Clan Life in Yemen

Collection with 14 media items created by Jacob Zocherman

30 Mar 2014 04:00

Surrounded by al-Houthi militias in the north and neglected by the government in the south most people have to look after themselves. Clan affiliation and tradition is strong outside the cities in today’s Yemen. Here lies the community of a connectedness to their own group. When most of law and order have disappeared people rely on the village and the family who create its own laws and rules of life.

Nassir, a farmer west of the city of Aden, doesn’t want to talk about the kidnappings, blackmail and possession of weapons that has become synonymous with the country’s clan-controlled countryside. Instead, he talks about the family’s struggle to survive in the rugged terrain. Before wheat was grown in the fields, but now it’s too dry to even grow fodder for goats.
"It is no longer profitable to feed them. All the money we earn from selling their meat and milk is spent buying pasture."

Yemen Usa Eu Healthcare Human Interest Security

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Clan Life in Yemen 1
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

Weapons are a part of everyday life in rural Yemen. This teenage boy lives in a village in the Osman Valley, a three-hour drive from Khameer. Without transport, mobile phones and other means of communication, the villagers are cut off from the outside world. Two years have passed since the Arab spring swept across Yemen, urging protesters to rally against the three-decades-old rule of President Saleh. But since Saleh was forced from power, crime rates have soared while the population has fallen into a humanitarian crisis. Political fractions fight for power, and extremism flourish in the vacuum left by a weakened government. Justice means an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

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Clanlife in Yemen 2
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
15 Jan 2013

Saeeda Thabit holding her daughter Intesar who is treated for a respiratory tract infection at a UNHCR clinic in southern Yemen. The clinic is the only medical facility for the 2000 people currently living in the area.

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Clanlife in Yemen 3
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
16 Jan 2013

40-year-old Nassir Awad, is looking out from his house in the village of Al Mahaned in southern Yemen. Nassir and his family live on water and bread, and rarely eat meat, vegetables and milk.

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Clanlife in Yemen 4
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
21 Jan 2013

The red and green flag of the Shia Muslim rebel group al-Houthi is painted on an old house-wall in the Amran province, a few hours by car to the north of the capital Sana’a. The text says: God is great, death to America, death to Israel, condemn the Jews, power to Islam.

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Clanlife in Yemen 5
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

Without radio, TV and mobile phones the villages in the north are very isolated and cut off from the rest of the country.

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Clanlife in Yemen 6
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

An armed boy in the Osman-valley, some kilometers from Khameer in northern Yemen. Due to a conflict with the neighboring village, most people here are ready to pick up arms to defend themselves, old and young.

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Clanlife in Yemen 7
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

Two-year-old Ghozlan Abdus is sick with a chronic disease and weights four kilos. She is drifting in and out of consiousness and is severely malnourished. But back home in the Osman valley there is no health-care; the closest hospital is in Khameer, three hours away by car. Most people do not have access to transport so getting treatment and proper care is often very difficult.

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Clanlife in Yemen 8
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
22 Jan 2013

Young boys grow up fast. If the husband of a woman dies, the responsibility of taking care of the women and the children is passed on to the brother of the deceased. Many times the brothers are young, sometimes not even teenagers.

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Clanlife in Yemen 9
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
16 Jan 2013

Nassir Awad on his way home in the village of Al Mahaned. The road to Aden, passes in the middle of the village. Along the 200-kilometer road there are 13 military checkpoints. This is to prevent kidnappers and smugglers to take control over the strategically important road.

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Clanlife in Yemen 10
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
16 Jan 2013

Mohamed Nabil Ahmed (laying in the hammock), five months old, the grandchild of Nassir Awad and Saeeda Thabit. Together they have eight children and live in a simple house under very basic conditions. The family’s eldest son is lucky, he has bought a camel and moved to the neighboring village. An exception since most people in this area do not have financial means to buy camels or other livestock.

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Clanlife in Yemen 11
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
22 Jan 2013

The old stone town of Khameer, the last frontier before al-Houthi territory in the north.

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Clanlife in Yemen 12
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

The majority of women in Yemen do not have a face or a voice. In a conservative society with old traditions the man is the one speaking for the family. When a doctor treats a woman, the husband must give his authorization to the doctor. If the situation is serious and the husband doesn’t give his permission the doctor can’t intervene – even if the woman might die.

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Clanlife in Yemen 13
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

Ateqa Muqble in the Osman valley herds the family’s goats. Ateqa is like most others in the village, not aware of her age. But her body is worn and tells stories of a long life. She is limping after a fracture that has not healed completely and each step outside the stone house in the hilly terrain is painful. One of her daughters is in the background.

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Clanlife in Yemen 14
Amran, Yemen
By Jacob Zocherman
23 Jan 2013

A profiteer of violence. Mohammed Al Hashar, one of the many arms dealers who doesn’t like when it’s quite and peaceful. On a regular day he sells 2-3 automatic weapons. When violence increases, he sells more and business is better.