Early September, I spoke with TV & radio presenter, Sam Asi for the Golden Globes' Hollywood Foreign Press Association podcast.
You may listen to the interview here or find the transcript below.
INTERVIEW'S TRANSCRIPT: HFPA in Conversation with Afrah Nasser
Sam: THIS IS SAM ASI FROM THE HFPA. TODAY I'M TALKING TO AFRAH NASSER. AFRAH NASSER A MULTI-AWARD, INDEPENDENT YEMENI JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER LIVING IN EXILE IN SWEDEN SINCE 2011 WHEN SHE FACED DEATH THREATS IN HER HOME COUNTRY WHERE SHE PRACTICED JOURNALISM SINCE 2008.
NASSER'S REPORTING ON YEMEN'S POLITICAL AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS SUCH AS CNN, HUFFINGTON POST, AL JAZEERA, AND THE NATIONAL. AND WON SEVERAL AWARDS, AMONGST THEM: PENNSKAFT AWARD AND THE DAWIT ISAAK PRIZE AND THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS FREEDOM AWARD FOR THE COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS.
IN 2015 ARABIAN BUSINESS RANKED HER AS 15 OUT OF THE 100 MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE IN THE ARAB WORLD, WHILE CNN HAS CALLED HER BLOG, ONE OF THE 10 MUST READ IN THE MIDDLE EAST. HELLO AFRAH.
Yes. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AT THE HFPA PODCAST. Thank you for having me. Sam: AFRAH, I WANT TO START WITH SWEDEN. HOW IS LIFE IN SWEDEN FOR YOU? ARE YOU ENJOYING LIVING IN SWEDEN AND DO YOU MISS YEMEN BECAUSE YOU ARE FROM YEMEN, AREN'T YOU?
Well, there are some good and some bad days. I've gone through a lot of phases, and at this moment I am really missing the language because as you know, Yemen is fragmenting and into so many Yemenis. So, I know that whatever I am missing is not there any longer. So, what I miss really is the language. I realized from my travels around the Middle East that home for me is Arabic language. So that's what I miss the most. But Sweden is a great country really. I've had really, really wonderful friends here who have been more than a family for me. But you know, you can't help but miss some fundamental things like language.
Sam: OF COURSE, LANGUAGE IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU BECAUSE THIS IS THE TOOL THAT YOU HAVE USED IN YEMEN SINCE A VERY YOUNG AGE. CAN WE GO BACK TO THAT AGE WHEN YOU BEGAN YOUR CAREER INTO WRITING? HOW DID THAT ALL START?
Ah, that's a deep question. I can't remember exactly my relation to writings, to writing and literature. But I remember that my mom telling me that she remembers that when I was a teenager telling her that I want to be like Negi Bafult [phonetic 00:02:51] one day. I'm born to be a writer. Trying to think and remember so hard. I remember that I had a lot of journals. Every day I would write. So, when I had my job at Yemen Observer and Sanaa when they hired me, I was overjoyed. I thought this will not feel like work to be paid.