AbdulKarem’s death is one more tragedy for Yemen — the untimely death of a young person deeply committed to using his knowledge and skills to benefit his country. Abdulkarem had returned to Yemen after completing his master’s degree in Nursing Administration at Kent State University in 2009. Eager to help build his country’s medical infrastructure, he and another Fulbright alumnus, Ebrahim Alkhshbi, who had completed a similar master’s degree program, joined forces to support a School of Nursing at Sanaa University. While their efforts failed to receive the necessary backing, they engaged in promising careers and field training, especially with the Yemeni Red Crescent, and were respected among the health INGOs. Of late, we understand that they were leading field coordination with the ICRC, an international organization working in some of the most difficult areas of Yemen.
We join the ICRC in condemning this deplorable attack on medical workers engaged in a humanitarian mission. We also underscore the high cost in young, productive lives that the ongoing conflict in Yemen is exacting. In addition to high civilian casualties, hundreds of schools and colleges in Yemen have been closed since March, depriving Yemeni children of their right to attend school and barring thousands of youth from pursuing their university studies and vocational training.
AbdulKarem valued his Fulbright experience in the United States. After attending a conference of the Eastern Nursing Research Society, he wrote our staff, "I got the chance to meet many nursing theorists. All the sessions of the conference were rich with valuable information. I believe that I am able to transfer many up to date knowledge and researches outcomes to promote Nursing field in my country, Yemen. Thank you AMIDEAST, Fulbright Program."
We urge that we all take time to reflect on the unnecessary hardships that hostilities are inflicting on the Yemeni people and on the dire consequences of continued conflict on young and old alike.
Theodore H. Kattouf
President & CEO