“I’m handicapped inside,” says Ahmad, who, in October 2011, at age 15, was shot and injured in street protests against the government in Yemen’s capital Sana’a.
The wound left him with a limp and deep psychological scars. After struggling for a year with the mental trauma from that day, he sought help at the city’s al-Amal Hospital for the Treatment of Psychological Illnesses.
In recent years, Yemen has witnessed more than its share of violence - from tribal wars, battles between Al-Qaeda and government forces, and the instability that came with the Arab Spring. More often than not, children have been caught in the crossfire, and psychologists warn of a scarred generation of children who are experiencing sustained psychological trauma from these conflicts.
IRIN’s new film “A scarred generation” tells the story of two Yemeni children - Ahmad, now 16, and Amira,12. Both have been traumatized by conflict and are being treated at al-Amal Hospital in Sana’a.
Their psychiatrist, Ayed Talha, warns: “It is now well established that children exposed to trauma are more likely to become aggressive later in their life when they become adults… so we’ll have a crippled society at the end of it if we don’t give them the appropriate care.”