Posts tagged yemen
Posts tagged yemen
Given the fact that Muslims, myself being one of them, are constantly upset over being grouped into a stereotype of “terrorists” and whatnot due to the actions of a select zealous few, it would do these same Muslims in the Middle East a favor to stop raging against American Embassy’s in an attempt to show their discontent with the select few Americans who made such a denigrating video. Anyone smell the bitter scent of hypocrisy? Come on people!
Have we forgotten how to be humane?
For a brief moment, #Egypt gave us something to be proud of, to idolize a more civilized and peaceful protest inspite of a violent opposition. Now… what a shame. They were so close.
Above: Egypt police beating protestors, including a veiled woman in the iconic “blue bra”
Mr Saleh signed the agreement, brokered by Yemen’s Gulf Arab neighbours, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Under the plan, he will transfer his powers to his deputy ahead of an early election and in return will get immunity from prosecution.
But protesters rallying in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, said they would reject any deal giving the president immunity.
The demonstrators said the Gulf initiative ignored the “blood of martyrs”, BBC Arabic correspondent Abdullah Ghorab in Sanaa reports.
The Great Dictator, 1940
Charlie Chaplin’s speech - Fight for Freedom
This speech is awfully relevant in the wake of the Arab Spring.
"The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators die; and the power they took from the people will return to the people and so long as men die, liberty will never perish."
Yemen. After months of what seemed to be stagnation, Yemen erupts once more in renewed and awful violence. More than 45 protesters and opposition have been killed since yesterday alone. Above, an anti-government protester in Sana’a holds up a bloodied flag following an intense clash with security forces.
Ginny Hill of Chatham House has a good piece today on the power struggle between key elite factions in Yemen. (Important to note: this includes billionaire sheik and opposition party leader Hamid al-Ahmar, who - according to Wikileaks - vowed in 2009 to overthrow President Saleh and spark mass protests in Yemen if Saleh didn’t guarantee fair elections in 2011.)
Tawakkol Karman lives in a tent in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.
Every day and every night, she sleeps on the ground, eats on the ground, and works on the ground. Her husband and three children visit on the weekends.
“Today is my beautiful day,” she says, tickling her 8-year-old son, Ibrahim. “The one day a week I can spend with my family.”
Karman’s tent is part of a sprawling encampment of tarp and concrete blocks that goes on for a mile down Sanaa’s main street. Set up by anti-government protesters, it’s known as Change Square.
And Karman is known as the woman behind the revolution.
Sources tell Al Jazeera about 1,600 people are hurt as police use live rounds and tear gas to disperse protests in Taiz.
As many as 1,600 people have been injured in the Yemeni city of Taiz after police reportedly used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse pro-democracy protesters in the city’s main square, Al Jazeera has learnt.
A sit-in was held in the square on Sunday as part of nationwide anti-government protests. According to witnesses, police also opened fire above the heads of protesters, and used batons to disperse the crowds.
Medical sources said most of the injuries were from tear gas inhalation.
“It was a peaceful demonstration. It became dangerous because of the tear gas. It’s shameful to fire at peaceful protesters,” one protester told Al Jazeera.
Governor Hamoud al-Soufi denied reports that one person had been killed in the clashes. He also said eight soldiers had been killed after clashes between “infiltrators” among protesters and some citizens forced riot police to intervene.
The protest came a day after an opposition coalition called on Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to his deputy, Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The coalition has released details of their initiative for a peaceful transition of power, according to Al Jazeera’s sources.
As part of his interim duties, they called on Saleh’s deputy to reorganise the central and national security as well as the Republican Guard, the forces currently loyal to Saleh and controlled by his son and nephews.
Hadi was appointed by Saleh as Yemen’s vice-president after the civil war in 1994.
He is well regarded by the opposition, and the negotiations between the president’s advisers and the opposition took place at his house in Sanaa.
By accepting someone from the ruling party to lead in the interim, the opposition appeared to send a message that it is willing to be flexible about finding a solution.
The move is also likely to help the coalition win support of residents of southern Yemen, where Hadi hails from.
The suggestion to appoint him as the country’s leader has come as no surprise, but so far, the president has rejected every offer that requires him to leave office before the end of the year.
There has been no reaction from the president or the ruling party so far.
As I listened to a story covered by NPR this afternoon, on a hearing scheduled this coming Thursday to investigate the radicalization of Muslim Americans, I couldn’t help but think about the underlying factors that would stir up such a debate.
I was taken back, for a moment, to the months that followed the tragic day in September 2001. I remember my parents being too scared to let me go to school, my mother cursed at by people who once smiled at her at the grocery store, glares of anger and acts of hate.
These days, with the ongoing freedom protests in the Middle East, I wonder what these simple factors mean for people like me in the United States.
