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Nawal Al-Maghafi

Sana'a, Yemen
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About Nawal
Nawal Al-Maghafi is a journalist based in Sana'a, Yemen.
Languages
English
Services
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
+6
Skills
Fact Checking
Portfolio

The teenager who's been married too many times to count

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The BBC conducted an undercover investigation in Kadhimiya, Iraq, revealing the widespread practice of mutaa marriages, a form of temporary marriage under Sharia law. Despite being illegal in Iraq, clerics were found to be facilitating these marriages, with some even offering girls as young as nine. The investigation highlighted clerics like Sayyed Raad, who offered to arrange such marriages for an undercover reporter, even suggesting alternatives to preserve a young girl's virginity. The report also touched on the societal implications and the exploitation of women and girls, with personal accounts from individuals like Mona, who faced severe consequences after being coerced into a mutaa marriage. The office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani condemned the practice when presented with the evidence. The Iraqi government acknowledged the difficulty in addressing the issue without complaints from victims. The investigation suggests that mutaa marriages have become more common since the US-led invasion in 2003, which shifted the balance of power towards the Shia majority in Iraq.

One woman's lonely struggle against famine in Yemen

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.com
The article discusses the plight of a four-year-old boy named Shuaib, who is suffering from diarrhoea and fever. His grandfather has borrowed money to take him to the hospital, only to be informed by the doctors that they are unable to treat the boy. The hospital manager explains that the antibiotics available are ineffective against the bacteria causing Shuaib's illness. This situation highlights a potentially larger issue of antibiotic resistance or lack of medical resources.

Editor's Note: Inside Houthi-held Yemen

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
Journalists Peter Oborne and Nawal al-Maghafi report from Houthi-controlled Yemen, providing insights into the alliance between Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who were once enemies. The Houthi insurgency and the coalition government with Saleh are discussed, as well as the impact of Saudi-led bombings, which have increased Houthi popularity despite the humanitarian crisis. The article also touches on the alleged Iranian support for the Houthis, which some experts believe is exaggerated. The legitimacy of the Houthi/Saleh government is contested by the internationally recognized government led by exiled president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. The article concludes with the grim reality of civilian suffering in Yemen, including children, due to the ongoing conflict.

Polish embassy 'funded far-right speakers' at UK event

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.com
The BBC Newsnight investigation revealed that the Polish Embassy in London partially funded a book fair in Slough in 2017, which featured far-right Polish speakers known for hate speech. One of the speakers, Marcin Rola, who runs a far-right online TV station called Wrealu24, has made several controversial statements. Despite criticism, the embassy stated the funding followed an appropriate assessment by Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was organized by Polska Niepodlegla, a UK-based far-right group. Experts and anti-extremism organizations like Faith Matters expressed concern over the radicalization of Polish communities in the UK through such events. The Home Office declined to comment on the specific case of Marcin Rola, who attended another book fair in Leeds not funded by the embassy.

Yemen's Peace Talks Teeter on the Brink of Collapse

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
The Yemen peace talks in Switzerland are on the verge of collapse due to disagreements over the release of prisoners held by the Houthis. The Hadi government demands the release of officials, including the defence minister and President Hadi’s brother, but the Houthis want a formal end to the Saudi-led bombing campaign first. UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed's attempts to negotiate a phased release were rejected. Despite these tensions, an agreement was reached to resume humanitarian aid into Taiz, but it was quickly disputed by the Saleh delegation. The ceasefire in Yemen is fragile, with both sides accusing each other of violations. A military committee was formed to oversee the ceasefire, and the UN talks aim to address a range of issues including a sustainable ceasefire and the resumption of political dialogue. The humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire, with a majority of the population needing assistance. International pressure is mounting on Saudi Arabia to resolve the conflict diplomatically, especially after reports of potential war crimes using Western weaponry. The talks are seen as a step forward, but doubts remain about the influence of the delegates and whether direct talks between Saudi and Iranian representatives would be more effective.

Saudi forces shoot down missile as Yemen talks fizzle out

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile from Yemen, despite recent peace talks in Switzerland ending without a ceasefire renewal. The Saudi-led coalition destroyed the launch pad in Yemen following the missile interception. The missile was aimed at the Jazan district but was stopped by Saudi's Patriot missile batteries. The peace talks involved Yemen's government and the Iran-backed Houthis but concluded without significant progress. A ceasefire had been in place but was marred by continued fighting, and a new round of talks is scheduled for January 14. The conflict has resulted in over 5,800 deaths and 27,000 injuries since March, as per UN data.

How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
Following a reported attack in Syria, Russian military specialists claimed that they did not find any evidence of chlorine or other chemical agents in the affected flats. The Russian government has accused the opposition and the UK of staging the incident, an allegation that the British government has strongly denied, labeling it as 'grotesque and absurd'.

