"Labbayk O' Quds!" - A Sports Cry from Sana'a to Jerusalem
There is no such thing greater than a meaningful sports salute from besieged Yemen to Palestine.
'Labbayk' is an Arabic word that means the response to someone's call, to announce that you are there for them, to tell them that you are at their service. It is used by Muslims during their pilgrimage or 'Hajj,' where they repeatedly say "Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk," which means "here I am [at your service] O God, here I am [at your service]." It is also used when addressing a cause, such as the Palestinian cause in this case; it is a symbolic statement of solidarity.
At every Palestine-related event, you will see the free people of Yemen filling the squares in Sana'a and other governorates in solidarity with Palestine and its people, confirming that Palestine is the Ummah's first cause and that it will remain the compass of the free.
The same thing happens in Yemeni sports, for despite what this sector is suffering from due to the blockade and the Saudi-led coalition's aggression - which destroyed stadiums and sports facilities - the Yemeni athletes do not forget about Palestine; it remains among their priorities.
This is how you see these people express, in different ways, their belonging to Palestine, and this was what was done a few days ago through the Al-Quds Table Tennis Championship for the provincial teams, which was held in Sana'a, under the slogan "Labbayk O' Quds" and the Amanat Al Asimah team won the title.
Here, the teams compete to win the title, but the most important thing is winning the title of steadfastness, solidarity, and Yemeni loyalty towards Palestine.
For us to hear Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and Palestine's voice in Yemen: that has its importance and intense meanings as it is coming from a people suffering from aggression and blockade. Despite that, they do not forget their Palestinian brothers that are suffering under the occupation.
This is what we see in Yemen despite its suffering while neighboring countries have even forgotten Palestine's name, completely erasing it through normalization processes with the occupation, including in sports. This shows the true nature of the honorable Yemenis.
This Yemeni sports stance has its impact on Palestinians, which is what the Vice-President of the Palestinian Table Tennis Federation, Radwan Al-Sharif, expressed. He praised the efforts of the Yemeni Table Tennis Federation and the Minister of Youth and Sports in the Sana'a government, Mohammed Al-Moayedi, for organizing this championship that bears Jerusalem's name.
Thus, Al-Sharif confirmed that such championships enhance the steadfastness of the Palestinian people. He said in a message to the Yemeni Table Tennis Federation: "Organizing such tournaments is not out of the ordinary for Yemen and its proud, brave, and pro-Palestine people."
How wonderful are sports when they express solidarity with Palestine, and it is more wonderful coming from a wounded Yemen, who knows what it is like to be wounded like Palestine.