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Mohammed Ali Kalfood

Al Hudaydah, Yemen
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About Mohammed
Mohammed Ali Kalfood is a seasoned journalist based between Sana'a and Hodeidah, Yemen, with a keen focus on the humanitarian and political dimensions of the ongoing conflict in his country. His in-depth reporting has been pivotal in bringing to light the severe consequences of the war, including the looming threat of famine as underscored by the United Nations. Kalfood's work meticulously documents the escalation of hostilities, such as the intensified airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels, and the complex dynamics surrounding US-led peace initiatives.

Through his reporting, Kalfood has provided a voice to the civilians suffering amidst the turmoil, sharing poignant narratives that illustrate the human cost of war. He has recounted the harrowing experiences of individuals like Fteeni Ali Jubaili, a father forced to evacuate a hospital with his premature infant during an airstrike, and Attiyah Dahfash, a displaced Yemeni yearning for the peace needed to return home. His articles offer a window into the lives of those affected, from the perils of cluster bombs on both people and the fishing industry to the struggles of educators like Ali Hassan Kudaish, who strives to maintain educational opportunities for displaced children, despite the gender disparities that disproportionately hinder girls' access to education.

Kalfood's journalism not only captures the immediate impacts of the conflict but also delves into the broader implications for Yemeni society. His commitment to reporting on these critical issues underscores the importance of journalism in shedding light on the complexities of war and the resilience of those who are caught in its wake.
Arabic English
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Prelude to Peace? Taking Stock of the Saudi-Houthi Talks in Yemen

14 Apr 2023  |  DAWN
Recent talks in Sana'a between Saudi and Houthi officials, mediated by Oman, signal progress in peace efforts for Yemen. The negotiations aim to stabilize a truce, support prisoner exchanges, and pave the way for a comprehensive political solution. Despite a draft agreement proposing a renewed cease-fire and a transitional period, unresolved issues remain. A significant prisoner exchange has begun, yet skepticism persists among analysts about the talks' ability to end the war and address the humanitarian crisis.

Yemen’s Children Born and Raised in Displacement

31 Jul 2022  |  Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
Mariam, a young mother of three, has faced multiple displacements due to conflict near her hometown Al-Shalilah in Yemen. Her family's journey through various internally displaced persons (IDP) camps reflects the broader crisis of over 4 million IDPs in Yemen, half of whom are children. The camps, such as Al-Hayjah, lack basic amenities and are often situated on private land without formal agreements, leading to threats of eviction. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that most IDP families suffer from unemployment and inadequate access to food, healthcare, and education. Child marriage is more prevalent among displaced girls, and protection remains a critical, underfunded issue. Despite the efforts of international agencies, durable solutions for IDPs are hindered by ongoing conflict and economic decline, leaving many families in a state of protracted displacement without the prospect of a safe return home.

Riyadh consultations hosted by Saudi Arabia have been boycotted by the Houthis, leaving little chance of success.

01 Apr 2022  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the recent Riyadh consultations aimed at ending the war. Attiyah Dahfash, a displaced Yemeni, recounts the impact of the war on his life and family. Despite the Stockholm Agreement, which was intended to halt the offensive in Hodeidah and prevent famine, fighting continued, and Dahfash remains unable to return home. The Riyadh talks, hosted by Saudi Arabia, were boycotted by the Houthi rebels, who control most of Yemen's population centers. The Houthis have called for talks at a neutral venue and have escalated attacks, including one near a Jeddah racetrack. Both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis have declared unilateral ceasefires, but peace remains uncertain. Abdulghani al-Iryani from the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies expresses skepticism about the talks, suggesting they may only achieve a balance of power rather than a lasting peace. Dahfash hopes for an end to the war so he can return home safely.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

22 Mar 2020  |  The New Humanitarian
The article is a call to action, inviting readers to support The New Humanitarian, an independent journalism platform focused on reporting about humanitarian crises around the world. The organization seeks to provide informative and accessible journalism that holds power to account and offers trustworthy news to its audience. By becoming a member, readers can contribute to the sustainability of the platform and become more engaged with the community that The New Humanitarian serves.