Many refugees intent on leaving Europe are selling their documents in order to finance their journeys home

04 Apr 2024  |  thetimes.co.uk
The article discusses the phenomenon of Syrian refugees in Europe who are choosing to return to their home countries, despite the risks and uncertainties. These refugees, who once sought asylum and security in European nations, are now selling their official documents and passports to fund their journey back to Turkey or Syria. The narrative captures a scene where refugees, including families and young men, are seen embarking on their reverse migration during the night, laden with their belongings and filled with apprehension about being apprehended. This reverse flow indicates a shift in the refugee crisis, with some opting to leave the perceived safety of Europe for various reasons, including the desire to return to their homeland or the challenges faced while in asylum.

Ali Abdullah Saleh: Meeting the man who believed himself invincible

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The article features an interview with an unnamed individual, presumably a former leader or influential figure in Yemen, discussing the aftermath of the Arab Spring and a mosque attack. The individual expresses confidence that despite the public outcry and calls for his overthrow during the Arab Spring, there will come a time when the Yemeni people will wish for his return to power. The tone suggests a reflection on political unrest and the changing sentiments of the populace in Yemen.

From protester to politician: The rise of a Houthi revolutionary

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
The article recounts the journalist's experiences and observations of the Houthi movement's rise to power in Yemen, from their early days in 2011 to their control over northern Yemen by 2015. It details the journalist's encounters with Ali Al-Emad, a Houthi member, and the transformation of the Houthis from a group fighting against the government to a significant political force. The journalist reflects on the Houthis' military prowess, their struggle for power, and the public's changing perception towards them amid ongoing conflict and governance challenges. The article also touches on the complex alliances and political dynamics in Yemen, including the roles of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Islah party, and external influences such as Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Yemen's Warring Parties Resume Peace Talks in Switzerland

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
Peace talks between Yemen's warring parties have resumed in Switzerland, facilitated by the UN. The negotiations, which are being held at the Swiss Olympic Hotel in Biel, involve representatives of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi-GPC alliance. A significant achievement was the agreement on a large prisoner exchange, although this was later denied by some sources. The talks are seen as a success for UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and are accompanied by a ceasefire, which has reportedly been breached. Key issues include respecting the ceasefire, releasing political prisoners, and allowing humanitarian aid into Taiz. The urgency of the talks is underscored by the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen and the realization that a military victory is unlikely. The outcome of the talks could influence the upcoming UN Security Council meeting, where the Saudi-led coalition may face criticism.

One doctor, one nurse and all the coronavirus patients in Aden

04 Apr 2024  |  thetimes.co.uk
The article describes the scene at Al-Amal hospital, which was once a wedding hall but now serves as a medical facility. Dr. Zoha Aidaroos, a young woman working at the hospital, recounts her experience upon hearing about a new deadly illness with no cure that even the world's most powerful countries were struggling to manage. The narrative suggests that the virus, presumably COVID-19, is approaching her location, and the tone indicates a sense of impending challenge and fear associated with the spread of the disease.

Sanaa devastated by bombing campaign

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
The article covers the devastating impact of the Saudi-led coalition's air campaign in Yemen, particularly focusing on the civilian toll. It recounts the story of Khadija Al-Bayna, who lost her sons in an airstrike on a water-bottling plant. The campaign has a sectarian character, aiming to defeat Houthi militiamen and reinstate the deposed president, Abdu Mansour Hadi. The blockade imposed by the coalition has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, leading to famine. The article also touches on the international arms trade, with countries like the UK supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, potentially in breach of laws against war crimes. Human rights groups and the UN have called for inquiries into violations by both sides. The article ends with a bleak outlook for Yemen's civilians, who continue to suffer from shortages of food and medicine amidst ongoing conflict.

Understanding the Complex Conflict in Yemen

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
The article discusses the complex conflict in Yemen, highlighting the main battle between the national government and the Houthi militias, who are accused of being Iranian puppets. The Houthis, allied with ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have taken control of military facilities and gained power with Saleh's support. The Saudi Arabian-led coalition's intervention has internationalized the conflict, while also creating a security vacuum that allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to grow. In the south, the Southern Resistance and other groups have been fighting the Houthis, with some success in Aden province. The article also mentions the need for reconstruction in Aden, as reported by Essam al-Shaeri from the Sah Foundation. The war has severely damaged Yemen's social fabric, with issues like water shortages, separatist movements, and the presence of al-Qaeda militants adding to the chaos.

One woman's lonely struggle against famine in Yemen

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The article discusses the plight of a four-year-old boy named Shuaib, who is suffering from diarrhoea and fever. His grandfather has borrowed money to take him to the hospital, only to be informed by the doctors that they are unable to treat the boy. The hospital manager explains that the antibiotics available are ineffective against the bacteria causing Shuaib's illness. This situation highlights a potentially larger issue of antibiotic resistance or lack of access to the necessary medication.

