Yemen’s revolution’s civil society: Yemen Youth
It was founded by only three students and soon included 43 members. The group covers news and disseminates information in their governorate on the latest happenings on a political level as well as spreading awareness about human rights and democracy.
“We started a Facebook page whereby we cover the news from all the Change and Freedom Squares around the country,” said Shihab Yahya Aesh, one of the group’s members. “The purpose is to create a sort of networking or connectivity to feel that Yemen’s revolution is one across the entire country.”
The group behind the initiative try to stay as impartial as possible. And although they do stand by the revolution they also have reservations against Ali Muhsin Al-Ahmar and the Al-Ahmar family in general who support the revolution today.
Yemen Youth coordinates its work with the Yemeni Youth for Change initiative in Hodeidah and have held protests and events together.
“I am a journalist and among my group there are journalists and activists and we try to convey the truth and spread the word. This is how we participate in the revolution,” said Aesh.
Husam Al-Houti and Alaa Al-Hadad are also members of the initiative. “We do other community activities such as preserving the environment and working on youth empowerment. It is beyond politics but because we believe in our role as youth,” they said.
In the capital Sana’a there is a similar group of youths who came together to build a tent in February, called the “Facebook youth tent”.
Different from those in the early days of the protest, it presented a small cartoon exhibition to grab the attention of passersby. Facebook activists gathered at the tent to discuss what was going on and started a Facebook group called “The Tent of Facebook Youth“.
“When the revolution started in Change Square there were many independent youths who were enthusiastic to boost the revolution but they were afraid that the square was controlled by political parties or Ahmer tribesmen,” said Yahsob Aleryani, one of the people who set up the tent. “So we wanted to have a tent in the square that represented the youth of Facebook and at the same time they have a place to gather and discuses whatever they like without the control of any party.“
The importance of the Facebook group is to give independent youths a space to exchange ideas freely and follow the revolution updates from all points of view, teaching people to accept a different point of view.