While the Arab spring was spreading across the region and the main stream media was focusing on the events taking place in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, Yemen’s revolution was often ignored and
disregarded. The massive peaceful protests that took to the streets of Yemen, demanding freedom and democracy were often faced with brutal security forces, yet hardly reported in the news.
Many Yemeni activists assumed the role of citizen journalists, documenting, translating and reporting what was happening in the country via social media networks such, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogs.
Through their interaction, a group of activists, bloggers, journalsist, videographers, photographers and web designers formed a campaign group called SupportYemen using short video clips highlighting the peaceful movement and addressing topics affecting the majority of Yemenis, including the humanitarian and economic situations. The group is made of independent activists in Yemen and in the diaspora who joined their hearts and minds to work together to advocate for the change they want to see in Yemen.
The First video released by SupportYemen on October 9, 2011 was called “Break The Silence”. It was aimed at the International community, emphasizing the group’s’ resistance to the attacks of the government forces and their determination to continue demanding what they originally set out to achieve – equal rights, liberty, freedom from oppression and a dignified life.
The fourth video by SupportYemen called “I Will Fight For My Rights” was a powerful message to the Yemeni community advocating for women’s rights.
Another video by SupportYemen in association with ResonateYemendocumented an Oxford Style Debate regarding the motion: “Foreign Aid to Yemen Caused More Harm than Good.”
It is important to point that SupportYemen is an independent group that does not receive any funding from any country or organization and all the work produced has been financed by the group members themselves. I am proud to be part of this great group and hope that together with our advocacy work, and with the other NGO’s, independent groups and activists we will hopefully bring about the change we all seek in Yemen.