Ramadan in Hodeidah.. A spiritual atmosphere suffocated by the Houthi gangs

English - Thursday 23 March 2023 الساعة 01:46 pm
Hodeidah, NewsYemen, exclusive:

During the days preceding the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the markets of the city of Hodeidah seemed almost empty of shoppers, unlike what they used to do during the years preceding the Houthi coup against the state.  Where the markets were teeming with shoppers, who had been racing since the middle of the month of Sha'ban to buy goods and foodstuffs for the holy month.

Decreased interest in the markets

 The decline in the demand of the people of Hodeidah to buy Ramadan “sue” during the past eight years comes due to the Iranian arm’s cutting off the salaries of employees, its practice of a policy of humiliation and starvation of the people of the peaceful coastal city, in addition to the high prices of foodstuffs, and the deterioration of economic and living conditions, as a large segment of people suffer from  The people of Hodeidah are extremely poor, and most of them are unable to provide for their daily sustenance, after their pockets were empty of money and their homes were devoid of goods, after the armed coup militia looted and confiscated salaries and looted humanitarian and relief aid, and monopolized the resources and revenues of the stricken province.

High prices and increased levies

 Sadiq Al-Hammadi, a food merchant in Al-Matraq market, describes the demand for Ramadan needs as being weak this year.

He told "NewsYemen": The turnout is declining every year, compared to what it was 8 years ago, referring to the reasons for this decline in the lack of salaries, the deterioration of living conditions and the high prices of basic commodities due to the levies that are taken from merchants under many names, forcing the merchant  To raise the prices of commodities, which doubles the suffering of the citizen, as whoever used to buy a bag of flour for Ramadan, is forced to buy only a kilo.. and so on.

Frantic electricity and a flaming summer

 With the advent of the month of Ramadan and the early onset of summer this year, the suffering of the residents of Hodeidah is renewed, from frequent power outages, and the high tariff of government electricity, which is difficult for the consumer whose salary has been cut off to pay, in light of the summer that entered early in Tihama, since mid-February, what  It foretells of a very hot summer, which reaches its climax with the blessed month of Ramadan.

Activists from the people of Hodeidah appealed to the local authority and the Electricity Corporation, which are controlled by the armed militia, to find solutions to the very high electricity price, and to keep the government electric current running around the clock, calling for fuel and diesel subsidies from the Hodeidah Electricity Subsidy Fund, whose resources are being plundered in favor of the militia.  Noting that there are large amounts of money in the fund that cover that and more.

Spiritual atmosphere created by simple people

 Despite the difficult living conditions they suffer from, the people of Hodeidah receive the month of Ramadan with warmth and a spiritual atmosphere that reflects the greatness of the holy month, as the people in some neighborhoods of the city hang decorations and lamps in the streets, the minarets of mosques and the entrances to neighborhoods, and throughout the days of the holy month, the people of Hodeidah preserve the customs and traditions that they inherited.  Since ancient times, which promotes the spirit of social solidarity, such as exchanging breakfast dishes between neighbors, and competing to provide breakfast meals for poor and needy families.

Umm Yunus told "NewsYemen": Among the customs and traditions of the people in the city of Hodeidah, before entering the holy month of Ramadan, is cleaning houses, fumigating them, changing mattresses in councils, and preparing Ramadan drinks and sweets that children rejoice in.

She adds.  Most families throughout the days of Ramadan are keen to distribute breakfast dishes to neighbors, poor families and mosques, and each family provides what it can provide from what they have, and families that do not have anything, breakfast comes to them from all their neighbors, and this is one of the beautiful customs inherited since ancient times in the city of Hodeidah.

Ramadan lantern with Hodeidahi flavor

 The researcher Fawaz Fanees talks about the popular games for children in Hodeidah during the month of Ramadan, and refers to a number of popular games, including games that are still practiced in popular neighborhoods by children, and some of them have disappeared and are still remembered by parents.

And he adds to "Newsyemen" one of these games, the game "Siraj Amtaqanbara", which is similar to Ramadan lanterns with a devouring character and iron privacy, as this lamp is made by emptying the fruit of the "love" and hollowing it from the inside, and making 3 openings in the sides such as small windows to make the fruit of the "watermelon " more like  With the lantern, after a small box is placed inside it with “jazz” and a wick to be lit, and strings are made in the head of the “love fruit” so that the children hold it as if it were a lantern and carry it around the neighborhoods .