The Deepening Crisis in Yemen and Militia Terror in Iraq

04 Apr 2024  |  pbs.org
Journalist Nawal al-Maghafi investigates the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Yemen, which is already facing a severe humanitarian crisis due to a six-year war. The conflict, involving the Iran-backed Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition, has resulted in widespread starvation among children and massive internal displacement. The report also examines the actions of Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq, contributing to the region's instability.

Polish embassy 'funded far-right speakers' at UK event

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The article discusses a broadcast by an individual named Rola, who made inflammatory and derogatory statements about Muslim immigrants in Sweden, claiming that they are responsible for a high number of rapes against women, others, and even animals. Rola's comments suggest a prejudiced view that generalizes the behavior of Muslim immigrants, insinuating that such behavior is inherent to them. The statements appear to be aimed at inciting fear and promoting an anti-immigrant sentiment.

Yemen: This doctor saw Covid hospital empty after fake death text

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The article discusses the work of an individual who recorded the names of every person who passed away with Covid-like symptoms and was buried after dying in al-Amal hospital. Specifically, it highlights the significant increase in burials during the peak of the pandemic in May, where over 1,500 people were buried. This number was six times higher than the death rate in the same city the previous year, as per official death records.

Martine Vik Magnussen: Billionaire’s son admits role in death to BBC

04 Apr 2024  |  bbc.co.uk
The article discusses the tragic death of a woman named Martine, who was last seen leaving a club with an individual named Farouk at 02:59, as captured by CCTV. There were no witnesses to the events that followed their departure from the club. By the morning, Martine was deceased, but her body was not found until 48 hours later. Farouk had already left the UK, taking a flight to Cairo and then traveling on his father's private jet to Yemen. Despite the circumstances, Farouk's lawyer has stated that his client is innocent of any murder charges.

VIDEO: Unbelievably clear drone footage of Damascus devastation

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
The article discusses a video released by Russia Insider, filmed by Russia Works, showing the Syrian army's offensive in Jobar, Damascus. The drone footage captures the extensive damage in Jobar following the uprisings against President Bashar al-Assad. The video, which includes tanks firing and rebels in hiding, is part of a series produced by the Russian broadcaster to support Moscow's military intervention in Syria. The release of the stylized video with techno music on YouTube is seen as an effort to bolster domestic support for Russia's actions in the Syrian conflict.

WATCH: Yemen's war: The destruction of Sanaa

04 Apr 2024  |  middleeasteye.net
Journalists Peter Oborne and Nawal Al-Maghafi have reported from Yemen, specifically from areas controlled by the Houthi forces. Their reporting is considered authentic despite being monitored by Houthi minders during their interviews. Middle East Eye, the platform they report for, is known for its independent coverage of the Middle East and North Africa. The article also mentions the possibility of republishing content from Middle East Eye and provides information on how to inquire about republishing fees and terms.

I love to finish them off': the American mercenaries behind assassinations in Yemen

25 Jan 2024  |  terra.com.br
A BBC investigation concluded that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) funded politically motivated assassinations in Yemen, exacerbating the conflict involving the Yemeni government and various factions. American mercenaries provided anti-terrorism training to UAE officers in Yemen, which was passed on to locals, leading to a surge in political killings. Despite their stated goal of eliminating jihadist groups, the UAE recruited former Al-Qaeda members for a security force to fight the Houthi movement and other armed factions. The UAE government denied allegations of assassinating individuals unconnected to terrorism. The conflict has seen over 100 political assassinations in three years, hindering the return of the internationally recognized Yemeni government and potentially fostering Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea. The US announced plans to reclassify the Houthi group as a global terrorist entity. The investigation revealed that the UAE-funded Southern Transitional Council operates independently of the Yemeni government, with a unit trained to conduct assassinations. Human rights lawyer Huda al-Sarari, who investigates human rights violations by UAE-backed forces, has received death threats, and her son was killed by a member of the UAE-supported Counter-Terrorism Unit. The UAE government maintains that it has acted in accordance with international law during operations in Yemen.

