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The revolution ate my homework – 5 Yemeni bloggers you should be following

April 5, 2011

Much of the West’s knowledge of what’s happening in Yemen at the moment is coming from a handful (I can count them on one hand) of foreign journalists based in the capital Sana’a. As brilliant as those guys are 😉 they’re no substitute for local Yemeni journalists who know both the language, the people and the ins and outs of Yemeni politics far better than any ajnabi ever will.

In the past couple of weeks a number of young Yemeni bloggers and youth activists have sprung up on the web. Armed with twitter, facebook accounts and blogs, they’re doing an invaluable service in disseminating timely, on-the-ground updates as well as a much needed Yemeni perspective on what’s happening here.

Here’s my selection of young Yemeni journalists/bloggers/photographers who I think you should be following.

Let me know if there are others who think deserve a place on the list.

Hamza Shargabi

Hamza is a Yemeni doctor and a political activist. He runs a fascinating blog called Late Night Surgery where he discusses everything from Islam’s view on software piracy to swine flu.

He’s recently set up a vblog called revolutionary updates where he posts on-the-ground face-to-camera videos from the protests at Sana’a university. Follow him on twitter: @ichamza

Watch his latest video shoot from the roof of a house above the Sana’a sit-in where he tells the American ambassador what Yemen’s protesters want.

Afrah Nasser

Afrah describes herself a ‘A young Yemeni woman who was born to be a writer.’ She’s a journalist at the The Yemen Observer and was recently interviewed by IWPR to discuss Yemeni women’s role in the demonstrations. Her blog gives you snapshots into the lives of protesters as well as her own views on what’s happening. Twitter: @Afrahnasser

Nasser Arraybee

I think its safe to say that Nasser is Yemen’s most well established (English-speaking) journalist. He writes for The Yemen Observer, Al Ahram Weekly, Gulf News. His blog gives balanced, independent reports with details you won’t find in the mainstream western media. He’s recently started tweeting, follow him: @narrabyee

Alaa El-Aghbari

Alaa is an amazing source of information for those who want to know what’s going on in Yemen’s volatile port city of Aden.  He gathers mobile videos of attacks on protesters as well as the latest statements from youth protest organizations and posts them on his blog Opinions.

His tweets are regular and invaluable: @AlaaIsam

Osama Al-Eryani

Two weeks ago Osama, a budding photojournalist, flew back to Sana’a from New York in order to ‘witness his country’s revolution.’

He’s set up a blog called the revolution ate my homework, in order to document his trip. Every day he posts a photo or a story giving a behind-the-scenes, personal and moving account of what he’s seeing. On day 6 his father, Yemen’s Minister of Water and Environment, resigned from the government in response to the killing of peaceful protesters. On day 13 he joins a group of youth activists who are trying to get political representation by distancing themselves from the opposition parties.

Here are a few of his photos, his flikr account is well worth a look too.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 5:50 am

    A nice ARTICLE and a summary of other activists and journalists in Yemen. Please see my article on the History of Saleh and His Regime, by Alex Odaini. I am a Yemeni American working as a consultant in the area of management. My article was sent to Yemen Post and was not published.

  2. Muhsin permalink
    August 11, 2011 10:08 am

    Wow; while I was in Yemen I was dreaming of running into an english speaking outlet like this but the internet, as you all know, sucks. I’ll definitely shoot each one of my fellow Yemeni people an email before I go.

    And trust me; Tom is completely right about seeing Yemen from a pair Yemeni eyes. It’s total day and night. The simplicity of the complex act of getting something done through “wasata” to the playful dialogue of the serious art of bargaining are the two underlying gears that really moves a country like Yemen. The non-Yemeni tourist only experiences a Times Square feel where ever he goes… and guess what; it is HE who’s always the Times Square. You’re the rare attraction.

    Do you know how much personal public feeling you can get just by chewing qat with a group in the deewan? And no one will refuse; otherwise it’s 3ayb.


  1. A trip to the heart of Yemen’s youth revolution « Tom Finn

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