The revolution isn’t confined to those in Change and Freedom Squares. The cries for change and revolt against Saleh was not only from those inside the country for Yemeni migrants too played a role in whatever way they could. Yemeni’s in diaspora communities put their best foot forward to help the revolution. This included those who carry other passports and nationalities. They took shouldered the burden and asked for change.
Maha Salem, a 22-year old female activist was first to strike. She responded to the revolution by sparking protests in London expressing solidarity with the Yemeni revolution. Although she is a British citizen and her birth place and accent are Saudi, she cares about the Yemeni cause ; she wanted to make it a better place for millions who call Yemen home.
“I revolt because I want my children to be born and raised in Yemen. I lived in two varying cultures and I did not know anything about Yemen. Despite that I have always been proud of my roots, my color, and my land,” said Maha.
“I got involved in youth work a year prior to the revolution. My friends and I established the Yemeni Youth Association and coordinated visa Facebook,” explained Maha, But the transition from facebook to the real work was “when the revolution started” Maha played an increasing larger role in in coordinating the protests in London. “This is how we spread to other cities and now we are coordinating internationally,” she said.
Yemeni youth activists have started Yemen revolution UK — both virtually via Facebook and actually on the streets — in London with others who were motivated, who felt the fervour of the revolution despite the distance.
”We started organizing protests in front of the Yemeni embassy,” said Maha and then, the BBC noticed her. She was interviewed by the news channel fo her active involvement in the revolution. She has met with many diplomats with the aim of pushing Yemens Revolution forward. Maha is also involved in the Yemeni women forum in the UK..
From the BBC, Sheffield live radio reached her too and she was invited to to share her ideas there.
”We face many difficulties in London as a community as we do not find enough support from other Yemeni communities in the UK; We fund ourselves which is hard as we’re all students. We make the posters, get the permission, write letters and coordinate nationally and internationally,“ she added. It is hope that keeps her going despite the slow political progress.
“I want to go back and develop Yemen. I strongly believe we have the ability to make Yemen like any other European city,” said Maha.