Tuesday, February 2, 2016

From the stories of displaced Yemenis; when I met a Yemeni fellow in Jordan


*Raphaël Khouri suggests going to a Yemeni restaurant in Amman for dinner. She thinks Yemeni food is sophisticated. And we go. We arrive and I tell her, 'it's been almost 5 years; I haven't gotten the chance to have food at Yemeni restaurants. I don't want to make a drama & cry here. I will only take a picture of the restaurant name 'Bab AlYemen'. She encourages me to embrace the drama but we laugh. We order different yummy Yemeni dishes. We finish with happy faces & full stomachs. At the hall, I get stopped by the Yemeni waiter. We chat a bit. I say, 'God how I miss Yemeni food.' He asks me, 'are you Yemeni?' To make the long story short, we discover that we both come from the same area in Sana'a. We describe the roads, the blocks, the neighborhood, etc. We feel how close we are. He has been displaced by the war. He left Sana'a 2 months ago. His family & kids are still in Sana'a. He tells me how he's sad that he had to leave them. We look at each other & sense each other's sigh. A drop of tears wants to escape his eyes & mine. I see his pride won't allow him to cry. My heart breaks. I secretly say, 'fuck wars, fuck political leaders, fuck politics, fuck everything evil in this life.' This happens in a matter of seconds. Someone interrupts us. 'Do you want tea, Afrah?' I think it would have been nice if I can order a cup of global justice for my fellow Yemenis. 'No, but thank you. I must leave now.' I walk down the stairs & the Yemeni waiter whispers, 'let me know if I can be of any help (ya bent bladi), you the daughter of my country!'

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*Orginally published on my Facebook. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Arab Spring Generation

Tunis, Photo/Salma Amer.
*I happened to be in Tunisia on the 14th of January, which not only marks the 5th anniversary of the Tunisian 2010 revolution; a date that sparked all the 2011 Arab countries' uprisings, but which also marks the 5th anniversary of interrogating my generation: the Arab Spring generation. Despite my excitement for visiting Tunis for the first time, the anniversary matter poured existential questions all over me; and the fact that I was in Tunis to take part in a two-weeks training course on Human Rights advocacy along with a number of participants from several Arab countries did not ease my troubled mind. "Has Tunis revolution achieved anything?" headlines of newspapers, TV programs, radio shows, etc asked on and on that day. "Has the Arab Spring achieved anything, for that matter?"


Traveling to Tunis felt like traveling to the starting point of the Arab Spring, the first chapter in the ongoing written novel of the 2011 uprisings. Tunis, where it all began. Part of me thinks that I owe this country a great deal of my political awareness, and another part laments: why did you let the genie out of the bottle, Tunis? why?

Tunis, Photo/Salma Amer.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saleh Going Mental

The war is taking its toll on Saleh's mental health. Yemen's ousted president says: Yemeni people are patient ones. They can go back to stone age and fire woods for cooking; they won't be like the people who'd be needing Kabsa (rice meal served in Saudi & Gulf countries), or Chocolate, or bukhoor (scented bricks). A clip from his yesterday's televised talk.



The war is taking its toll on Saleh's mental health. Yemen's ousted president says: Yemeni people are patient ones. They can go back to stone age and fire woods for cooking; they won't be like the people who'd be needing Kabsa (rice meal served in Saudi & Gulf countries), or Chocolate, or bukhoor (scented bricks). A clip from his yesterday's televised talk.
Posted by Afrah Nasser on Saturday, January 9, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Will Yemen’s journalists fare better in 2016?

"The year 2015 dealt a major blow to press freedoms in Yemen amid growing concerns over the fate of at least 13 journalists who continue to be held by rebels with no news about their situation for a month...Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders classified the Houthis as the second-largest hostage-takers of professional journalists, following the Islamic State (IS)." – al-monitor.com

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Prominent Yemeni journalist assaulted




"On 2 January 2016 in Sana’a, Nabil Subay, a Yemeni journalist, heads for lunch with friends. Unidentified gunmen attack him on a busy street: they beat him violently about the head and shoot him in both legs. He is taken to hospital and operated on. One of his colleagues, Muhammad Aysh, immediately places responsibility on the Houthis, given that the city is under their control; they allowed this aggression to happen and let the perpetrators escape. No one claims the assault, a familiar pattern for such acts for decades." -open democracy.