Young people leave Al-Lohaia to work in Jazan
The road forks at Al-Zohra. One fork leads to Al-Lohia and the other leads to Jazan.
Although Al-Lohaia is a harbor overlooking the Red Sea, it doesn't suit fishermen, farmers, camel raisers or even high school students. Anyone seeking work looks elsewhere. They go to Jazan.
In a clay house with no ceiling, Ali Mohsen Al-Hareb drinks tea, inhaling the scents of acacia and mangroves.
He works as a woodcutter, getting up early to gather logs to sell to villagers who cook with wood, a cheaper alternative to gas.
Al-Hareb travels eight miles to sell the logs.
He sells much of it for YR 700, not enough to feed his family of six and his mother. He can’t even afford school tuition for his children.
Children barely 10 years old go to Jazan for work.
Al-Hareb’s children are among them. He said they see how hard it is to make a living by watching their father, so they want to leave for Jazan to search for more significant earnings and support.
Youth leave for Jazan
Several high schools were closed due to the lack of students, so youths take the road to Jazan, seeking work.
On June 14, when Hassan Al-Hareb, 13, finished his final exams, he immediately started looking for a car to take him to Jazan.
He said goodbye to his friends, and he left. He was sure that he could easily enter Saudi Arabia because he heard some border guards were from the same area as him.
There are 130 residential areas in Al-Lohaia, according to a 2004 census. About 100,000 people live there raising camels, farming, fishing and building traditional boats.
Hassan is one of many to leave for Jazan.
Poverty is what encourages Hassan and other young people to leave Al-Lohaia.
There is no electricity, and many people don't have ready access to water.
Women carry water from wells on a daily basis.
Mohammed Al-Haser, a public figure in Al-Lohaia, said he’s the only one in the village who owns a lantern with batteries.
He said he got his lantern from Jazan.
He said many young people go to Jazan to work there even though it’s harder to get in than it used to be.
Saudi Arabia replaced a border guard who used to help Yemeni youth get into the country after confrontations between Houthi and Saudi troops. Al-Haser used to work in Jazan without a visa; however, now he needs one.