Banned by 119 Countries, U.S. Cluster Bombs Continue to Orphan Yemeni Children

22 Mar 2020  |  The Intercept
The article discusses the impact of cluster bombs on Yemen, particularly focusing on a recent attack in a coastal village on the Red Sea which resulted in the death of a local fisherman. The use of cluster bombs, which have been banned by 119 countries, is highlighted as a continuing issue in the conflict in Yemen. The Saudi coalition is mentioned in relation to strikes against the fishing industry, which is crucial for a country like Yemen that relies heavily on imports. The article sheds light on the civilian toll and the ongoing orphaning of Yemeni children due to the conflict.

War in Yemen: Desperate civilians trapped inside Hodeidah fear what comes next if truce fails

25 Nov 2018  |  The Telegraph
The article recounts the harrowing experience of Fteeni Ali Jubaili, a new father in Hodeidah, Yemen, whose premature baby was in al-Hawbani hospital when it was caught in the crossfire of the ongoing war. The hospital experienced power outages and was surrounded by Houthi rebel fighters, leading to a bombing by the Saudi-led coalition. Amidst the chaos, with doctors and patients fleeing, Mr. Jubaili had to escape with his newborn son, Abdullateef, as an Apache helicopter attacked the rebels. He walked for miles, hoping his son would survive the perilous journey.

As Famine Looms in Yemen, Saudi-Led Coalition Redoubles Attacks

06 Nov 2018  |  www.nytimes.com
The conflict in Yemen has intensified significantly, leading to a worsening humanitarian crisis that could lead to famine, according to the United Nations. Despite efforts by the United States to initiate peace talks, the Saudi-led coalition, supported by the US, has increased airstrikes against Houthi rebels. These strikes have targeted various locations including the capital Sana, northern provinces, and the crucial Red Sea port of Hudaydah. The port is vital for humanitarian aid, and its potential loss has raised alarms among aid workers. The United Arab Emirates commands the coalition locally and has intensified its offensive in Hudaydah, with Yemeni militias making significant advances and air attacks becoming more frequent.

As Famine Looms in Yemen, Saudi-Led Coalition Redoubles Attacks

05 Nov 2018  |  WRAL.com
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is worsening as the Saudi-led coalition intensifies its attacks on Houthi-controlled areas, particularly in the port city of Hodeida. Despite international calls for peace talks, the conflict has escalated, with significant civilian casualties and the potential for a mass famine affecting 14 million people. The United Nations and aid workers are struggling to keep humanitarian aid flowing through Hodeida, while political turmoil, including the fallout from the death of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, complicates efforts to resolve the conflict. The situation remains dire, with the risk of further escalation and a deepening humanitarian disaster.

Saudis Escalate Siege of Port in Yemen, Alarming Aid Groups

02 Aug 2018  |  www.nytimes.com
The Saudi-led coalition escalated its siege on the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah with missile strikes that killed at least 30 people, targeting the fish market, hospital entrance, and a security compound. This escalation follows accusations by Saudi Arabia that Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi oil vessel. Aid agencies have intensified their criticism of the coalition due to the civilian suffering in the city. The conflict in Yemen, described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster, involves various Yemeni factions and militias, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE supporting groups against the Houthi rebels who control key regions including the capital Sana.

Battles Rage Around International Airport in Strategic Yemeni City

16 Jun 2018  |  www.nytimes.com
Fighting intensified around the international airport in Al Hudaydah, Yemen, as a Saudi-led coalition continued its offensive to capture the city from Houthi rebels. The battle, involving Yemeni, Sudanese, and UAE forces, is critical for control over the port city, a vital entry point for food and fuel in famine-stricken Yemen. The United Nations and aid agencies warn of severe humanitarian consequences if the port's operations are disrupted, with millions at risk of starvation.

