Dear MoveOn member,
For three years, the U.S. has been providing military support to a Saudi-led war in Yemen that has has only escalated and led to one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world. Over 42,000 people have been harmed, and over 18 million people in Yemen require humanitarian aid.1
But there is hope.
Right now, Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy are calling on Congress to exert its constitutional authority and end this inhumane destruction of millions of lives for geopolitical games. Because the bipartisan resolution is grounded in the War Powers Act, it must be brought to a floor vote in just a few days. The vote could happen this week! Add your name to show your support for this important resolution:
There isn't a family in Yemen that hasn't been affected by this war, including my own family. We've lost family members to airstrikes and through mortar attacks. I also have family members who are stuck in countries such as Djibouti or in cities such as Cairo and Amman and who can't even come to the U.S. because of visa restrictions and the current Muslim Ban.
It's a concept many people from impacted majority-Muslim countries know well: being bombed and banned.
Some of you may already know me as the Monk of Mokha (it's the title of the best-selling book by Dave Eggers, and it's about my experience).2 But for those who don't: A few years ago, I left California to visit my ancestral home, Yemen, and to start a coffee business—an equitable and sustainable business to support farmers and to bridge the divide between cultures through something that everyone loves.
But I ended up in the middle of a war.
On March 26, 2015, while in Sana'a, the Yemeni capital, I woke up to loud explosions all around me. I went out to see what was going on and saw what looked like laser beams being shot in the sky.
The Saudi government had begun a military campaign against Yemen—supported by our government and funded by our tax dollars.
As an American, I felt ashamed, and I felt angry because I knew that those bombs weren't made in Saudi Arabia. They were made in the U.S. When I found out that the logistical supports for these attacks were also provided by our government, it made me even more angry.
The airstrikes were violent and sporadic. I heard the sounds of men, women, and children crying, the earth shaking. I didn't know what would happen the next day.
I came home to California—but I still run my business and I go back every year to work with my farmers. And it's still a risk to go back. Congress must see the American people's fierce opposition to an immoral and illegal war being fought in our name and see strong support for legislation that would bring this U.S. war in Yemen to an end.
We have a small window to change this—there are only a few days left before the legislation goes to a vote. Click here to sign the petition to let your senators know that U.S. support of this war is unacceptable.
Thanks for adding your voice to this fight.
–Mokhtar Alkhanshali, Mokha Foundation
1."Yemen conflict: How bad is the humanitarian crisis?" BBC, March 28, 2017
2. "'The Monk of Mokha,' by Dave Eggers," SFGate, January 25, 2018
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