Abu Dhabi: A pair of iron glasses, made by a displaced Yemeni child, has turned into an inspiring human story after being shown in an online auction that was initially limited to helping him and his family buy clothes for Eid Al Fitr.
After about 27 hours of offering it for sale in an online public auction, the price reached 2.5 million Yemeni riyals, equivalent to $4,000.
Although the eyeglasses offered for sale are only a simple pair of plain iron, they carried a child’s human touch. It was made by Mohammad - a child who is currently displaced with his family in Ma’rib Governorate, 173km to the northeast of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, due to the war launched by Al Houthi militia since its coup against the legitimate regime in late 2014.
The online auction was the brainchild of a Yemeni photojournalist, Abdullah Al Jaradi, who announced on Monday evening, that the displaced child’s glasses were offered for sale to help him and his family purchase the Eid Al Fitr clothes. Al Jaradi wrote on his Facebook account, “Mohammad is a child displaced by the war, we met him today and he gave us a treasured possession of his - his glasses, which he made with his hands, in exchange for shooting a picture of him.
He added in his post that the idea of offering these glasses for sale at the auction was aimed at helping the child and two of his friends buy the Eid clothing.
The journalist also made another offer to youngsters in neighbourhood, who want to take snapshots with the glasses, for 1,000 Yemeni riyals per photo, so that the revenue will also be given to the child.
This initiative was very popular on and the child’s image was widely circulated on social media.
Al Jaradi surprised Facebook followers, on Tuesday evening, by announcing that “the price of the glasses in the auction amounted to 2.5 million Yemeni riyals, as they were purchased by the director general of the Saudi Mine Clearance Project in Yemen, Professor Osama Al Qossabi, in addition to other donations.
On whether this humanitarian initiative is limited to buying clothes for the child and two of his friends, the sponsor of the auction said Eid clothing will be bought not only for the child and his friends, but also for all the displaced children on the camp, at least 200 children.
Al Jaradi confirmed that they would use the surplus money to buy clothing for the children of another camp, and all these moments will be documented and the financial report published.
Throughout human history, wars and pandemics have repeatedly reshaped the world we live in.
In Yemen, a country already shredded by a five-year-long civil war and now struggling to contain the coronavirus outbreak, more and more women have joined the frontline. They hope to turn their country’s misery into strength, and to lay the foundation for a better future.