Investigation by BBC: American mercenaries hired by the United Arab Emirates to commit political assassinations in Yemen

01 Nov 2023  |  es-us.noticias.yahoo.com
The United Arab Emirates has been accused of funding political assassinations in Yemen, exacerbating the conflict between the government and Houthi rebels. A BBC investigation revealed that American mercenaries trained Emirati officers and local Yemenis to carry out these assassinations. Despite claims that the mercenaries aimed to combat jihadist groups, they were allegedly used to target political figures, particularly members of the Islah party. The UAE government has denied these accusations. The conflict in Yemen has led to over 100 deaths and has involved various international powers, including the United States and the United Kingdom, who supported a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. The situation has created a climate of fear and hindered the return of the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

Yemeni forces seize northern Houthi towns as peace talks near collapse

06 Oct 2023  |  Middle East Eye
Houthi rebel leaders failed to attend the fourth day of peace talks in Biel, Switzerland, declaring the Yemen ceasefire over after Yemeni government forces, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, seized the towns of Hazm and Harad. The attacks have intensified fighting in northern Yemen, putting significant pressure on the peace negotiations. Despite the ceasefire, clashes continue, with pro-government forces advancing rapidly and the Saudi military warning of increased strikes against Houthi militias.

UAE has funded political assassinations in Yemen, BBC finds

05 Oct 2023  |  BBC
The UAE has been implicated in funding and orchestrating political assassinations in Yemen, according to a BBC investigation. American mercenaries hired by the UAE trained Emirati officers, who then instructed local Yemenis, leading to a surge in targeted killings. The UAE government denies these allegations, asserting compliance with international law. The assassinations primarily targeted members of Islah, a Sunni Islamist movement. The investigation also revealed that the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council recruited former al-Qaeda members. Human rights lawyer Huda al-Sarari has faced threats and personal loss due to her work exposing these abuses.

Martine Vik Magnussen: Billionaire’s son admits role in death to BBC

05 Apr 2023  |  bbc.com
Farouk Abdulhak, the son of a billionaire and a suspect in the 2008 death of Martine Vik Magnussen in London, has admitted his involvement in the case to BBC News Arabic special correspondent Nawal Al-Maghafi. Martine's body was found under rubble in a Great Portland Street basement, and Farouk fled to Yemen shortly after. Despite being on the Met Police's most wanted list, Farouk had not spoken about the case until his admission of a 'sex accident gone wrong' to the BBC. Nawal Al-Maghafi, who shares a Yemeni background with Farouk, gained his trust through social media and received a series of messages from him. Farouk's father, Shaher Abdulhak, was a powerful figure in Yemen, and his connections allowed Farouk to escape to Yemen, where he remains due to the lack of an extradition treaty with the UK. The article details Nawal's persistent efforts to contact Farouk, the investigation's challenges, and the impact on Martine's family, who seek justice.

Undercover with the Clerics: Iraq’s Secret Sex Trade

05 Apr 2023  |  theguardian.com
The article details an undercover investigation by the BBC into the practice of short-term 'mutaa' or pleasure marriages in Shia Islam's holy sites in Iraq, which are illegal under Iraqi law. The investigation revealed that clerics were exploiting women for profit, grooming vulnerable girls, and trapping them into prostitution. An undercover reporter filmed clerics agreeing to arrange these marriages, and interviews with victims exposed the clerics' actions and the devastating consequences for the women involved. The investigation also explored the complicity of religious authorities and the impunity with which clerics operate, often with political connections and militia backing. The BBC's findings were presented to the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who condemned the practices if they were as reported. The article highlights the erosion of women's rights in post-conflict Iraq and the failure of secular laws to protect women and children from abuse by powerful religious figures.

Yemen war: Tortured for supporting the 'wrong' side

01 Apr 2023  |  bbc.com
The article by Nawal Al-Maghafi for BBC Arabic covers the harrowing issue of forced disappearances, torture, and deaths in detention in Yemen, amidst the ongoing conflict since 2015. The Abductees' Mothers Association and the human rights group Mwatana have documented the plight of the victims and their families. The report by Mwatana reveals over 1,600 cases of arbitrary detention, 770 enforced disappearances, and 344 instances of torture since 2016, with at least 66 confirmed deaths in detention. Victims are often targeted for their perceived allegiance to opposing factions in the war, with various groups, including the Houthi rebels and UAE-backed forces, running unofficial detention centers. The article shares personal stories, such as that of Othman Abdo, who was abducted and tortured, and Saleh, who was killed in detention, to illustrate the human cost of the conflict in Yemen.

Ali Abdullah Saleh: Meeting the man who believed himself invincible

01 Apr 2023  |  bbc.com
The article by Nawal al-Maghafi for BBC News reflects on the author's personal encounters with the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years and was a central figure in the country's modern history and its descent into civil war. The journalist recounts interviewing Saleh after he survived an attack on his local mosque and again in 2016 following a deadly Saudi-led coalition air strike aimed at him. Saleh's confidence in his political power and his alliance with the Houthis, despite their history of conflict, are highlighted. The article also touches on Saleh's eventual death, with his body shown in grim pictures, and his legacy of ruling Yemen, which he once described as 'dancing on the heads of snakes'.

