Yemen’s revolution’s civil society: SupportYemen: calling on the world to stand with Yemen
It started as the hash tag #SupportYemen on Twitter and developed into an international campaign. Now SupportYemen is a vehicle for Yemenis around the world to tell the globe about the new face of their country. A Yemen without terrorism; with people who long for justice, freedom and the rule of law.
The campaign has so far produced an evocative video of Yemeni youths explaining the core demands of the popular revolution, which erupted in February, and the crackdown against protesters across Yemen. The video has so far gained almost 15,000 YouTube hits as well as being featured on CNN. A new video is due to be released soon.
The main objective of the campaign is to send a powerful message to the international community that Yemenis are not giving up on their demands, according to one of the founders of the campaign, activist and blogger NoonArabia, a Yemeni woman living abroad, who wants to remain anonymous for security reasons.
Despite Saleh's signature on a GCC brokered document to transfer power to his deputy in exchange for immunity against prosecution, NoonArabia told the Yemen Times that she does not see "any possible democracy as long as the current regime remains in power".
So far, the three-month campaign has worked in unifying Yemenis' voices and aims for the favor of the revolution since there are many Yemeni activists in this group from around the world, according NoonArabia. The group uses social media including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote its campaign and gain support.
The group contains Yemeni political activists, bloggers, writers, photographers and videographers "who care deeply about Yemen," said NoonArabia.
Sara Jamal, a political activist and co-founder of SupportYemen added that the group “aims to help the world understand the nature of Yemen’s peaceful struggle and to reject any sort of violence against protesters”.
And professionally the group is “looking for chances to train and recruit teams to document the violations and crimes committed by any side, in order to be able to present transparent information,” said Jamal.
The door is open for anyone to join the group simply by filling the voluntary from posted on the homepage of the campaign's website which will be launched soon, she added.
"All the Yemeni communities abroad have played a significant role in the campaign and this was evident in the worldwide SupportYemen – Break the Silence campaign, which was launched in October.
“But the main contribution came from areas where there are a large Yemeni communities such as the US, Egypt, UK and Germany," said NoonArabia. She explained that SupportYemen rallied support for the country and made it clear to the world that the revolution was a legitimate call for justice, freedom, democracy and a dignified life.
“It sends a humanitarian message to the world to stand by Yemen and its revolution," said NoonArabia.
SupportYemen hosts Karman in Michigan
In coordination with the Yemeni community in Michigan, US, SupportYemen hosted Tawakul Karman, Yemen’s Nobel Peace Prize winner on November 11 in Dearborn city.
Over 2.000 Yemenis, including men, women and children, originally from all over Yemen, came together to see and greet Karman and to hear her talk.
A number of American academics, officials and researchers also attended the ceremony, where both the US and Yemeni national anthems were performed. Some not hold their emotions, breaking into tears during this unique moment.
Jack O’Reilly, Mayor of Dearborn, expressed his appreciation for Karman’s visit saying: “Karman is not a pride only for the Yemeni community, but for all the international community as she came from a society where the woman’s role remained marginalized for a long period.”
Karman’s visit inspired members of the Yemeni community in Dearborn to be proud of their home, inspiring them to work hard and work together for the future of their country, according to the Yemeni-Americans supporting the youth revolution in Yemen.
“Without the Yemenis and their keen values to save their country, the world would have seen another Somalia four years ago,” said Karman during her speech to the Yemeni community in Michigan.