By Sarah Hassan
Contributing opinion writer
One Yemeni journalist is accusing the western journalists of being constantly biased in favor of the Houthis, the Shiit version of Daesh, in Yemen.
That journalist is me. I challenges all of you western journalists to prove me wrong.
My argument is that you - over the past years - have focused your reports so much to present the Houthi views to the world and hide the facts.
I think I am - - perhaps in the whole of Yemen- the only one highly conscious of your adamant bias in favor of Houthis.
And I have taken it upon myself to spread the awareness about it.
I have written a number of articles and provided the evidence exposing what you do.
Now I am exposing a new feature of your biased work: The images that accompanied your texts.
I challenge you to prove me wrong over it!
In your vehement effort to depict the Yemeni war and its concomitant misery from a Houthi standpoint, you have been geographically biased to the Houthi side. More to the point, you use - in the absolute majority of your articles - an image of a damaged building in Sana’a or a malnourished or sick child/person in Sana’a. As though the war and the misery befell only Sana’a. You are doing this because Houthis control Sana’a and you want to portray the war through the Houthi victimhood prism. You cover up on the fact that Sana’a survived the war with the least damage compared to other cities that were too unfortunate by the invasion of the Shiit Daesh you support. Taiz, Aden and Hodeidah cities are examples.
Sana’a is the safest and least damaged because fortunately there was no war in the middle of the city and the aerial campaign largely avoided the city’s center, contrary to your depictions.
Throughout the war, the Arab airstrikes mostly hit military bases and outposts in mountains outside the city. That is why you find a wholesome safe city to stay there where all services including internet are operational and you write your reports in favor of Houthis and Iran from Sana’a offices without venturing into Taiz city or Marib where there is a war!!
And you keep taking repeated pictures of the same few damaged buildings in Sana’a and posting them with predjudiced comments onto the worldwide web.
Within your biased focus on Sana’a, you keep a narrower focus on Old Sana’a. You seem inclined to even lie to make the audience believe that this historical city has been completely torn down by thoughtless airstrikes! Only a discerning follower of your writings, like me, will spot this penchant.
To melodramatize the physical impact of the “airstrikes” and indirectly cultivate a sense of Houthi victimhood, you limit your images to damaged buildings in Sana’a, especially Old Sana’a.
You have been repeating the same images year after year to fool the non-Yemeni readers into believing that Sana’a is a war-torn city with a majority of its buildings flattened by Arab airstrikes! All in all, five or seven buildings have been hit by airstrikes in the historical city at the beginning of the war. All of the buildings were used by the Saleh-Houthi regime as military facilities. One of them was a building used by the National Security Agency (intelligence). The Houthis bombed 15 houses in a Taiz village just in January 2021 !! They have bombed more than 800 houses in Yemen by sending extremist engineers to plant bombsin the houses’ corners and detonate them remotely. Just the houses! You did not write a single story on that!!
The Old Sana’a buildings were hit at the beginning of the war. You have since not stopped crying and inviting others to cry with you over the so-called “war damage.
While whipping up emotions, you have kept the international audience in the dark about where the real damage and the continuous bloodshed is. Aden which was invaded by Houthis suffered more damages to its civilian infrastructure than Sana’a. Taiz, a city of three million people, was widely damaged by Houthi invasion and the middle of the town is all a scene of collapsed or irreversibly damaged buildings, similar only to Syria’s Aleppo and Idlib.
Buildings are still being bombed as Houthi engineers plant bombs in their corners and detonate them from a distance! And most importantly people are still shelled and killed on a semi-daily basis as projectiles reach them into their neighborhoods in the city’s downtown.
Houthis still occupy the hilltops and roads around the city as vantage points from where they cut basic humanitarian provisions and prevent travel into and out of the city and maintaining a six year siege of no like in the modern world. The city is left with only one humanitarian conduit, a crumbling and narrow winding mountain road to Aden from which food humanitarian provisions trickle. This last lifeline is out of the reach of Houthis thanks to constant willingness by the army and the general public to rush in the time of need to resist the constant Houthi attempts to march on it and close it.
The international public opinion is kept in the dark about this because you never want to leave your comfort zone in Sana’a to report the war where the war and the misery of it are. Similar only to the UN Special Envoy for Houthis Martin Griffiths who, out of bias, never made it to Taiz.
Do you know provocative is your biased monotony, I mean the picture and ridiculous comments underneath them: “a building in Sana’a destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes” “A boy runs past” the rubble of his house “a man stands by” the rubble …” destroyed by Saudi-led airstrike: ?! And many times the same building’s picture is repeated again and again.
And the men standing by the rubbles are obviously Houthi extremists.
Over the past six years, you MOSTLY chose damaged buildings in Sana’a or patients on Sana’a hospital beds as the images for your ridiculous, sectarian reports aligning with the Houthi views.
Have you taken a picture of even one little girl - shot by a Houthi sniper - lying dead on a Taiz hospital?
Sniper shooting means premeditated killing and this a usual way Taiz children get killed, do you know that dear sectarian journalists?