In Yemeni Camp, a Principal Struggles to Keep Girls at School

22 May 2017  |  deeply.thenewhumanitarian.org
Ali Hassan Kudaish, the principal of Al-Somood school in Yemen's largest IDP camp, Bani Hassan, faces significant challenges in providing education to displaced children, especially girls. The school, supported by UNICEF and local educational authorities, lacks basic resources like textbooks, female teachers, and adequate facilities. Despite these hardships, the school has enrolled 482 children, nearly half of whom are girls. However, due to the absence of female teachers, heavy household chores, and insufficient school infrastructure, there has been a high dropout rate, particularly among girls. Kudaish emphasizes the importance of education for these children's futures and continues to seek improvements for the school's conditions.

Banned by 119 Countries, U.S. Cluster Bombs Continue to Orphan Yemeni Children

14 Dec 2016  |  theintercept.com
The article details the devastating impact of U.S.-supplied cluster bombs used by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, focusing on the tragic death of a Yemeni fisherman, Ali Mohammed “Jubahi” Medarij. It highlights the broader humanitarian crisis, including civilian casualties, malnutrition, and economic hardship exacerbated by the ongoing conflict. The piece criticizes the U.S. for its role in supplying weapons and intelligence to Saudi Arabia, despite international condemnation and a treaty banning cluster bombs signed by 119 countries. Human Rights Watch and other organizations are cited for documenting the civilian toll and advocating against the use of such munitions.

In Yemen, Saudi-Led Intervention Gives Rise to New Armed Religious Faction

26 Apr 2016  |  theintercept.com
The Saudi-led intervention in Yemen has led to the rise of new armed Salafi factions in Taiz, transforming the city into a hub for extremist fighters. The Salafis, once known for their religious scholarship, now dominate the local resistance against the Houthi rebels. Residents express concern over the growing influence of these factions, likening them to al Qaeda and fearing permanent changes to the city's character. The Salafis have established Islamic courts and are heavily armed, with some weapons reportedly supplied by the Saudi-led coalition.

Bandage Me Quickly! The Death of a Journalist in Yemen

02 Feb 2016  |  theintercept.com
Yemeni journalist Almigdad Mojalli was killed in a Saudi-led airstrike while reporting on civilian casualties in Jaref, Yemen. Accompanied by photojournalist Bahir Hameed and driver Abdulbari Naji al-Suma’ea, Mojalli was on assignment for Voice of America. The airstrike occurred during their second visit to the bombed resort, resulting in Mojalli's death and injuries to Hameed and al-Suma’ea. Despite efforts to seek medical help, Mojalli succumbed to his injuries. The incident highlights the dangers faced by journalists in conflict zones and the ongoing civilian toll in Yemen.

Fire in Yemen, but Fighting Is Persistent

13 May 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
A cease-fire began in Yemen on Tuesday night, despite clashes and an airstrike in Aden after the starting time and significant violence leading up to the truce. The Saudi-led military coalition's intervention, aimed at stopping Houthi advances, has resulted in over 1,400 deaths, mostly civilians. International relief agencies have called for a halt to deliver essential supplies to the impoverished nation, under blockade for seven weeks. The Saudis proposed the truce, which could be extended, amid criticism for the blockade and civilian casualties. The Houthis agreed to the cease-fire, but the violence preceding it raises doubts about a broader political resolution.

Yemenis in Desperate Need of Food and Fuel After Weeks of Airstrikes

30 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Five weeks into a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, over 1,000 Yemenis have died, and at least 300,000 have been displaced, struggling for food and fuel. The humanitarian crisis is worsening, with heavy airstrikes in the capital, Sana, and fierce fighting in Aden causing deaths, fires, and a mass exodus. The civil war intensifies regional tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with little progress towards negotiations or clear strategic goals from the Saudi-led coalition.

Saudis Announce Halt to Yemen Bombing Campaign

21 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Saudi Arabia halted its month-old bombing campaign, Operation Decisive Storm, against Houthi rebels in Yemen following pressure from the Obama administration. The campaign aimed to restore the collapsed Yemeni government and has been criticized for civilian deaths and lack of a clear military strategy. The halt could lead to a different military intervention. The conflict has left nearly a thousand dead, allowed Al Qaeda to gain territory, and risked entangling the US and Iran amid ongoing nuclear negotiations. President Obama expressed optimism for a political resolution to Yemen's crisis.

