Yemen Child Int’l Winner Burnt by Saudi Airstrike in Wedding + Video

Tue Nov 3, 2015 17:46:42

Yemeni child prodigy, Abdullah al-Sanabani, who once dreamed of leading a Yemeni space programme, is victim of a suspected Saudi-led air strike that left him badly burned.

A child prodigy who once dreamed of leading a Yemeni space program, 15-year old Abdullah al-Sanabani may now lose his leg and fingers after a Saudi-led air strike on a family wedding killed his relatives and left him badly burned.

Abdullah's intellect shined a rare bright light on desperately poor, war-damaged Yemen, where tragedies like his are now routine for a generation struggling for a decent future.

Six months of Saudi-led air strike over Yemen has killed at least 500 children, according to the United Nations. Countless others have been forced to go hungry, flee home for their lives, or join the fight as child soldiers.

The young scientist's invention of a solar-powered remote control car that could flip over and become a boat won him an international competition in 2012 and a free visit to NASA, the American space agency.

Asked if he would stay focused on his studies and advance science in his now war-torn homeland, a tired Abdullah, who is convalescing in a Jordanian hospital said, "God willing."

His uncle Hussam remembers the boy tinkering with gadgets and charging mobile phones with solar panels, but wonders anxiously whether he will be able to enjoy his passion.

"He was so into life, into learning, English and computers. All of his dreams and aspirations could be lost now. His future is now in the hands of fate."

A success story in the making, Abdullah's progress halted when a wedding party he attended with extended family was hit in central Yemen.

A groom and a bride were killed along with two of Abdullah's grandparents, an aunt, two uncles and several young cousins. In all at least 43 people were killed in the attack, including 15 children.

"Around 45 percent of his body has second and third degree burns. The five fingers on his right hand and his left leg are burnt, and the doctors are deciding whether to keep them or take them off," Abdullah's father Qais added; Reuters reported.


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