Yemen’s capital city Sanaa’ has been inhabited for nearly 2,500 years. The small country lies to the south of Saudi Arabia with a sea border between the eastern and western civilizations that have made it a historic cultural hub. The country has four registered UNESCO World Heritage Sites, three of which are man-made, but is now a city under siege from internal strife. Munah fled the country with her family and took refuge in Jordan, but the transition has been slow and weary.

Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) © Editions Gelbart

“Yemen is not like Jordan,” Munah says, bright eyes looking out from her Niqaab. “The winters are very cold here, not like in Yemen.” The coldest month of the year in Jordan is January when temperatures can reach 4℃/39.2℉ which is significantly different from Yemen’s winter temperatures of 19℃/66℉. Munah explains that they were unprepared for their first winter in Jordan and did not have access to the necessary gas to warm their home.

Although they are the third largest refugee population in Jordan, Yemeni refugees have very different rights compared to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Whereas many refugees have multiple organizations that they can turn to for aid, Yemeni refugees are often turned away due to lack of international funding for their cause. Munah stresses this, saying, “Life in Jordan is difficult for us. My family was turned away from many organizations.” Similar to Sudanese and Somali refugees, those from Yemen have a smaller community in Jordan and it can be difficult to settle into the ways of life in the busy city. CRP opened its second branch in the downtown area of Amman to specially serve these unique communities. The goal of the new center is twofold: to focus on underrepresented refugee communities in Jordan and to create a safe space from judgment or harassment.

It is difficult for Yemeni families like Munah’s to find financial support in Jordan because of a lack of international aid for minority groups.

“When we found CRP, I was so happy,” Munah says. She is taking English classes at CRP’s downtown center and hoping to be resettled in the United Kingdom. Although she misses Yemen, she explains that CRP aided her family when no one else would, and this has given her renewed hope for her family’s future.

CRP relies on individual donations to help underrepresented refugee groups like Munah and her family. Donate now to give vital support to refugees in Amman.