Yahya Arhab, Yemen

Yemen: Those who can’t forget


It is called “the forgotten war” – the war in Yemen between a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and Shiite rebels, known as Houthis. It is a conflict that has indeed been mostly forgotten by international news coverage.

Yemen: Those who can’t forget | © Yahya Arhab (epa)
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Yemeni photographer Yahya Arhab (epa), born in 1975 in Sana’a, doesn’t understand why this war would be labeled a forgotten one. Every day, he sees and photographs those who will never be able to forget this war: the ones who have flee from air strikes, who have to hide in underground bunkers, who have to salvage their belongings from destroyed houses, who have seen their schools collapse, who have to play in cemeteries, who have to stand in line for food. 

Arhab not only captured moments of suffering and distress, but also moments of bewildering solemnity: the festively dressed girl on her way to prayer, a boy carrying his schoolbooks, an armed girl during a women’s rally in honor of the rebels.

According to UNICEF, 82 percent of Yemen’s population now depend on humanitarian aid, almost half of them children.

Curriculum Vitae: Yahya Arhab (epa)

Porträt: Yahya Arhab | © Yahya Arhab (epa)
© Yahya Arhab (epa)

I am Yahya Arhab, born in Sana'a. Before I joined epa (European Photopress Agency) as photographer in Yemen in 2004 I worked as a reporter for the state-run Saba news agency.
My professional training comprises several courses in journalism and photography in Yemen, Malaysia, China and Kuwait. In 2009 a photographic journey led me across Saudi Arabia.

I have covered the political and social turmoil, the 2011 popular uprising as well as al-Qaeda attacks and trials. I also covered the Islamic pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia in 2010, rival demonstrations and events over the military's overthrow of Egyptian president Morsi in Egypt in 2013.
Since 2015 till now, I have been covering the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the airstrike campaign carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.