Student volunteers clean up village in Sana’a
Arriving in the village around 9 am on Thursday, they hiked, took pictures, went swimming, and generally just enjoyed themselves for a couple of hours before starting an intensive cleaning campaign in the village. Using trash bags, students and villagers went on to collect over 20 large bags of litter from the village and surrounding area. There was an air of enthusiasm present as they worked in the area for several hours going from top to bottom clearing trash in the mountainous area.
“Our goal is to help remind everyone how important it is to keep the village clean and to have fun while doing it,” said Amar Al Ahjari, a student participating in the project. “This place is amazing, its beauty needs to be preserved. That’s why we’re helping to clean it up,” he added.
Amen Al Jadabi, a local from the village, was eager to help the students in their cleaning. He told Yemen Times that many tourists come and don’t care about keeping the village clean. They throw their empty cans and bottles down carelessly. Jadabi also blamed other villagers and their littering for spoiling the natural beauty of the countryside.
Not all the villagers were as hospitable to the students as Jadabi however; The students were split into a boys group and a girls group, with villagers assisting both of them. Two Yemeni men closely followed the female group, making some of the students feel uncomfortable. After politely being asked to leave, the men went away only to come back minutes later yelling and telling the students to leave. This sudden outburst surprised many of the group and cast a shadow over the rest of the time.
After cleaning much of the village, students started climbing higher to collect more trash, eventually reaching a very high point on the mountain named Al Ghadeer where they stopped for a break. While students ran around and played with one another, the director, Deborah Scibek, shared about some past activities the students have recently participated in near Sana’a including visiting an orphanage, discussing wildlife and pets in the USA, sports training, and visiting a blind female center.