Fadumo Ahmed Omer: I Hope I Will Join My Family Soon…

I lived with my family in Al Mukalla, Yemen for close to 10 years. We had a blessed life together. When the war broke out, we thought it would pass. But as it continued to escalate, we decided that we could not stay in the country any longer, and would return home to Somalia.

Unfortunately, I broke my leg as we attempted to flee from Al Mukalla. Due to the severity of my broken leg and medical complications that arose as a result of my old age, I was hospitalized.

It was a challenging situation for my family because they were faced with a difficult decision – stay by my side in a very dangerous environment; or move back to Somalia without me.

I pleaded with them to return to Mogadishu, and eventually, after a lot of begging, they relented and left me behind. My family moved to Mogadishu and left me in God’s hands in a hospital in Al Mukalla.

After a couple of months, I was able to walk again. I was ready to leave the hospital. I wanted to leave the hospital, but was not able to. My plan was to head back to Somalia, but I did not have enough money to pay for the transport.  By God’s grace I heard from one of my friends that there was a ship that had been chartered to transport Somalis from Yemen, and that the transportation was completely free. I registered to be one of the passengers on that ship.

The trip was so comfortable. We were given food, private rooms and there was air conditioning. We did not even notice that we were traveling.

Once we arrived in Berbera, Somaliland, we were warmly welcomed and given medical attention, food, and emergency supplies likes blankets and buckets.

I am now planning to continue the journey to Mogadishu. I hope I will join my family soon.

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: 50 year-old Fadumo Ahmed Omer is one of the 127 Somalis whom IOM evacuated from war-torn Yemen on 7 November 2016. The men, women and children arrived in Berbera, Somaliland, from Aden, Yemen on a boat chartered by IOM with financial support from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief). This is the first evacuation under the one-year USD 10 million KSrelief-funded project implemented by IOM and UNHCR: "Increased Access to Safe Movement, Protection and Durable Solutions for Returnees, Refugees and Migrants Fleeing the Yemen Crisis". The successful operation paves the way for the planned evacuation of 2,500 Somali nationals who are still stranded in Yemen, which will be carried out over the next seven months. IOM will organize evacuations by air to Mogadishu and by sea to Berbera. For further information visit: http://www.iom.int/news/saudi-arabias-ksrelief-supports-iom-evacuations-yemen-somalia