Faces from Yemen’s revolution Atiaf Al-Wazir By: Shatha Al-Harazi
The Yemeni revolution has begun to enable women to play a different role in society and gave a model of how the parThe Yemeni revolution has begun to enable women to play a different role in society and gave a model of how the partnership between men and women will be in a civil state. Women had to suffer more in the revolution, they had to revolt against their families who sometimes didn’t like them being engaged in politics. They had also to revolt against the tribal society which used to isolate women from political decision making along with revolting against the current regime.
In change Square in Sana’a different female faces shine. One of them is a 31 year old Yemeni woman who was born in Sana’a but grew up, amongst other places, in the US, and returned from Egypt to Yemen last fall where she was living with her French husband in the same house that she was born in.
Although Atiaf introduces herself as a world citizen in her social networks that is read by thousands around the world, still her sense of belonging to Yemen is the most prominent.
“I consider myself a world citizen,but at the moment my world is focused on Yemen,” said Atiaf.
Atiaf is a well-educated woman who has a master’s degree in international relations from the American University in Washington DC. Her thesis focused on Women in Prison in Yemen, between Honor and Crime.
Before the anti-government protest took place in Yemen, Atiaf came to Yemen to research. So she has been working with nonprofit organizations for over 9 years promoting human rights, humanitarian relief and political awareness.
Since the anti-government protests started in what’s called now “Change Square”, Atiaf has been involved in the protests from the beginning, doing many different things. Working as part of a youth group on various events, talking to the media to spread information on the revolution, organizing with women on how to guarantee women’s rights in the future government, translating documents, helping with awareness raising events and mainly documenting the revolution in all its aspects.
Atiaf was featured in a video broadcasted by Avaaz, meaning “voice”, in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”, Atiaf was featured as a citizen journalist who helped the world to know better about what’s going on in Yemen.
“The revolution has made me become a citizen journalist through blogging and online activism, mainly using twitter and facebook. My blog is updated with commentaries, photographs and videos from the square. Contributions include factual events and reporting on the revolution, but also just reflective pieces and personal stories.” Said Atiaf.
Atiaf left to the state last month,as soon as she arrived she met with foreign affairs legislators for Senator kerry she met with state department and she participated in a panel discussion held in congress she also met with human rights watch and was asked to speak in ISNA regarding Yemen, ISNA is Islamic Society of North America.
she also met with lawyers to begin an investigation on ali saleh and to freeze ali salehs assets “every time she spoke she spoke on the YOUTH talking only about the youth and demanding attention to the demands of the youth she kept stating over and over that not bringing the youth to the negotiating table will only result in more danger since the youth have no interest in political gains like many of the opposition parties they just want their freedom and dignity back” her sister told the Yemen Times. Atiaf wrote once ” I hope that my fellow Yemenis can understand that in this globalized world it’s not a contradiction to be be proud of my heritage, hold on to my individuality, and become a citizen of the world, all at the same time.”