At Least 25 Die as Airstrike Sets Off Huge Blast in Yemen

21 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
An airstrike by the Saudi-led military coalition caused a massive explosion in Sana, Yemen, killing at least 25 people and causing widespread destruction. The blast, which residents speculated was due to a bomb hitting an underground munitions depot, flattened homes and shattered windows over a mile away. The city, a Houthi militia stronghold, has been bombed almost daily for weeks as part of the coalition's efforts to restore the exiled Yemeni government. The incident has further traumatized residents, who are already struggling with the ongoing conflict.

Saudis Ask Pakistan to Join the Fight in Yemen

06 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Saudi Arabia has requested Pakistan to provide military support, including aircraft, warships, and soldiers, for its campaign against the Houthis in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition, supported by the United States and other Gulf countries, has been conducting airstrikes since late March but has not halted the Houthi advance. Pakistan's defense minister did not specify the government's response to the request. Critics argue that the Saudi intervention exacerbates Yemen's civil conflict and humanitarian crisis. The Houthis have abducted hundreds of Islah party members, further inflaming the conflict. The United Nations is considering resolutions to address the humanitarian situation, but Gulf nations are reluctant to pause military operations.

Apparent Saudi Strike Kills at Least Nine in Yemeni Family

05 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
An airstrike by the Saudi-led military coalition in a village outside Sana, Yemen, killed at least nine members of the Okaish family. The strike, which may have targeted a nearby air defense base, has intensified the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The United Nations Security Council is considering a Russian proposal for a ceasefire, while the International Committee of the Red Cross demands immediate access to provide aid. The situation in Aden is dire, with humanitarian workers struggling to deliver assistance and the Red Cross unable to send a surgical team. Saudi officials have pledged to investigate the airstrikes but blame the Houthis for civilian casualties.

Saudi Leaders Have High Hopes for Yemen Airstrikes, but Houthi Attacks Continue

03 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Two months into his reign, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, with his son overseeing the operation, initiated a military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen to prevent an Iranian takeover. Despite a week of airstrikes, the Houthis have made advances, including capturing a presidential palace in Aden. The conflict has led to a humanitarian crisis, with shortages of essentials and civilian deaths. Islamist militants have also exploited the situation, releasing an Al Qaeda leader and prisoners.

Rebels in Yemen Battle for Control of Strategic Port City

02 Apr 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Houthi fighters, backed by tanks, advanced into Aden, Yemen's second-largest city, despite a Saudi-led military offensive. The battle has resulted in high civilian casualties and significant turmoil. The Saudi-led coalition, supported by the United States and Persian Gulf monarchies, accuses the Houthis of being Iranian proxies. The conflict has led to strikes on civilian targets, with human rights organizations accusing the Saudi military of indiscriminate bombing. An explosion at a dairy factory near Al Hudaydah, attributed to a Saudi airstrike, killed at least 33 people.

Egypt Says It May Send Troops to Yemen to Fight Houthis

27 Mar 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
Egypt announced its readiness to send troops to Yemen as part of a Saudi-led campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi movement, indicating the potential for a prolonged ground war. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stated that Egypt's navy and air force would join the campaign, with ground troops available if necessary. This move is part of a broader regional conflict involving civil wars and extremist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. Despite no immediate troop deployment, analysts suggest airstrikes alone may not defeat the Houthi forces.

Suicide Attacks at Mosques in Yemen Kill More Than 130

21 Mar 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for suicide bombings at Zaydi Shiite mosques in Sana, Yemen, which killed over 130 people during Friday Prayer. This marks the introduction of severe sectarian violence in Yemen, akin to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Suicide Attacks at Mosques in Yemen Kill More Than 130

21 Mar 2015  |  www.nytimes.com
An affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for coordinated suicide attacks on Zaydi Shiite mosques in Yemen, killing over 130 people during Friday Prayer. These bombings, carried out by Sunni extremists, threaten to escalate the conflict into severe sectarian violence similar to that seen in Syria and Iraq.

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