How I got the son of a billionaire to confess his role in the London murder of a young student

31 Mar 2023  |  elimparcial.com
Farouk Abdulhak, who fled to Yemen after the murder of 23-year-old student Martine Vik Magnssen in London in 2008, admitted to the BBC his involvement in what he described as a 'sexual accident gone wrong.' The author, a Yemeni journalist for the BBC, managed to gain Abdulhak's trust through shared heritage and conducted a five-month correspondence, revealing Abdulhak's regret and fragmented memories of the incident. Despite forensic evidence indicating violence, Abdulhak's narrative remains incomplete. Martine's body was found with signs of strangulation and struggle, and Abdulhak fled to Yemen, where he cannot be extradited. The case remains unresolved, with Abdulhak unwilling to return to the UK, fearing biased justice. Martine's father, Odd Petter Magnussen, hopes for closure and justice, while the Metropolitan Police continue efforts to bring Abdulhak to trial.

Billionaire's son confesses to BBC involvement in student's death in London in 2008

29 Mar 2023  |  g1.globo.com
Farouk Abdulhak, the son of a billionaire, confessed to BBC News his involvement in the murder of 23-year-old student Martine Vik Magnussen in London in 2008. Abdulhak fled to Yemen shortly after her death and has been on the Metropolitan Police of London's most-wanted list with an international arrest warrant. He admitted the death occurred during a 'sexual accident gone wrong' but is not prepared to return to the UK, believing it's 'too late' for justice. The journalist Nawal Al-Maghafi, also from Yemen, managed to gain Abdulhak's trust and received his confession after years of investigation. Martine's body was found with signs of violent death, and her family has been seeking justice for 15 years. Abdulhak remains in Yemen, where extradition is not possible due to the lack of a treaty with the UK.

Turkey-Syria earthquake: Thousands offer to adopt baby pulled from the rubble

09 Feb 2023  |  bbc.com
Following the devastating earthquake in north-west Syria, a newborn baby girl named Aya, born under the rubble, has received thousands of adoption offers after her rescue went viral on social media. Aya's entire immediate family perished in the quake that struck the town of Jindayris. She is currently in a stable condition in a hospital in Afrin, under the care of paediatrician Hani Marouf. The hospital manager, Khalid Attiah, has been inundated with calls from people worldwide wanting to adopt Aya, but he has decided not to allow adoption until her distant family returns. Meanwhile, rescue efforts continue in Jindayris, with local journalists and the White Helmets organisation reporting a dire situation with ongoing searches for survivors amidst the rubble.

Enough is Enough: States Must Stop Arms Transfers Fuelling Yemen Conflict

01 Feb 2023  |  controlarmsblog.wordpress.com
Nawal Al-maghafi, a Yemeni journalist, reports on the ongoing civil war in Yemen and criticizes the international community for its role in fueling the conflict through arms sales. She highlights the devastating impact of the war on civilians, including widespread famine, displacement, and the destruction of infrastructure. Al-maghafi discusses her personal connection to the conflict and her transition from reporting to advocacy. She condemns the inaction of the international community, particularly the refusal to debate the Yemeni crisis at the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) meeting. The article calls for an immediate halt to arms transfers to the warring parties in Yemen by ATT signatory states and emphasizes the urgency of the humanitarian situation.

Doctor forced to face the covid-19 crisis alone in her hospital

24 Jan 2021  |  eltiempo.com
As Yemen braced for a second wave of COVID-19, Dr. Zoha Aidaroos al-Saadi recalled facing the pandemic alone after her colleagues fled al-Amal Hospital in Aden. Despite the hospital's designation as a COVID-19 treatment center, it lacked proper equipment and infrastructure. Zoha and one nurse managed dozens of patients, but could not save any. The Houthi rebels' control of Sanaa and the Saudi-led coalition's involvement in the conflict have devastated Yemen's healthcare system. Misinformation spread about Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) killing patients, which reduced hospital admissions. Armed men, allegedly led by the hospital's administrator, threatened MSF staff, leading to their withdrawal from al-Amal. The health minister claimed a good relationship with MSF, despite their departure. The gravedigger at al-Radwan cemetery recorded over 1,500 burials in May alone. Zoha now works with the International Committee of the Red Cross, fearing Yemen is unprepared for a second wave.

Yemen: This doctor saw Covid hospital empty after fake death text

18 Jan 2021  |  bbc.com
In Yemen, amidst a devastating war that has crippled the healthcare system, Dr. Zoha Aidaroos al-Saadi faced the COVID-19 pandemic at al-Amal hospital in Aden with minimal support after her colleagues fled due to fear of the virus. The hospital, designated as the city's official COVID-19 facility, lacked proper equipment and supplies. Despite Zoha's efforts, the hospital could not save any patients initially. The situation improved when Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) intervened, providing staff and supplies, but their presence was marred by false rumors leading to a decline in patients seeking treatment and security issues that eventually forced MSF to withdraw. The article also touches on the broader impact of the pandemic in Yemen, the political chaos, and the reliance on social media for news, which exacerbates the spread of misinformation. The grave situation is highlighted by the account of a gravedigger who buried over 1,500 people with COVID-like symptoms in May alone. Zoha now works with the International Committee for the Red Cross, and while the situation is currently stable, a second wave of COVID-19 is anticipated.

