Houthis attract recruits through sports, Ramadan events
September Net – Asharq Al-Awsat
Houthi militias have intensified their campaigns among the Yemeni community at various levels, hoping to change its culture, impose their sectarian ideology, and attract more people to send them to fight.
In this context, the pro-Iranian militias have held various sports activities in Ramadan and organized events that take place every night after the iftar meal with the aim of serving their sectarian goals and attracting young people to recruit them later.
“The militias are holding events and activities to attract young and old people through meetings, tournaments, and sports leagues held in all neighborhoods and residential areas during Ramadan,” athletes and activists told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“There are various activities organized by the militias during the holy month of Ramadan, such as football, volleyball, chess, billiards, and snooker,” they said.
He explained that the militias’ so-called supervisory offices or educational departments observe these games.
Abu Hamza al-Nahari, one of the parents in Hadda district, southwest Sanaa, pointed out that Houthis are naming Ramadan sports leagues after their followers who were killed.
“The group tries to establish specific names and terms in citizens minds, especially the youth,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that teams participating in some of these championships are called names such as resistance, steadfastness, challenge, stability, dignity, etc.
Ismail al-Rimi said most of the tournaments witnessed the participation of teams bearing the names of dead and Houthi leaders, some of whom were athletes but were killed during clashes.
According to former sports officials in Sanaa, the militias hold seminars and cultural lectures in most clubs, neighborhoods, and wedding halls in areas that fall under their control.