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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2762

A young journalist's emotional appeal

By S.H.Moulana - Riyadh

Instead of first experiencing America through a school or a hospital, most people in Wessab experienced America through the terror of a drone strike.

What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: there is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America.

A young Yemeni journalist, Farea, said this in a powerful testimony to the assembled senators in Washington. He told the stunned senators ‘I am here today to talk about the human costs and consequences of targeted killing by the United States in Yemen.

My life changed forever in the 9th grade when I was awarded a scholarship from the US State Department. The scholarship gave me an opportunity to study English for one year at the American English Center in Yemen.

This scholarship gave me new opportunities and allowed me to see the world beyond my village for the first time. I was later awarded a State Department scholarship to the Youth and Exchange Study program, which aims to build peace and understanding between the American people and people in other countries, especially Arab/Muslim countries.

That scholarship allowed me to spend a year living with an American family and attending an American high school. The year I spent in California was one of the best years of my life, the most exceptional experience was coming to know someone who ended up being like a father and is my best friend in the United States.
He was the member of the US Air Force. He came to the mosque with me and I went to church with him. We developed an amazing friendship that overcame our very different background.

I don’t know if there is anyone on Earth who feels more thankful to America than me. In my heart I know that I can only repay the opportunities, friendship, warmth and exposure your country provided me by being their ambassador to Yemenis for the rest of my life, just as I was an ambassador for Yemenis in America.

I strongly believe that I have helped improve America’s image, perhaps in ways that an official ambassador or other diplomat cannot. I have to say that the drone strikes and targeted killing program have made my passion and mission in support of America almost impossible in Yemen. In some areas of Yemen, the anger against America that results from the strikes makes it dangerous for me to even acknowledge having visited America, much less to testify how much my life changed thanks to the States Department scholarships. It’s some time too dangerous to even admit that I have American friends.

Please stop all the targeted killing strikes! Announce the names of those already on the ‘kill list’, so that innocent civilians can stay out of harm’s way! Issue an official apology to the families of all civilians killed or injured by targeted killing strikes! Compensate families of innocent civilians killed or injured by strikes conducted or authorized by the United States! In every village where there has been a targeted killing, build a school or hospital so that the villagers’ only experience with America will not be the death and destruction caused by an American missile! Thank you very much.

The US senators, who listened to this powerful testimony by the Yemeni youthful journalist, according to reports, looked visibly moved. Let us see what the response from the US is going to be!

- Asian Tribune -

A young journalist's emotional appeal
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