Archive for September 21st, 2011


Silence on Yemen!

Human Wrongs Watch

While very busy covering French president and British prime minister visits to Libya, and talking about the day when Libyan oil will feed again cars and industries, mainstream media has nearly ignored the continuing killings in Yemen and the growing hunger of which more than 7,5 million Yemenis are victims.

Image: Bernard Gagnon | Wikimedia Commons

Yemenis have been protesting peacefully for the fall of the regime since February, making this the longest-running of the “Arab Spring” protests. Yet Yemen has been largely absent from the international media agenda,”  writes Abubakr Al-Shamahi, a British-Yemeni freelance journalist and the editor of Comment Middle East, a platform for young people to write about the region.

“The Western focus on the Arab world in recent months has been on Libya and Syria, with Yemen an unsexy brother in the background,” he adds. Yemen has only garnered an article here and there when news of Yemeni President Saleh’s “imminent” return is leaked, or when anything al-Qaeda-related emerges.” 

Herein lies one of the major problems that Yemenis face in attempting to draw attention to their uprising. There is a fundamental lack of understanding of Yemen, and this has severely affected the media narrative, explains Al-Shamahi in his opinion-article published by Al Jazeera.

For example, al-Qaeda. To Yemenis, this is a small and largely irrelevant group, seen as having links to the Yemeni government and largely aiding the government’s foreign policy goals,” he says.

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