'We have no oxygen': First journalist to access Yemen after Covid discovers major cover up in country of her birth

14 Dec 2020  |  telegraph.co.uk
The journalist, a British-Yemeni, was in London during the March lockdown, concerned about the COVID-19 situation in Yemen, especially considering the challenges faced by the NHS in the UK. The journalist's main concern was for their elderly grandmother in Yemen, who was vulnerable to the virus. Despite the journalist's fears, their sister in northern Yemen was not aware of the threat, as the Houthi authorities had not reported any cases and had imposed restrictions on COVID-19 reporting. The journalist struggled to find accurate information about the situation in Yemen due to these restrictions.

'Pleasure marriage': clerics use controversial religious practice to prostitute girls in Iraq

05 Oct 2019  |  terra.com.br
An undercover BBC News Arabic investigation revealed that clerics in Iraq are facilitating the sexual exploitation of children and young women through a Shia practice known as 'temporary marriage' or nikah mut'ah. The investigation, which spanned 11 months, found clerics willing to arrange 'marriages' for as short as an hour, essentially sanctioning sexual abuse. Some clerics indicated willingness to engage girls as young as nine. The practice, which has divided Muslim scholars, is being used by men to have sexual relations with women for a limited time, often justified by poverty and the high number of widows due to 15 years of war in Iraq. The report includes testimonies from exploited women and men who have paid for such services, believing they have religious support for their actions. High-ranking former Shia cleric Ghaith Tamimi condemned the practice, and Ayatollah Sistani, a leading figure in Shia Islam, denounced such practices if they are indeed occurring. The Iraqi government stated that it is difficult to act without complaints from women against clerics.

'Pleasure marriage': clerics use controversial religious practice to prostitute girls in Iraq

05 Oct 2019  |  bbc.com
An investigation by BBC News Arabic revealed that clerics in Iraq are brokering girls for sexual activities under the guise of the Shia practice of 'temporary marriage' or nikah mut'ah. The undercover investigation found that many clerics were willing to facilitate these 'marriages' for periods as short as an hour, essentially for sexual purposes, with some even indicating the possibility of engaging with girls as young as nine years old. The practice, which is controversial among Muslim scholars, has been linked to sexual abuse of children, with clerics acting as pimps and providing religious blessings for the abuse. The investigation, conducted over 11 months by Iraqi and British teams, also highlighted the vulnerability of Iraqi women and girls, many of whom have been widowed or displaced due to 15 years of war, and are coerced into 'temporary marriage' due to poverty. The report includes testimonies from exploited women and men who have paid for such services, as well as from activists and former clerics who condemn the practice.

Pleasure marriages: Iraqi clerics are using a controversial religious practice to prostitute women and girls

04 Oct 2019  |  bbc.com
An undercover BBC investigation revealed that clerics in Iraq are sexually exploiting young girls through the Shiite practice of 'pleasure marriage' or 'nikah mut'ah', which is a temporary marriage arrangement. The investigation found that many clerics were willing to arrange these marriages, some for periods as short as an hour, and even with girls as young as nine years old. The practice, which divides Islamic scholars, is being used to facilitate sex under the guise of religious legitimacy. The BBC team documented cases where clerics acted as pimps, offering underage girls for 'pleasure marriages'. The investigation also highlighted the vulnerability of Iraqi women and girls, many of whom are driven to these arrangements due to poverty after years of war. Activists and former clerics condemned the practice, and the Iraqi government stated that it is difficult to act without formal complaints from the victims.

How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory

15 Oct 2018  |  bbc.com
The article by Nawal al-Maghafi for BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic investigates the role of chemical weapons in President Bashar al-Assad's strategy during the Syrian civil war. Despite Syria's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the destruction of declared chemical stockpiles, evidence suggests that at least 106 chemical attacks have occurred since 2013. The OPCW and UN have confirmed the use of chemicals in 37 incidents. The Syrian government, with the support of Russia, has been implicated in many of these attacks, while the Islamic State is responsible for a few. Chemical weapons have been strategically used to instill fear, punish populations, and reclaim opposition-held territories, with chlorine being the most commonly used agent. The international community's response has been limited, with some retaliatory strikes by Western powers. The article emphasizes the ongoing collection of evidence and the hope for future justice for the victims of these attacks.

