New IRIN Film: Yemen - A Scarred Generation

“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.

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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.”