented hype. 

As reported by the Daily Sabah, the show has amassed over 21 million viewers while streaming across 70 countries. Countless social media stan accounts, especially from Pakistan, caused the show to become an overnight sensation that exploded during the month of Ramadan. With its recent Urdu-dubbed version on PTV and YouTube, Dirilis: Ertugrul has received record breaking numbers. It took over five years for the Turkish market to see 240 million views of the show whereas in Pakistan, over four million subscribers and 344 million views occurred in the month of May alone.

It was originally produced by Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) in 2014 with three seasons, but was broken down into a total of five seasons for its recent release on Netflix with English subtitles. With around 70-100 episodes per season, there is no shortage of amazing acting, complex storylines, and Islamic content, but certain episodes can seem long at times, so if you like a good binge-watch session, this show is perfect for you.

Many of the Turkish actors are industry leaders of theater, movies, and music who crossed over to create a sensational production that has millions of loyal fans waiting for episodes each week. The plot lines are full of multiple cliff-hangers and unexpected twists that are different than traditionally redundant Turkish, Arab, and Pakistani shows that focus on just marriage, gossip, or evil neighbors. 

The drama is set in 1280 and revolves around the life and history of Ertugrul Ghazi, son of Suleman Shah, and leader of the Kayi Tribe. The Kayi tribe was a Muslim Turkish tribe that fought the Mongols, Templars, and Byzantine empire to create a foundation that ultimately led to the creation of the Ottoman empire. Ertugrul’s son, Osman, would become the first Sultan of the Ottoman empire and his descendants would rule much of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for over 600 years. 

Ertugrul is played by Engin Altan Düzyatan, who has won over the hearts of millions. The other characters include Halime Sultan, Turgut Alp, Bamsi Bey, Selcan Hatun, Gundogdu Bey, ibn Arabi, and Abdur Rehman. These were not just historical figures who supported Ertugrul on his quests, but they also provided a viewpoint on family struggles, hand to hand combat, and the value of loyalty in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Many Americans have compared the show to Game of Thrones based on the stunning wardrobes, historical conflicts, and deaths of main characters with surprise twists. Others have compared it to a new age in Islamic drama production by focusing on the role of religion and faith in Allah instead of superheroes, technology, and money. 

The popularity of this show has expanded across the globe with fans showing their love and appreciation of Ertugrul with dedicated fans, artwork and events.

After the fifth season of Ertugral, the demand from audiences spilled over and a new series was produced – Kuruluş: Osman. Some of the characters from Ertugral stay in the new series for continuity and provide two more seasons of similar content with new characters, plot lines, and excitement. 

Many of the names and handshakes have become popular among teens and families. Children address their fathers as Bey. Friends greet each other in hallways and playgrounds with chest-fist bumps like the Alps. Countless plastic, wooden and metal swords, shields, and axes have been ordered online by people wanting to be like the Alps or Templar Knights. Kayi flags and symbols are being displayed proudly in offices, cars, and living rooms of people who are not even turkish in a sign of solidarity.

Fans have even made Pinterest boards dedicated to the fashion and style of characters, and some have even gone as far as to convert to Islam entirely:

Those who have not watched the show are definitely missing out. Many fans are urging their friends and family to watch episodes on Netflix, PTV and YouTube.

Has Ertugrul won you over yet? We know you parents are obsessed, so you might as well hop on too!

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