How chemical weapons have helped bring Assad close to victory

15 Oct 2018  |  bbc.co.uk
The article by Nawal al-Maghafi for BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic investigates the role of chemical weapons in President Bashar al-Assad's strategy during the Syrian Civil War. Despite Syria's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the destruction of declared chemical stockpiles, evidence suggests that at least 106 chemical attacks have occurred since 2013. The OPCW and UN have confirmed the use of chemicals as weapons in several cases. The deadliest attack, involving Sarin, occurred in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017. The Syrian government, with support from Russia, denies using chemical weapons, attributing some incidents to opposition forces or accidental releases. However, the evidence points to the Syrian government's responsibility for many attacks, often coinciding with strategic military offensives. The use of chemical weapons has been a tactic to instill fear and displace populations, contributing to Assad's grip on power. The international community's response has been limited, with some punitive strikes by Western powers but no comprehensive action to prevent further use of chemical weapons.

The Catastrophe of Saudi Arabia’s Trump-Backed Intervention in Yemen

17 Nov 2017  |  newyorker.com
The article reports on the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, particularly in the port city of Hudaydah, where malnutrition and diseases like cholera and meningitis are rampant. The local hospital is overwhelmed, with staff unpaid for months. The United Nations has called for an end to the Saudi-led blockade, which has exacerbated the crisis. The conflict in Yemen, which has become a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, has led to a severe shortage of medical care and basic necessities. The U.S. has been involved by supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, with recent Congressional action symbolically challenging this support. The journalist, who reported with a BBC film crew, describes the suffering of the Yemeni people, including internally displaced persons, and the lack of international aid reaching those outside of camps.

'I see scenes like those in Somalia': the lonely fight of a woman against hunger in Yemen

25 Sep 2016  |  bbc.com
After two years of war and an 18-month commercial blockade by neighboring countries, millions in Yemen are facing starvation, with some dying from lack of food. Dr. Ashwaq Muharram in Al Hudaydah is using her own resources to distribute medicine and food, operating her car as a mobile clinic. The BBC spent two weeks with her, witnessing the dire situation. Al Hudaydah, once a major entry point for imported food, is now under blockade and targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes. The destruction of the port and the blockade have led to severe shortages, affecting the availability of special medical products and causing hospitals to close due to bombings or lack of supplies. The story highlights the tragic death of a four-year-old boy named Shuaib due to inadequate medical resources and the successful aid of a child named Abdulrahman by Dr. Muharram. The conflict in Yemen continues with no end in sight, risking the loss of an entire generation.

Yemen: This is what the start of a civil war looks like

30 Aug 2016  |  middleeasteye.net
Peter Oborne and Nawal Al-Maghafi report from war-torn Yemen, revealing the devastation caused by Saudi-led coalition air strikes and the role of the West in the conflict. The reporting, mainly from Houthi-held territories, uncovers indiscriminate bombings, such as a potato crisp factory and a school, resulting in civilian deaths. The blockade, supported by the UN Security Council and Western nations, has led to a shortage of medical supplies, contributing to further deaths. The article details the use of 'double tap' strikes, the impact of cluster bombs, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. It also discusses the origins of the conflict, the role of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Houthi insurgency. The complicity of the UK and the US in providing arms, intelligence, and diplomatic support to the Saudi-led coalition is highlighted, despite evidence of potential war crimes. The article calls for global awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Yemen's Long Road to Peace: Houthi Prestige and Saudi Diplomacy

01 May 2016  |  middleeasteye.net
The article discusses the progress and challenges of the peace talks in Kuwait between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed Hadi government of Yemen. The Houthis have gained significant prestige and power, and direct talks with Saudi Arabia have led to confidence-building measures like prisoner exchanges and a ceasefire at the border. Despite international criticism and calls for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, the Saudis have shown a willingness to negotiate, reducing air strikes and engaging in bilateral talks. The current talks in Kuwait focus on a five-point plan based on UN Resolution 2216, but disagreements persist on how to implement these points. The article also touches on a recent Houthi attack that broke the ceasefire, and the changing tone of Houthi announcements towards Saudi Arabia, suggesting a deal may be in motion. The author, Nawal Al-Maghafi, reflects on the dire situation in Yemen and the hope that the peace talks will bring a resolution.

Those wearing the white helmets in Yemen’s war

28 Mar 2016  |  Middle East Eye
Yemen is experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises of the century, exacerbated by the ongoing conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi militias. Amidst the devastation, individuals like heart surgeon Abuthar al-Janadi and human rights researcher Belkis Wille are highlighted for their heroic efforts to provide medical care and document human rights violations. The article criticizes the lack of effective international response and highlights the challenges faced by NGOs in holding perpetrators accountable. Upcoming peace talks offer a glimmer of hope, but the deep-seated divisions and destruction will take generations to heal.

