Khamer, Yemen – The war in Yemen has not been kind to any of its citizens, but one group has been hit particularly hard: the Muhamashin – Yemenis who are originally from the western Tihama region and have ancestral roots in Africa.
The Muhamashin have long been marginalised in Yemeni society – relegated to menial labour, struggling to enrol their children in school, and failing to gain the respect of fellow citizens. Many of the Muhamashin do not own their own properties, and instead, are living in informal housing.
For months, the Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Last month, more than two dozen Muhamashin residents – many from the same family – were killed in an air strike in Sawan.
Air strikes in Saada have also forced thousands to flee. Some members of the Muhamashin community have been displaced to nearby schools, while others have set up tents in Khamer, just south of Saada – finding shelter wherever they can.