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Feature: Untold story on Yemen's tourism, green, peaceful city, safe home for all IDPs■

Writing by Nabiha al-Haydary,
Translated by Najat Noor

IBB, Nov. 11 (Saba) - Wakefulness that wasn't getting used to, it's now accompanying her, with night joins its happy day mixing multiple voices and the reality of daily life .. it's happening in the famous, tourism, green ancient, yet young Ibb city in Yemen's central land.

It's the hospitable, peaceful city which welcomes everyone, every traveller and all communities.

Historians attribute its name to Persian language, which means heavy rain. While others say its name derived from August, the rainy month in the Arab country in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

The city was not be forgotten in the minds of those who were enchanted by the sight of heavy clouds and torrential rainfall that fall from 2,050- meter-high mountains to its deep valleys.

The city is considered a safe home for travellers, who pass through it to fuel their vehicles when travelling from the northern provinces to the south or vice versa. And most time, the travellers love to stop in the city to get at least three-day rest.

City of Peace

However, the aggression war on Yemen was a surprise turning point that was not come into the account of the city's residents.

The 5,552 km square Innocent province, its provincial capital city bears the same name, is located 193 km south of the capital Sanaa and 65 km north of the cultural capital city of Taiz.

Ibb has not been in the priorities of the policy makers in Sanaa and the civil services established by the government in the city has not met the ambitious demands of its more than 2 million residents, who form around 10 percent of total Yemen's 25 million population.

The move has forced 51 percent of Ibb citizens to travel to the United States, Briton and neighboring Arab Gulf states to work there, according to state statistics.

In early 2015, when the civil war erupted and extended in nearby city of Taiz and southern port city of Aden between Ansarullah movement and its allies and forces loyal to former President Hadi and his allies of armed militants of Islah party, the citizens there fled their homes to Ibb to escape the deadly war.

However, those internal displaced people (IDPs) see Ibb as a village lacks for most civil developing infrastructure.

"I did not expect to leave Taiz, which I still miss, and live in Ibb, which lacks the most basic services of daily life, the simplest example is a bakery that does not cover the demands of new arrivals," said Safiya Hatem, 45, married with three children.

Safiya, who had worked as a medic in a laboratory in Taiz, said she has borrowed some money from a relative abroad to open a medical laboratory to support her family in Ibb.

The rival forces have several times tried to draw the city into the conflict. Two districts in the city, Mashwara and Badan, as well as the central city, had witnessed on-and-off clashes between Ansarullah fighters and militants of Muslim Brotherhood Islah party and al-Qaida affiliate of Ansar al-Sharia. However, senior officials, sheikhs and dignitaries intervened between the rival forces and struck a compromise deal that eventually ended the conflict.

Ahmed al-Omaysi, 39, a dignitary from Sohool area stressed on the importance to avoid the city any conflict, saying "any clashes will have badly humanitarian consequences on the whole province's residents in particular and travellers in general.

"Sons of the province are diverse in terms of culture, sects and political parties at the level of single family," said al-Omaysi, adding that "such diversityí however, could be seen faded and you can see them all praying next each others in one mosque."

Safe City and Job Opportunities

On March 26, 2015, the US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition launched a large-scale military air campaign against the Yemeni people and cities and cut electricity and shut all air, land and Sea ports, during which most of the Yemeni people from cold and hot cities find Ibb as the safe heaven, although the city was hit by 398 air strikes that killed and injured around 631 civilians.

Its rich residents, who had been expelled from the Gulf states during the Gulf war in 1990s and those expatriates in the United States, have built many new buildings since 9/11 terrorist attacks and after the Gulf war in case of any emergency, and the move serves 31,600 internal displaced families (IDPs) during this ongoing war.

Many IDPs found their jobs in the crowded city in addition to the cheap, safe houses.

Young mother of Bakil, 27, who had graduated from the university, said she has found a new job in the city.

"I have got advantage of the crowds here and opened a shop to rent wedding clothes and now I have many customers," she said.

The current situation of the city is a call to all humanitarian aid groups and the international community to enhance aid supplies and strengthen the basic services to meet the increasing humanitarian demands. END

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UPDATED ON : Tue, 23 Oct 2018 12:10:16 +0300