Arts and sciences colleges at Sana’a University reopened
The First Armored Division completely withdrew its troops and armored vehicles from Sana’a University’s old campus on Sunday. The withdrawal came on the heels of an eleven-month-long military presence, during which defected troops occupied the space with the stated goal of protecting anti-regime protesters.
“We were stationed at the end of Change Square to protect protesters,” said a division colonel who requested anonymity.
He explained that they had deployed their troops after confrontations between protesters and security forces had been reported.
“The university campus represented the best place from where troops could protect the protesters,” he said.
The arts and sciences colleges, located at the old campus of Sana’a University, have a capacity of around 2,500 seats per year.
“We became lost and scattered in the alternate buildings, where students were distributed in small groups and in different places,” Safa’a Al-Domini, a third-level student at the science college, said.
She explained that some students and professors had continued to study amid the army presence at the old campus, as they had refused to attend alternative classes set up by the university administration.
“The troops completely left the campus on Sunday; now there’s no soldiers at our college, sitting in our seats, sleeping in our classrooms, using the water fountain for their laundry,” said Manar Mohamed, a second-year student studying English Literature.
“Even if students were given lessons in other places, the appropriate educational environment wasn’t present,” Manar explained. “No library, no bookshops and other such things.”
Laboratories at the science college had been closed for months and alternative facilities at the Turkish institute only included classrooms.
“We find ourselves forced to imagine the results of experiments just to gain time and compensate for what we lost in the past year,” fourth-year student Fahmi Al-Wesabi said.
“Now things have changed, with a return to a normal education,” Al-Wesabi added.