Yemen is becoming the new Syria – and Britain is directly to blame

24 Feb 2016  |  telegraph.co.uk
The article discusses the ongoing conflict in Yemen, highlighting the severe humanitarian crisis that has ensued. A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting daily bombings for nearly a year, with a significant battle occurring in Taiz. The UN has accused Houthi fighters of blocking humanitarian aid there. Aden, despite being liberated by coalition forces, is experiencing lawlessness. The conflict has affected the entire country, resulting in over 8,100 civilian casualties, with the majority caused by coalition airstrikes. Yemen is on the brink of a devastating famine, with 20 out of 22 governorates at risk.

Tributes paid to Yemeni journalist killed in Saudi-led air strike

18 Jan 2016  |  middleeasteye.net
Almigdad Mojalli, a freelance Yemeni journalist and contributor to Middle East Eye, was killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen. Mojalli was reporting on the aftermath of a previous strike when he was hit by shrapnel. He was known for his neutral and objective reporting on the Yemeni civil war, despite the pressures to take sides. Mojalli had moved his family to safety but stayed in Sanaa to report on the conflict. His death was mourned by colleagues and organizations like IRIN, for whom he also contributed. The article also mentions the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition's air strikes, and the civilian casualties resulting from the war.

90 Seconds: Arabic words mangled by the media

15 Jan 2016  |  Middle East Eye
The article discusses the frequent mispronunciation and misuse of Arabic words by media professionals and politicians, emphasizing the challenges non-native speakers face with the language. It features a 90-second video where Arabic speaker Linah Alsaafin and non-Arabic speaker Alex MacDonald highlight some of the most commonly mangled Arabic words in the media.

Yemen peace talks: A theatrical gesture amid a human catastrophe

18 Dec 2015  |  middleeasteye.net
The article provides an in-depth look at the Yemeni peace talks held in Biel, Switzerland, highlighting the tensions and dynamics between the Houthi and General People's Congress (GPC) delegates and the Yemeni government delegation. Despite initial optimism, the talks were marred by ceasefire breaches and a surprise military offensive by Yemeni government forces. The UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, worked to establish a framework for dialogue and confidence-building measures, but progress was undermined by political maneuvering and continued fighting. The article also touches on the human cost of the conflict, as reported by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and questions the detachment of the delegates from the realities of the war in Yemen. The author, Nawal Al-Maghafi, is a Yemeni/British journalist and filmmaker with experience in covering Middle Eastern issues.

Yemen: Hopes for peace, fear of endless war

01 Dec 2015  |  Middle East Eye
The article discusses the ongoing conflict in Yemen, highlighting the devastating impact on civilians and the challenges facing peace talks. It details the humanitarian crisis, with airstrikes and blockades exacerbating the suffering of the Yemeni population. The Geneva talks are seen as a potential but uncertain path to peace, with various factions, including the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi-Saleh alliance, vying for leverage. The article criticizes both sides for their roles in the conflict and the international community's response, particularly the US and UK's support for the coalition. The piece underscores the complexity of achieving a political solution amid deepening sectarian divides and the influence of external actors like Iran.

Yemen's political musical chairs: Hadi, Bahah and the Saudi coalition

24 Sep 2015  |  middleeasteye.net
The article discusses the sudden dismissal of Yemen's Vice President Khalid Bahah by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, which took Bahah and his inner circle by surprise. This move by Hadi was made without the Yemeni parliament's approval and just a week before a ceasefire was due to begin, aimed at stabilizing the ground for peace talks. The author suggests that Hadi's decision complicates international efforts to resolve the conflict and reflects on the personal and political rivalries between Hadi and Bahah. The article also touches on the controversial appointment of General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar as Bahah's replacement and the regional implications of Hadi's actions, including the potential impact on relationships with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The author, Nawal Al-Maghafi, is a Yemeni-British journalist known for her work on Middle Eastern politics.

Saudi bombers target Yemen's ancient heritage

13 Jun 2015  |  middleeasteye.net
Journalists Peter Oborne and Nawal al-Maghafi report from Houthi-held territory in Yemen, detailing the destruction of the country's architectural heritage by Saudi-led coalition bombings. Despite being monitored by Houthi minders, they believe their findings are authentic. The old city of Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site, and other ancient sites like the Marib dam have been targeted, with significant damage inflicted. Mohannad Ahmad al-Syani, Yemen’s director of antiquities, accuses Saudi Arabia of destroying non-military ancient sites. The article also notes that al-Qaeda and Islamic State pose threats to Yemen's heritage, with some experts suggesting that the Saudis may be driven by an ideology similar to these groups. The United States is criticized for providing support to the Saudi campaign despite the destruction. The journalists emphasize the broader humanitarian crisis in Yemen alongside the loss of its cultural heritage.
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