Sunday, August 12, 2012

Women Outside the Shadow - II

Today, we continue to honor women whom Ghada Mutahar dubbed as "Women Outside the Shadow". 


Image via Montreal Gazette

9) Amal Al-Makhithi: Amal has always been a human rights activist but she joined the revolution because she wants Yemen to remain united. She also wishes that the new constitution stipulates that a president can only be elected for two terms and that the country operates according to the democratic model. During the revolution, Amal made sure that protestors had blankets when the weather was cold and food at times of hunger, among many other volunteer activities. Overall, she strongly opposes a government that creates domestic turmoil in order to gain monetary profit. 


10) Ehssan Doughaish: Ehssan attended the protests in February 2011 with her husband, even though she is a mother of 5. She recruited women to join the protests and she even voiced her opinion on media outlets that had strong ties to the previous government (Saba News). While the revolution was taking place, Ehssan decided to give the youth (girls and boys) lessons since the school was out. Although her intentions were well, several extremists voiced their concern about boys and girls studying inside the same tents, and eventually spread rumors about her intentions. Ehssan was disappointed to see her educational program fail. 


11) Haneen Al-Rous: Haneen joined the revolution because she was fed up with the status quo of Saleh's government. She was fed up with the nepotism that favors unqualified people in the few jobs available, the poverty that most of the population was living in and the corruption of the legal system that no longer serves its people but rather the elite. Haneen documented the revolution and created a group called "I am Yemeni: Freedom, Equality, Justice". Her hope is that Yemen becomes a country that Yemeni immigrants want to return to live in. 


12) Fatima Saleh: Fatima was a junior undergrad business student. When the revolution started, she decided to voice her growing frustrations against the government. Fatima joined the Revolution's Information Committee and the Media Center. She even prepared reports that were displayed on the revolution's website. Fatima wishes for a better Yemen where the population is well informed about their political rights and their role in creating their own future. 


13) Thourayah Mujahid: Thourayah is a reporter with Saba news and the vice president of the Yemeni Union of Anti-corruption and Transparency. During the revolution she hosted workshops training the youth about political empowerment and future planning. Thourayah also helped raise funds for the Service Committee. Her message to the Yemeni people: "resilience, and then some more resilience, and then patience. There must be sacrifice because this is a revolution and not a journey". 


14) Ghaida M. : Ghaida is a Masters studednt who began her career as an activist when she worked in the rural parts of Yemen. There, she witnessed the suffering and poverty of the Yemeni people. That part of the country lacks the most basic services like drinking water. she believes that the "Separatist Movement of the South" is nothing but a protest of the deteriorating conditions of the people. Ghaida was member of the Awareness Committee of the revolution and lead a blood drive after the massacre of Juma'at Al Karamah (the Friday of Pride). She wishes to see Yemen as a civil state with less power in the hands of the military. 


15) Raghda Jamal: Raghda was a participant in various informative and cultural activities in change square. She wrote a small collections of poems in English called "Lost in a Fairy Tale". Raghda dedicated a poem called "Sailor" to the revolutionaries and held a signing ceremony in the protest square. For the future, Raghda wants to have a country that she is proud of and she has full trust in the capabilities of the Yemeni youth. 


16) Huda Al-Asbahi: Huda opposed Saleh's government because it ruled with only one man at the top, leaving what was supposed to be a democratic country under the rein of an individual. She wants to see Yemen with a pluralist system that respects the diversity of opinons. She led a campaign that cleaned the change square. Furthermore, Huda participated in various marches and volunteered with the Medical Unit. Huda says that she is proud of Yemenis who are tribal in nature and heavily armed for displaying a peaceful and civil demeanor regardless of the bloodshed that occurred. Overall, Huda urges those who did not join the revolution to join it. 


17) Elham 'Alwan: Elham felt that a war was waged against her during the revolution. People ruined her reputation and accused her of having connections with the National Security and of being a mole amongst the revolutionaries. Elham explained that this accusation was the "shock of her life" especially after she dedicated so much time to organize and promote democracy with the Youth. She believe in the revolution; however, she became suspicious of corrupt figures who joined the revolution. She hopes that Yemenis try to understand each other better in the future in order to avoid further divisions. 


18) Sarah Al-Fa'iq: Sarah is utterly disappointed of the progress that Yemen made under Saleh's leadership, especially when she compares it to foreign and neighboring countries. She believes that Yemen has the resources and capabilities to be better than some states (and definitely better than this). Although she feared the rise of a civil war, Sarah participated full heartedly in the revolution. She conducted polls prior to Jum'at Al Karamah (Friday of Pride) to see if people living around change square were bothered by there presence. She began restructuring the protests in a way that pleases the people living in that area until the massacre of March 13th happened. She was disappointed to hear that some of the people she interviewed had a hand in the bloodshed. She ends with; "the revolution gave Yemen a new age and I hope to create a bright future for Yemen". 
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