Thiyazen ALalawi, a Yemeni artist, discusses the political and social issues in Yemen through his street drawings; several months ago, he was chosen to participate in a pro-peace round for Yemen in Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Britain. However, the Sana'a airport closure caused him to go to another airport due to the conflict in Yemen. His journey began on Thursday, August 22, 2019, from Sana'a to Seiyun in Yemen.
The journey lasted more than 18 hours, passing through checkpoints of the war parties as well as the bad road.
He arrived in Amman, Jordan, on August 24, 2019, and began his story with embassies.
“We Yemenis have a visa to go to war and free tickets to go to hell, but it's impossible to get access to enter Britain or another European country.
In the last six years, I could join any party in the war or go anywhere, but my choice remains to stay in my country and continue to resist war with art, continue to paint in the streets, and spread the peace principle and coexistence with all,”
The British Embassy has refused the visa request for Thiyazen twice in a row, and the Swiss Embassy has done the same.
“Their only rejection is that they want me to have a financial guarantee that I'm going back to Yemen. How do I convince them that I am an artist and this art can't be priced? It's the most precious thing I have, and there's nothing I can't offer them as a guarantee!
I'm not complaining about this personal experience; the invitation has been dead to me. I have had to be a voice for the youth who participated in the streets with their art.
It is a shame that Yemen is thrown to the world's edge, and this Yemeni passport is rejected, not for something, but because it has a single visa which is going to war,”
At the end of his story, which he posted on his Facebook, Thiyazen says:
“It has always been the only visa that makes me go everywhere is art, and It will remain the only visa for letting Yemen enters peace,”