‘I do not know how many days are left’: A Yemeni dreams of Hajj | What’s your money worth?



What’s your money worth? A series from the front line of the cost-of-living crisis, where people who have been hit hard share their monthly expenses.

Name: Mahmoud

Age: 65

Occupation: Former builder

Lives with: His wife Salma* (60), and his two sons, Ali (28) and Yasser (32) and their families.

Lives in: A 15 by 15-metre house in al-Thawra district, in central Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The single-storey house owned by the family is divided into two apartments, each containing three rooms, a kitchen, and two restrooms. Mahmoud and his wife live in one apartment with their youngest son, Ali, his wife Hasna*, and their two children, Abdulrahman, 4, and Haifa, 2.

Yasser, his wife Jamila*, and their four children live in the second apartment.

Monthly household income: Mahmoud retired five years ago, and his sons Yasser and Ali support the two households. Yasser owns a minibus and makes a living driving passengers. He earns between 130,000 Yemeni riyals ($236)** and 165,000 Yemeni riyals ($300) a month. Ali, who also owns his own vehicle, is a taxi driver and earns between 100,000 Yemeni riyals ($180) and 122,000 Yemeni riyals ($220). Their combined monthly earnings range between $416 and $520.

Total expenses for the month: About 165,000 Yemeni riyals ($300) go towards living expenses. For the past year, any remaining income was saved for Mahmoud’s Hajj journey.

*Names have been changed at the request of the family


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