We were not expecting the huge impact of this mission which its outcome was on the front page of the largest humanitarian event that had raised 1.67 billion dollars to support Yemen last year. This time, we had to be with a tough, creative and special type of people who is too curious to explore this damaged tank at the road. This view might was just another reason to motivate him to continue with all his energy reflecting to the world how difficult the humanitarian situation in Yemen was. Indeed, it was done successfully. 19 days of non-stop filming and photography. Challenging terrain and traveling to different provinces. All of these factors make any professional photographer lose focus and strength, especially in a war zone and unstable conditions in all aspects like Yemen .
That was not the case with Giles Clarke. The winner of numerous awards including the War Photography Award. Clarke, who has traveled between more than 40 countries around the world, gained experience, skills and dealt with the most difficult and harsh conditions. The extraordinary circumstances in Yemen need extraordinary people, and Yemen had a chance in Clarke’s visit. We had a request by OCHA to accompany Clarke and at that moment, I knew that we would have to deal with special situations that would not accept complaints.
The world and the international community must know about Yemen and here was OCHA and its experienced communication team coordinating this matter with Clarke and YPN to work on producing media content for the awareness campaigns about the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Different kind of support from us was taken into consideration this time. Clarke came with the journalist Nicholas and we had to move immediately to accompany them and do everything possible to facilitate their tasks for the sake of the people of Yemen and everyone who had to live with suffer because of the conflict. Displacement camps, COVID centers, hospitals, and everything that could reflect the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Yemen was just the beginning of long and tough days.
We knew very well that the outcome of this mission would have a global impact. We did not do what we had to do only; we used all of our energy to support this team. Highlighting the humanitarian situation means passing through camps of displaced people no matter they were located inside or outside the main cities. Majority of the camps are located in very remote areas and hard to reach. Normally, displaced people suffer from hard life conditions which was something that we had to film.
Not only that, we had to focus on hospitals and health facilities in different provinces. What are being done by NGOs was certainly not enough, and this what Clarke’s photos and YPN videos at the donors’ conference proved. On the other side, we had to do very intensive filming documenting everything in details. This was going to support Clark photos during the awareness campaign about Yemen. We provided the creative aerial support to show how big the displacement camps which was adding another value to the work.
We in YPN used to deal with difficult situations and conditions throughout the years of conflict in Yemen and having a tough person such Clarke allowed us to achieve required goals. During the first days of the mission, I was inspired with the creative side of him but the other side of him was just another thing. It was about morality and his kindness with the displaced people. The language barrier did not cause him any problems, although I was with him translating, but he moved from one place to another and merged with the displaced as if he was a friend of them.
As for Nicholas, he was very meticulous in knowing the details and listening to the elderly and the children. He had no problem spending hours listening to them and writing down his notes all the time and causing our instant translator Heba tough moments.
What has been published on the websites was a strong reason and motivation for many donors to support Yemen. I strongly believe that what has been done by Clarke and Nicholas could also be done by someone else, but the difference here lies in how much this team loves their work and not only that; their humanity and transparency through merging and interacting with people and focusing on the events. This is what made them different from others. Indeed, the world needs such heroes everywhere. Every one in YPN who involved in this mission either by facilitating, filming, translating, and producing was fully proud of the achievements of this mission for the sake of Yemen. OCHA and its communication staff who caused us many sleepless nights made it happen in a very perfect manner. This worth mentioning. Right now, we need tough moments again but to film the rebuild of Yemen, the smiles and happiness. We are really tired of this war. It is the time to focus on rebuilding Yemen again and peace is the only solution for everything.
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