The Houthi group in Sanaa and the rest of the Yemeni governorates under its control received the memory of the “Birth of the Noble Prophet” by intensifying the forced collection work on shops and businessmen, and by imposing ceremonial rituals to glorify the group and its leader, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, under the allegations that the latter and his lineage extend their lineage to the House of Prophethood.
Sources in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the group’s forced collection campaign managed, within a week, to collect 300 million riyals (about half a million dollars) to spend on the celebrations held by its leaders and finance the war effort under the cover of celebrating the religious occasion.
For centuries, Yemenis have been accustomed to celebrating the event by setting up dhikr councils in mosques in a spiritual atmosphere far from politics. However, since its overthrow of legitimacy, the group has sought to import all Iranian rituals and rituals that are extraneous to the culture of Yemeni society in conjunction with transforming religious events into seasons to collect money and mobilize recruits to Battle fronts.
The sources stated that the militia members imposed on the owners of companies, institutions, schools, hospitals, restaurants and banks to hang slogans glorifying the group and decorate the streets in front of shops and homes by cutting green cloth and green lights.
The sources said that the group distributed orders to companies, stores, banks, hospitals, money exchange shops, private schools, government institutions and public parks that included strict directives demanding that they abide by their implementation, threatening all those who failed to implement them with penalties and fines.
At a time when the group dyed most of the capital’s walls and walls and its public and private institutions in green, its leader, Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, appeared yesterday in a sermon urging the importance of celebration and gathering in militia-controlled areas.
A number of citizens and merchants told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that the revolutionaries had dominated them, and that they had caused great financial losses as a result of the continuous royalties they imposed on them, including taxes, zakat, the war effort, and the newly introduced “fees to support the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday.
They pointed out that the Houthi machine of repression has reached the point of forcing the owners of cars, vehicles and motorcycles by force of arms and intimidation to paint them green and white, at a time when they and millions are suffering from severe poverty. They revealed that, in the context of exploiting this occasion and making profit from it, the group employed a large number of its followers to decorate citizens’ cars and bikes. It costs ten dollars to decorate a single car with green and white paint.
Ammar, a taxi driver in Sanaa who sufficed by his first name, complains of the pressures he is exposed to on a daily basis at Houthi checkpoints spread on the streets of Sana’a, with members of the group criticizing him for not painting his car green.
The driver told Asharq Al-Awsat, “At a time when I was dismissed from my work in a private company in Sanaa months ago due to the decline in its income and the continuing arbitrary Houthi policies towards it, and I resorted to working on a taxi to find a livelihood for my children, and instead of the group providing fuel, Today, despite all this, she asks me to paint my car and buy decorations, just because of an activity that they can exploit politically. ”
Earlier this month, the leaders of the group held a meeting in Sana’a to discuss what they called “preparations for the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday.” Sources close to the group in Sanaa revealed that the Houthis had formed central, supervisory and subsidiary committees at the capital, governorates, directorates, and offices levels to prepare and prepare for the event, in addition to forming “financial collection” committees whose mission is to collect royalties.
The sources said that the group allocated for the celebration of this year’s celebration a financial budget of 55 billion riyals (the dollar is about 600 riyals), which it allocated for the establishment of about 10 thousand festive activities in cities, districts, villages, isolation, and public and private institutions that are under its control. These activities that the group conducts to mobilize and sectarianize Yemeni society include public events, lectures, seminars, evenings, festivals, meetings, workshops, and others.
At the level of the hijacked capital, the sources pointed out that the Houthi meeting decided to organize more than 600 various activities targeting women and girls, in addition to targeting children from school students and others through about 400 activities urging them to embrace Houthi ideas, and then mobilizing them to participate in the battle fronts.
The Iranian-backed militias have imposed, during the past few days, exorbitant royalties on citizens, residents, companies and various stores under the name of taxes and support for the war effort and the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday.
About a week ago, the group carried out a field survey that affected dozens of markets, shops, and street vendors in separate areas of the capital. To demand payment of new financial levies. A local confiscation reported earlier, that the militias imposed, through their campaign, on every commercial store in the targeted areas within the Capital Municipality, the payment of sums of money starting from 5,000 riyals and ending at 50,000 riyals, depending on the size of his trade.
During the first three days of the campaign, the group’s militants arrested dozens of vendors and merchants, after they refused to obey their orders and were unable to pay the sums imposed on them, according to sources confirming.