Honestly, I’m disturbed by the fact that many people are more concerned about the price of gas. They seem angry at the fact that these revolutions have erupted not realizing that what may cost them 20cents more in gas is actually costing someone else their life and livelihood.
And with Middle Eastern dictators such as Libyan ruler Gaddafi having innocent protesters killed and having no mercy for humanity, it seems to have stirred up the September 11th stereotype of Islam.
I spoke to a gentleman just the other day expressing how happy I am about the revolutions in the Middle East. I explained that my excitement stemmed from the fact that Arab youths were standing up for themselves, taking charge of their lives even if it meant they were risking it.
Through unintentional ignorance, this man explained that he was fearful. That from what he’d heard, these revolutions were acts of terrorism in these Middle Eastern countries and that if these rulers fall it would mean bad news for America and the rest of the world.
Wow. This was his understanding of what is going on in the Middle East. I couldn’t help but wonder how many people out there are just as confused, how many people are misled and misunderstanding what is really going on. It’s disturbing to think that people are mistaking these freedom struggles for acts of terror.
Ignorance doesn’t sound like bliss to me.
Suddenly, debates on the role of Islam in American society have flourished. Muslims all across the nation being targetted through acts of hate and, for lack of a better word, confusion. People misled by the media, political propoganda and greedy incentives are fearful of a religion that preaches what all religions do: peace and understanding.
Fear is the catalyst of this hatred, of this prejudice. People are often fearful of the unknown, and in this case, what they do not know is what they are actually afraid of. Islam and Muslim Americans have become the stereotypical scapegoats of this fear. If the fear can be pinpointed, it can be eliminated. Why else would such an irrational meeting be scheduled by Rep. Peter King (R) of Long Island?
What next…internment camps for all Muslim Americans? You would think that sounds ridiculous, but this seems to be the kinds of steps political officials like Rep. King are leaning towards by instilling fear in everyone else. Somehow convincing many people, like the gentleman I spoke to, that the revolutions in the Middle East are acts of terror and that these supposed acts are spreading throughout the United States.
Does that make sense to anyone? Why are people so keen on associating terror to Islam? To Muslims? No one called Jarod Loughner a terrorist when he shot 31 bullets, wounding 19 and killing 6. No one associated his faith and beliefs with terror. What about the Unibomber? Timothy McVeigh? No one associated or stereotyped Christianity with terrorism. So why Islam? Why Muslims?
Read a little bit about all the things you didn’t know. Update yourself. Educate yourself. Understand the true nature of society. Learn about the things you’re not being taught.
Hundreds have died in the name of democracy, in the name of freedom, today alone.
Hundreds will die tomorrow. The next day. The day after that.
In Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Iran… in every Middle Eastern country that is uprising. That will uprise.
China. North Korea. In every country dictated by an authoritarian government.
The people are speaking and they are speaking LOUD.
Everyday for the past two months, civilians have been made casualties of this revolution. People, like you and me, young and old.
Fathers. Mothers. Sisters. Brothers. Friends. Family.
These people are dying in the name of a cause. They’re fighting, struggling for something most of us take for granted: liberty.
These people are being MURDERED for peacefully protesting against the corruption of government, against unemployment, against starvation and poverty.
These people are being MURDERED for wanting to be free. For wanting a voice.
For the freedom to think. To express. To dream. To speak.
These people are being MURDERED for peacefully protesting against governments that have, for too long, used the threat and the acts of violence to shut them up. To keep them down.
How many people do you know get arrested, get beaten, get tortured or get murdered for having an opinion? For blogging about it? For talking about it? For acting on it?
Well… now you know of the mere thousands who just died for it. And everyday you will know of hundreds more.
Are you paying attention? Because this is reality. Wake up.
“The 18 days that changed the world,” that’s what they’re calling it. And amazingly, just days after the revolutionary victory of the Egyptian people, that almost seems like an understatement.
Four days after the mere three weeks it took for the fall of a thirty year authoritarian regime, youths all around the Middle East have taken to the streets of their countries to fight for what rightfully belongs to them: freedom.
Protests in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, Jordan and Iran have erupted, Arab youths risking their lives and the lives of their families all for the notion of hope.
Hope provided by a country that many had deemed unlikely to act: Tunisia.
And look at the effects of that hope!
In 2009 the Iranian people made a similar attempt at democracy, taking to the streets in mass protests against a dictator who has ruled their country for too long, a dictator who rigged an election in his favor and used fear and violence to kill the human spirit. That revolt was quickly disassembled and Ahmadinejad continued his authoritarian rule against the unwilling Iranian people.
The fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia quickly carried out an idea that spread across the Middle East like a disease. After the success of the Egyptian people with the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, that disease quickly became inflamed. If Tunisia could do it, if Egypt could do it…what was, what is stopping the rest of the Arab youths?
Fear is no longer an obstacle for those seeking freedom. To die an activist is to die a martyr for humanity, for liberty, for democracy.
Al-Khalifa, the ruling king of Bahrain, offered his people a lump sum of money to every family in a desperate attempt to quiet down and disassemble the protests. In this seemingly rich country, people all across hit the streets in anti-government demonstrations not in the name of poverty or unemployment, but simply for the need of democracy, protesting against the corruption of government and the unequal spread of power.
One thing these countries all have in common is the will and need to be free. These people are protesting not just against their corrupt governments, poverty and unemployment, they’re fighting for the right to dream.
Dictators such as Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya, Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and the notorious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran have all used fear and the threat of violence during their reigns. And for many years, for too long in fact, this repressive tactic had worked.
Despite what many believe, these people, in all of these countries, had been living under the presumption that their governments, though authoritarian and corrupt, were somewhat poor. Yes, there are rich and poor people, but it was assumed their kings and presidents, though rich, were living beyond their actual means.
At the height of WikiLeaks came the slap-in-the-face notion when people living below the poverty line, unemployed and starving, realized just how many billions of dollars their rulers were spending on luxury items, extravagant birthday parties and monthly vacations while they could barely find two pennies to scratch together.
This was a hard hitting realization that soon resulted in unrest and uprising.
On January 3, 2011 one man’s desperate act of suicide sparked the wild fire that is now truly changing the world. His devastating attempt at death woke a nation into the realization that if dying had become the only answer then no one was asking the right question.
If they were going to die, it would be at their own will, fighting to the death for a belief, an idea that would be achieved at any sacrifice, including life.
I pray for the success of these countries. I wish them true democracy.
With hope, with faith, anything is possible. Every obstacle is destructible.
By Nadia El-Awady
"I’m an Egyptian revolutionary! And I helped topple a dictator!"
That was the message I tweeted to the world soon after learning that Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak had finally stepped down.
The rush of emotions I have felt since hearing the news has been almost crippling at times.
The Egyptian people had lived under a single dictatorial ruler for 30 years. It took less than three weeks for this regime to crumble.[ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ]
For 18 days, more than 300 had died at the hands of the police and thugs reportedly leashed by the regime itself. Thousands were injured. Hundreds camped out in Tahrir Square, a majority with not much more than a single blanket to protect themselves from the elements. And yet millions of others marched day after day, voicing their demands that Mubarak and his regime leave.
During those 18 days, I marched, ran from tear gas and live ammunition, and then I marched some more. I visited Tahrir Square almost every day. I took pictures, I shot film, and at times I joined the protesters myself.
For the most part, when they were not being attacked, the mood among protestors was almost like a party; Tahrir Square felt like a carnival. On every corner, people sang, danced, recited poetry, discussed politics and, of course, marched round and round and round and round calling for an end to the regime.
Many displayed the sense of humor for which Egyptians are known all over the Arab world. One man held up a sign that said: “Leave now. I really need a shower.” Others acted out comedic plays and sketches. A protester dressed up like a soccer referee and walked around the square blowing through his whistle and waving a red card that said “leave”.
Another group of protesters who had come to Cairo from Sharqiya, a region 50 miles north of the capital, took off their shoes and used them to spell the word “leave”. Showing the sole of your shoe has long been considered an insult in Arab culture.
On the night of Thursday, February 10, Mubarak made his third speech to the Egyptian public.Â All day, rumors had filled the square that he would resign that night.Â People from all over the capital left their homes and headed to Tahrir Square, in anticipation of a celebration. When he said instead that he would not step down until he had presided over a transition of power himself, almost every single man, woman and child who was in the square raised their shoes in indignation. Mubarak was not listening.
Many woke up Friday expecting the day to turn into a blood bath. Mubarak and Omar Suleiman, the long-time head of the Egyptian intelligence services who Mubarak had named as his vice president shortly after the demonstrations began, implied that they would not tolerate continued disruption in the country. Since the police had not yet appeared back on the streets, this left only the army to impose an end to the protests.
But the people had absolutely no intention of backing down.
Like so many others, I left my home Friday morning not knowing whether I’d live to return. I was equipped with nothing but my camera and a bandanna to protect myself from tear gas.
If any force was used against the protesters, they hadÂ nothing to protect themselves with. We had already seen so many die at the hands of police and thugs . Nevertheless, protesters left their homes armed only with their determination and the will to make a better country for themselves.
(Read the rest of this article here: http://yhoo.it/hCbZEl)
EGYPT, I SUPPORT YOU. THE WORLD SUPPORTS YOU.
The people are united, the people have spoken.