Adel Aklin – Teacher, Yemen

Adel Aklin, 48, an Arabic teacher in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, has seen his income fall because of the dearth of foreigners who have been scared away by ongoing insecurity in the strife-torn country.

Name: Adel Aklin

Age: 48

Location: Sana’a

Does your spouse/partner live with you? Yes

What is your primary job? English and Arabic language teacher

What is your monthly salary? US$400

What is your household’s total income - including your partner's salary, and any additional sources? $700

How many people are living in your household - what is their relationship to you? Five people: wife, three children

How many are dependent on you/your partner's income - what is their relationship to you? Three children

How much do you spend each month on food? $450 - most of our salaries.

What is your main staple - how much does it cost each month? 50kg of wheat = $30

How much do you spend on rent? I own the house.

How much on transport? $50 per month on public transport.

How much do you spend on educating your children each month? $700 per year [$58.33 per month]

After you have paid all your bills each month, how much is left? I save nothing.

Have you or any member of the household been forced to skip meals or reduce portion sizes in the last three months? No, but we eat smaller portions and cheaper food. For example, before we would eat meat, chicken, fish each day. Now we eat it once per week.

Have you been forced to borrow money, or food, in the last three months to cover basic household needs? Yes.
"Two years ago, here at the Language Center, we used to work 8-12 hours per day and earn a lot of money. A lot of students from Europe and America came to Yemen [because] it was easy to get a visa. But now, if you're lucky, you teach two hours per day. And now inflation is going up. It’s not stable, so you have to reduce your spending on food and transportation.

"Two years ago, my children and I used to have fish, chicken, meat - good food - every day for lunch. Now we eat meat only on Fridays - and only half the amount because of inflation - and there is less work.

"Two years ago, I was using the car every day, as petrol only cost about $3 per 20 litres. Now 20 litres costs about $12, so I only use the car once a week. The other days, I walk half way to work and take a minibus the other half to save money.

“It’s very difficult now. You have to struggle to reduce your consumption of things. I try to find the cheapest cooking oil, for example, or oil that has just expired. And I buy more Chinese products because they are cheaper than other products.

My water bill has increased to 3,000 riyals [$14] per month.

“The best news I've heard lately is that the government is going to increase our salaries 5 percent next year. But that doesn’t help with inflation: 10kg of rice, for example, cost about $6 a year and a half ago. The same amount costs about $15 today.

“Economists say inflation may get worse if the national dialogue fails. I think stability will improve, but the economy will take more time to stabilize.”


June 2013 update