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Faces from Yemen’s revolution: Rwadhwan Masuod

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Rwadhan Masoud is the head of the students union of Sana’a University. He is in his early thirties and the head of Islah Party’s student sector. He is one of the first people that began marching in solidarity with Tunisia and has always been a leader for protests and marches, even before revolutions began sweeping the Arab work earlier this year. In the past, he led university students in solidarity marches with Gaza and protests against the American occupation of Iraq. As a student, he also led university protests against the presence of political security officers that were stationed inside Sana’a University. In one of those protests, a guard shot and killed a student.

As a well-known activist, Rwadhwan has received several death threats and demands to stop his work in Yemen’s revolutions.

Radhwan not only opposes the regime but also experienced a period of disagreement between him and the human rights activists Tawakkol Karaman who shined after the revolution and was the first activist to support the youth protesting against the regime. The disagreement between both activists makes headlines as they both are members of the Islah Party.

The fact that he has always demonstrated for human rights and better education kept him in the same position when the anti-government protests took place in front of Sana’a University last February .

Although Radhwan is known for being an extremist Islah member, he always encourages female students to participate in his demonstrations. He also looks after those women working with him the square.

“For some time I was scared that I was being followed leaving Change Square and going to my home. At that time there were a rumors that the National security had certain names to be kidnapped, mostly journalists and activists from the square,” said Amira Ali, an activist who worked with Redhwan. “Redhwan then offered to find me a ride home to make sure of my safety although he didn’t have to.”

According to him, the threats he received were by phone calls, Facebook messages and personally by chasing him to his house on motorcycles, forcing him to employ three bodyguards since then.

One of the difficulties Radhwan faced for participating in the revolution was the suspension of his salary last March.

It’s worth mentioning that Radhwan was assigned by the Islah party to follow up on the detainees of the revolution, also to follow up the treatment of the revolution wounded in different hospitals.

Radhwan has always been aware of the role the media plays and has been invited to Al-Jazeera’s show “The Arab Spring Speaking Channel”.

Radhwan has always been a face of the Yemeni revolution and has appeared on Al-Jazeera as an activist and revolutionary. He played a large role in starting coalitions and planning escalations, cooperating with other groups in Change Square. Redhwan is more like a generator in the square working on making daily reports, collecting all published news on the revolution and republishes it on facebook groups.

Radhwan has a good connection with the Al-Ahmer family, head of the Hashid tribal confederation, the tribes that fought the state in Al-Hasaba neighborhood in May, although Radhwan is a believer in peaceful means to topple the regime, he agreed on using one using weapons if necessity to defend himself when needed, justifying turning the peaceful revolution to an armed one.

Radhwan is one of those hidden leaders who makes decisions behind the scenes in Change Square, for example he is one of those who plans the names of each Friday.

Although he is a member of the Islah party, Redhwan did not wait until the party orders their members to join the revolution; he was there from the beginning.

Radhwan was a reason behind many Islahi youth joining the revolution, he has strong power on some of the university students as he has been always their when they needed his help as the head of the students union, he is also represented the student in the Preparation Committee of the National Dialogue.

Still some describe Radhwan as a person with no tolerance with his opponents, as problem appeared in the square between the Islahis and the independent youth, Radhwan stood against the youth, supporting his party’s power of Change Square.

Written by shatha

September 12, 2011 at 9:25 am

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