photos & text by Juan Herrero
edited by Victor Anton
Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. Last year, during the revolution, the yemeni economy contracted by 50% and inflation reached 23%. Nearly half of the population does not have enough to eat now, living below the poverty line of $2 a day. Five million need urgent aid. The figures are not far from the situation in Sahel in Africa or Afghanistan, but unfortunately this is not attracting attention from the world. Even those people who are still able to buy food are struggling. They are selling assets, skipping meals and sleeping during the day to ward off hunger. Families are marrying off their young daughters in order to have one less mouth to feed.
The yemeni’s broken dreams float now in a rough aftermath transition where the absence of a proper government, a hugely corrupted system, divided and unprofessional military apparatus, a real proliferation of AQAP (Al Qaida in the Arab Peninsula) taking advantage of the debilitated regimen, and humanitarian issues escalating exponentially all along the country, draws a line which every yemeni has to cross.
Yemen is definitely on the brink. An unknown, opaque, mysterious country which has had a very complicated evolution since the very beginning. This hapless place has been stigmatized as one of the ultimate nest of Islamic terrorism, which makes such an enormous contrast given the warm and welcoming Yemeni people. Unexplored, scary, and physically breathtaking, Yemen is unique.
Juan Herrero (born 1984) is a freelance photographer based in Sanaa, Yemen. He has been living in several countries where he evolved his photographic skills towards the reportage. He holds a BA in International Economics and Development in the Universidad Complutense of Madrid and followed documentary photography courses at CEV High School of Image, Madrid.