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Friday, March 18, 2011

Pregnant students flown out of Yemen for safe delivery


SANA’A (Yemen): Balqis Sabaru­ddin is only two weeks away from delivering.
Under normal circumstances, she would not be allowed to fly, but because of the fluid situation in Yemen, this 22-year-old Malaysian was given the nod to hop on a plane out.
She was one of four pregnant Malaysian students and their husbands on the first evacuation flight back to the country.
Her one-year-old son Mus’ab was also with her.
“On Friday, when the clashes happened, I heard ambulances going back and forth and the doctors have been kept busy treating the injured.
“When I went to the hospital later, a doctor found time to attend to me despite being busy,” said Balqis, who is expecting a baby girl.
She said her sister-in-law, who is a doctor, and the rest of the family had asked her to return to give birth in Malaysia.
“There is no telling what would happen in Yemen.
“Unlike Egypt, Yemen is a country where there are a lot of weapons,” she said yesterday morning just before boarding the flight home.
There are 60 million firearms in Yemen, which is a massive number for a country with a population of 23 million.
After the success of the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings in ousting their respective leaders, the government of Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, is facing its own uprising, too.
Malaysia has decided to evacuate the 849 Malaysians; most of them are students.
Yesterday, it evacuated 10 students, followed by another 23 who left a few hours later on two other flights. The Malaysian embassy said the 33 were priority cases because they were pregnant women, children, families and sick people.
In SEPANG, DHARMENDER SINGH reports that the first batch of 10 Malaysian students from Yemen were relieved to have made it back safely, after having spent several days in fear in the crisis-hit country.
Al-Iman University student Mohd Shahril Abdul Samad, 23, said he lived only about 100m from the site of the protests in Sana’a and could hear gunshots, especially at dawn.
“My main fear was for my four-month pregnant wife, who had been studying with me in Yemen,” he said at the KL International Airport here yesterday. - theStarOnline

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