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Hangda Zhang

Video still from ‘After fleeing’

A Yemeni woman who moved to Qatar to escape a civil war at home has opened up about her journey in a new short film.

Mariam Al-Dubhani is now a journalism student at Northwestern University in Qatar.

In the film, she explains to one of her peers that she started making films and music in Yemen as a way of expressing herself and defying constraints society put on her.

“Living in Yemen, where a girl isn’t allowed to do much, just because she’s a girl – it always pissed me off, and made me do things my way,” she said.

Missile attack

Al-Dubhani said that she decided to flee Yemen after a missile landed close to her family home, blowing out the windows.

“I just wanted to leave, I had no other thoughts in my head, I would have gone anywhere. I can’t be helpless, I can’t wait for things to happen.”

She eventually moved to Qatar with her fiance (now husband), after a Qatari woman she had previously worked with offered her a new job in Doha.

In the film, she said that she continues to live by her beliefs, which are to “never stop pursuing what you want, and don’t let anyone tell you to stop.”

Student filmmaker

The film was produced by 20-year-old Hangda Zhang, who is studying journalism and economics at Northwestern University in the US.

Last year, she came to the school’s Doha campus for five months, and used her time to make two films about young women she met.

Speaking to Doha News, Zhang said the five-minute video is part of her series on inspiring women.

Santiago Sanz Romero/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After Fleeing shows the story of a married woman who fled from Yemen to Qatar and who possesses this courage and independence to face her life,” she said.

Zhang’s second Qatar film – which has not yet been released – will feature a Qatari woman who has started a global movement to unite young people through charity work.

She explained:

“I want to tell these stories to inspire other women, and to start conversations with the audience on issues seldom covered by media or discussed among people.”

Zhang added that she wants to become a professional documentary maker after graduation.

What do you think of the video? Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Diraalwatan / Twitter

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Three soldiers have died “while performing their duty” in Yemen, Qatar’s Armed Forces has announced.

The deaths of Mohammed Awad Salim, Mohammed Daoud Khayal and Mohammed Nasser Mohammed mark the biggest loss of life Qatar has seen since it first sent ground troops to Yemen in September 2015.

In a tweet, Qatar’s foreign minister extended his condolences:

Translation: Our brave soldiers sacrificed their souls and used them as shields (to ward danger). With their blood they wrote an epic of chivalry and courage in defending the oppressed and standing by the truth. May God have mercy on the souls of Qatar’s martyrs, the martyrs of the GCC and may they be given an eternal abode in paradise.

The nationalities of the soldiers were not specified. Due to the small local population, the Armed Forces also consists of soldiers from several other countries.

The soldiers were part of a Saudi-led coalition that supports Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s fight against Houthi rebels.

Yemen has suffered under the weight of the conflict, which began in 2014 been.

Since then, the UN said that some 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed. And 2.8 million more have been driven from their homes due to fighting across the country.

Rising toll

So far, at least one other Qatari soldier has died in Yemen. Last November, Muhammad Hamid Sulayman was killed there.

And several other men have been injured in the past year, including two soldiers last month.

In a statement carried on QNA late last night, the Armed Forces extended its condolences to the families of the newly deceased.

They will be buried in Qatar today, according to Al Sharq.


Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the nationalities of the soldiers killed were not specified.

Injured Qatari soldier


Injured Qatari soldier

Two Qatari soldiers have recently been injured while fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to local media reports.

The men, Sgt. Salman Mahwish Al Ruwaili and Abdul Hadi Rashid Al Watheen, are being hailed as heroes on social media.

However, the circumstances of their injuries remain unclear.

The soldiers are part of a Saudi-led coalition that supports Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s fight against Houthi rebels.

According to Al Jazeera, more than 9,000 people have been killed and 2.8 million more have fled their homes since March 2015, when the coalition began launching air strikes.

The two soldiers’ injuries come months after a Qatar special forces soldier was killed in Yemen in November.

Muhammad Hamid Sulayman’s death marked Qatar’s first reported casualty in the conflict.

Medical treatment

According to some reports, the Qatari soldiers were also visited in Hamad Hospital this week by Minister of State for Defense Khalid Al Attiyah:

After a few days at Hamad, Al Ruwaili will travel abroad for treatment under the directive of the Emir, Al Sharq reports.

He is in stable condition and will seek further treatment at a specialist facility in Germany.