Friday, November 21, 2014

'Despite the danger and threats women human rights defenders face, we should be proud of the work we are doing,' Atiaf Al Wazir

Yemeni researcher and writer, Atiaf Al Wazir participated in an interactive web forum along with other women human rights activists from Egypt and Libya, organized by The Front Line Defenders organization, where Atiaf discussed the situation of human rights (and women's rights in particular) in Yemen. You may watch the video here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

7 Most Memorable Moments About Yemen At 2014 Gulf Cup

As Yemen's national football team says goodbye to the Gulf Cup today in Saudi Arabia, after an honorary performance throughout the tournament, and especially through today's match against the Saudi team; here is a recap of most memorable moments in Yemen's participation in pictures:-

1) It all started with Yemen's newly assigned prime minister, Khaled Bahah when he posted a picture on his Facebook page, wearing the national team's outfit. Beside that it was a cool move of him, he certainly sent good vibes to our boys. 

2) Also, Yemen's newly assigned Youth and Sport minister, Rafat al Akhali posted a group-selfi with the entire team and threw it over Yemen's social media ocean. Within minutes, the picture went viral across Yemen and the diaspora.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yemen's name united us

Dr. Khaled Fattah is regarded as one of Yemen best experts. 

At the Yemeni Salon today, I met a young gentleman; he looked like he was from Yemen. I just felt it. Somehow. 
I asked, "are you from Yemen?"
"Yes, I'm from Aden," he replied.
"Ya'ani, you're from Yemen."
"From Aden." 
We smiled & I understood that he was Hiraki. 
And I also met a young gentleman who was from Sa'addah. He introduced himself as a representative of the Ansar Allah in Sweden. (That was a wower.) 
We had a beautiful discussion about the current situation with Al-Huothis' takeover .. and we enjoyed the talk by dr. Khaled Fattah .. and the following discussions by the audience. 
I silently reflected as the seminar went by & realised that we all were there, regardless of our political affiliations or views, just because Yemen's name united us, even for just an hour or two. We all are thirsty for peace and prosperity for our people and country, even though we're this far away. Locations meant nothing to us, because Yemen is indeed in our hearts."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Historical day for women's political participation, but?

Yemen's president Hadi announced today the new government and the list of the new ministers include four women, which marks a historical event for women's political participation, after having three women ministers in 2011. It's the first time ever that Yemen gets to have this big number of women ministers in the same time.

The four ministers are:

1. Yemen's first English speaking newspaper, The Yemen Times' owner, Nadia Al Sakkaf is now Yemen's minister of Information. 

2. Veteran Culture and Human Rights, and super outspoken opinion leader, Arwa Othman is now Yemen's Culture minister.

3. Diligent civic rights activist, Gabool Al-Mutawakel is now the Social Affairs and Labour minister. (UPDATE: Gabool rejected the post as a minister)

4. Gender issues advocate, dr. Samira Obaid is now a state minister and member of the new cabinet.

However, this number doesn't meet the already assigned 30% quota for women emerging from the National Dialogue Conference (NDC). If things went as planned resolutions from the "semi-institution", the NDC, we should have seen 10 or 11 women ministers out of today's 35 members (ministers) in that list. Accordingly, it's distressing to observe that president Hadi's plan along with the prime minister, Bahah's move with selecting the women ministers was only to satisfy their political parties and not to hold on to an egalitarian construction. I need to be skeptical in order to comprehend the feminist exploitation here. There could be a clear signal that granting women's political rights (incompletely) is only to articulate that the country is going with its democratic process, and overlooking the fundamental gender inequalities.

All in all, I rejoice today's news, hoping for more happy news to come, for women and Yemen. I'm very proud of these women because I know some of them in person and I know how much of warriors they are. My skepticism is only there because I'm certain that there is so much to be done ahead and more critical thinking can enhance the progress. Also, you never know what will happen tomorrow. This list might be removed. Things can change in a second, in Yemen.