Stranded get a new lease of life

By: Kaushalendra Singh

SALALAH: The Malaysian Mission in Oman received a family of five evacuated from Yemen late on Sunday and exploring resources to facilitate evacuation of many more trapped in the cities like Aden, Hudaydah, Mukalla and Hadhramaut. According to the mission’s estimates there are around 1,000 Malaysians, mostly students, living in Yemen.

The five evacuated Malaysians thanked Malaysian Mission in Oman and the Omani Government for giving them a new lease of life after days of turbulence and uncertainty. Among the evacuees are Mohammed Abu Bakr bin Zainuddin, 21, his wife, sister and two daughters aged 11 years and 8 months respectively.

The mission issued emergency certificates for their evacuation, as their original passports were deposited for renewal with the Malaysian authorities. The evacuation process is being monitored by Umardin A Mutalib, Ambassador, Embassy of Malaysia, Muscat.

According to Mutalib logistics are being lined up inside and outside Yemen for the safe exit of Malaysians and their departure to Kuala Lumpur. “As ambassador of Malaysia I have been tasked to oversee the evacuation of my countrymen who are still in Yemen. I am here to coordinate and facilitate from our offices in Muscat and Malaysia.”

Mutalib expressed “special appreciation” for the Omani government for facilitating resources in the great humanitarian exercise. “The Government of Malaysia is appreciative of Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for facilitating me in my duty,” he said.

Commenting on the efforts being taken to ensure safety to Malaysian in Yemen, Mutalib said, “We are trying to reach our people by all possible means — by social media, through social groups and through some agencies offering humanitarian aid on the ground. We are trying to convince them that we are standing by them with support and at the earliest possible opportunity they would be evacuated.”

“In such situations we need to explore as much possibilities as we can. For this we have made a diplomatic chain by involving embassies located in Muscat, helping each other with information and supporting each other with available logistics and equipment,” he said and added: “We are working closely with the embassies of Thailand, India, Pakistan and Indonesia etc.”

Mutalib said there were 600 Malaysians in Hadhramaut. The embassy is exploring ways to get them out of the country to ensure safety. “We are ready” and concerned as well and trying every possibility.

“While ensuring evacuation of our own people, we are open to extend support to other nationals who want to come out. And this approach is helping everyone, as during such situations availability of resources are limited and this is the time when a small reach out turns out to be very big,” said Mutalib.

Abu Bakr and his family — wife Noorie, daughters Noorool Ain (11 years), Noor Maryam (8 months) and sister Fatima — were looking completely exhausted.

Insisted upon their feelings after the evacuation, Abu Bakr said, “It was a very long journey and we were not sure the journey would all be safe.”

Staying in Yemen for the last six years, Abu Bakr wants to come back to Yemen after peace prevails to continue his studies. He is happy that the news about his safety has reached to his parents, who had suggested him to act as per the advice of the embassy. “Somehow we got the contact of our embassy in Muscat and the people there proactively evacuated us safely,” said Abu Bakr.


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