Yemen

WARNING! This post is LOOOOOOONG. So much to say!

I finally had a work trip to Yemen to run a training course, which was rather arduous to organise – first the visa didn’t come through, so we had to cancel the planned trip and reschedule. Then the visa came but it wasn’t printed in time to get a flight. So we rescheduled it again. Then I got a flight, but it was cancelled. Then I got another flight and that was also cancelled (both were issues with the plane, which is never reassuring…).

Eventually I managed to get on a flight, and we re-scheduled the training for the 3rd time (each time the participants had to get Government permits to travel to the training). Continue reading

The Extrovert…

I spent a week at a Global team meeting in Oxford, at which several things happened which made me laugh. Naturally I intend to give you the full blow-by-blow account…

First off we did a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) exercise, in which you answer a series of questions and then do some very complicated scoring to find out which 4 of 8 preferences you have.

The options are:

  • Introvert (I) vs Extrovert (E)
  • Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P)
  • Intuitive (N) vs Sensing (S)

The basic premise of the MBTI is that we all have elements of all 8 personality traits – no-one is missing anything, but we each have a natural preference that we lean towards.

So, about 2 minutes after we added up our scores, and went on a coffee break, a colleague came up to me and said “Maya, I just need to know if your score says you’re an E or not, because if you’re not, then I will immediately doubt the entire scientific premise of this exercise.” Continue reading

The forgotten war…

(I drafted this a few weeks ago, but didn’t get around to posting it….)

Prepare yourselves people, it’s Friday afternoon and I’m climbing onto my soapbox….

One of my incredible colleagues has just come back from a few months living in the war zone that is now Yemen, and he reduced me to tears while describing the horrific war crimes and unbearable suffering of the people of Yemen at the moment. The entire country is teetering on the verge of a severe famine, even the war lords are begging for aid agencies to bring food, while cities and towns are battered daily by coalition air strikes sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

The British, American and many other governments are deeply implicated in this situation, the UK for example having signed an arms treaty promising not to sell weapons that are knowingly being used for war crimes, yet continuing to sell weapons to Saudi which we know are definitely being used in Yemen in illegal manouvres.

A country which relies on imports for 90% of it’s food is being deliberately and cruelly starved in a total blockade (air, sea and road) for the last 6 months. Again, this has been sanctioned by the UN Security Council members, including the UK and US.

To give you an example of some of the flagrant breaches of international humanitarian law happening there, the entire city of Sa’Dah was declared a military target and civilians were given less than 24 hours to evacuate. They informed the people that carpet-bombings were imminent by air-dropping flyers, and they started bombing before the deadline had even expired.

Elderly, sick, and disabled civilians were largely the ones who couldn’t get out in time, and the city was flattened by coalition bombs.

_82462823_yemen_sanaa_bombing_r

Continue reading