Watch Yemen’s Displaced Children Remember Their Lives Before War

“I was in a deep sleep. Suddenly I woke up in fright,” recounted a little boy. “My parents held me tight. They were scared.”

In the deluge of similar news coming from the region, the world has largely ignored the raging civil war in Yemen, which killed at least 900 children and injured more than 1,300 in the past year alone. What started out as conflict in the Arab country escalated into a brutal war between one of the world’s poorest nations and the Saudi-led coalition of Gulf states.

As is the case with every war, the children are the most vulnerable to their deadly effects. Over a million children have been displaced due to the violence, forced to live as refugees and witness horrors that no one should ever have to endure.

Recently, Yemeni activist Shatha AlGabry sat down with a few of these displaced kids and asked them some questions about the war. Their answers were heartbreaking.

“My sister Rana and I used to attend ballet classes,” recalled a young refugee girl as the other explained, “We used to sleep on the floor, not in bed, so that when an explosion happened, the glass wouldn’t shatter on us.”

When asked what they missed about their lives before war, most of them began with their parents and families, before moving onto their friends, the cookies their moms made, the toys they played with and the bicycles they rode.

When the activist asked a young child what he would do if he could be president of the country, he replied, “I would clean up the blood.”

Oxfam International, a global nonprofit humanitarian aid organization, shared this emotional video on its Twitter account.

“UNICEF verified more than 1,560 incidents of grave violations against children in Yemen. As a result, over 900 children were killed and more than 1,300 were injured in the past year alone,” stated the organization in a report. “On average at least six children have been killed or maimed every day since March 2015, a sevenfold increase compared with the whole of 2014.”

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