Saeed is on holiday, staying at his parent’s house. It’s in al-Maafer district, one of Yemen’s poorer areas, and reflects the life of the village.

The first floor houses the family while the ground floor shelters cattle, on which many residents depend for their income. There is also the mango crop but it can only be harvested for two months every year. Electricity is scant, drawn from solar panels and only used for lighting.

Outside the family home, overlooked by hills, it is silent, bar the sound of rain. The smell of damp earth permeates the air.

At 17, Saeed is taller than most teens his age. He wears a relaxed uniform, common the world over: open-toed sandals, sand-coloured chinos and a checked shirt.

But Ahmed is not a typical teen, even in Yemen. He’s a battlefield soldier and has been fighting with the pro-government forces loyal to president Abd Rabbuh Hadi since he was a 15-year-old schoolboy, swapping textbooks and classrooms for ammunition and army barracks.

 

Read the whole story from Middle East Eye.

Featured image courtesy of AP

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