The story of how 19-year-old Abdulrahman al-Shabir escaped a car accident in Yemen in 2016, and survived an armed attack by Houthi rebels, could be a model for young men and women in the Middle East.
“This story is an example of how we can help others,” said Alaa Makhlouf, who is a professor at the Al-Shahid Institute in the UK.
The story is “an example of the resilience of young people in a place where they are under threat,” he told Al Jazeera.
The Al-Sadiq university student has been described by the UN as one of the “toughest people in Yemen” because he did not have the resources to leave the country.
But he had been planning to move to the US after graduation.
“I just had to get out of the country,” he said.
Al-Sham is a pseudonym for a young student from the US who was kidnapped and forced to flee his home in Yemen.
He was later rescued in Saudi Arabia.
Al Sham, like other Yemeni students, did not get a chance to leave Yemen because the Houthi government in the capital, Sanaa, does not recognise dual nationality and cannot be trusted.
In December, Saudi Arabia announced a plan to allow dual nationals from other countries to enter the country, but it was halted by the Houthis, who control Sanaa and the capital.
“The Saudi authorities are not letting us cross over, even if they are allowed to allow the [US] citizens to enter,” said al-Sham.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan in Sanaa contributed to this report.