Family describes being trapped in war-torn Yemen and fighting for survival

VIDEO: This siege has us stuck: Family tries to survive in war-torn YemenPlayABCNews.com
WATCH 'This siege has us stuck': Family tries to survive in war-torn Yemen

The Al-Hamadi family, who escaped their hometown in Yemen's Han Mountain during airstrikes, are now in Taiz, a city besieged by fierce fighting between pro-government forces and rebels.

The unpredictable and violent attacks have made it nearly impossible for anyone to get in or get out, leaving many families trapped.

"We used to cry and hide from the bullets," said Doaa Al-Hamadi, the oldest of three daughters. "We would be eating and bullets would be fired around us."

One of Al-Hamadis daughters hangs laundry their mother washes by hand.ABC News
One of Al-Hamadi's daughters hangs laundry their mother washes by hand.

The war in Yemen between pro-government forces, backed by Saudi Arabia, and Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, has been raging since 2015.

It has devastated the poorest Arab country, leaving Yemen now on the brink of famine.

Calling it the world's "largest humanitarian crisis," the U.N. estimates that at least 150,000 malnourished children could die if left untreated, as a military blockade prevents humanitarian aid from reaching people.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a U.S. aid organization, says one child younger than 5 dies in Yemen every 10 minutes from preventable causes.

The war came along and took away everything, said AbdulLatif Al-Hamadi.ABC News
"The war came along and took away everything," said AbdulLatif Al-Hamadi.

Doaa Al-Hamadi's father, AbdulLatif Al-Hamadi, was a construction worker. Her mother, Montaha Al-Hamadi, used to graze animals and, at times, sell henna to cover their basic expenses before the war changed their lives.

"Alhamdulillah!" said AbdulLatif Al-Hamadi, using the common Arabic phrase for "Thank God," as he remembered older days. "We lost everything and we gained nothing in return."

I fight for them [my daughters] to go to school and they are doing their best, said Montaha Al-Hamadi.ABC News
"I fight for them [my daughters] to go to school and they are doing their best," said Montaha Al-Hamadi.

The family's makeshift home doesn't have a door -- only a blanket hangs in its place -- and a pile of bricks in the windows help with privacy and protection. There's no power and no heat.

"When it is cold, we are helpless," Montaha Al-Hamadi said.

We only have one notebook, we write everything in it, Hadeel Al-Hamadi said. We use it for science, literature, Quran, and all the subjects. Only one notebook and we divide it up.ABC News
"We only have one notebook, we write everything in it," Hadeel Al-Hamadi said. "We use it for science, literature, Quran, and all the subjects. Only one notebook and we divide it up."

Despite all of this, they say it's still an upgrade from their previous hideouts.

And, even as they fight for survival, the parents try to send their daughters to school when it is safe, hoping that it will help them build a better life in the future.

Sisters Doaa and Hadeel Al-Hamadi are seen here together. Now we are fine, we are better, but we used to study and do things. My mom cant even cover basic expenses anymore, said Doaa Al-Hamadi.ABC News
Sisters Doaa and Hadeel Al-Hamadi are seen here together. "Now we are fine, we are better, but we used to study and do things. My mom cant even cover basic expenses anymore," said Doaa Al-Hamadi.

"I fight for them to go to school and they are doing their best," Montaha Al-Hamadi said.

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