Thursday, August 13, 2015


Photography/ Abdulrahman Jaber.

When I started this blog in early 2010, I honestly thought that nobody will read it. Why? at that time, I thought because I had nothing “meaningful” to say but, still, the idea to create a blog was very attractive to me. I blame Wael Abbas and Lina Ben Mehanie for this. My plan was just to use the blog to archive my reports for the Yemen Observer newspaper where I worked as a full-time reporter. After 8 years experience working in media, today I know very well why I was insecure about creating a blog–because, as a female and a Yemeni female, I know today that I subconsciously thought I don’t have neither the ability nor the capacity to enter the world of big media corporation, and challenge the big anglophone media houses’ portrayal of Yemen. Believe it or not, thanks to Yemen’s 2011 uprising, my thinking became revolutionized transforming the insecurity to a determination.

Six years on and the blog has been receiving a wide readership - something that I don’t only feel grateful for but also feel extremely attentive to. It is wonderful to be read, especially when I aim to raise awareness on human rights issues, (I usually joke; once I’m done with all Human Rights violations, I plan to be a blogger on fashion) but the more the blog is read (Look at the right in the screen! more than half a million views. Fucking insane!), the more I feel cautious with what to write about - readers deserve accurate (whatever that supposed to mean), reliable, unbiased, informative and meaningful stories. Since the events in Yemen are nothing but relentlessly serious, I’ve always had the urge to blog non-stop, which led me several times to be overwhelmed and/or drained-out.

I’ve been quiet lately & not blogging much. I recently gone through one of the most enlightening experiences I had ever had in my life. For the past 5 months, I have been writing my thesis as I’m finishing my two-years master degree program at Gothenburg University. My research question was how Yemen’s 2011 Uprising was framed in the coverage of BBC vs. Al Jazeera English. It’s usually said, “the medium is the message”. Through a critical discourse analysis approach, I compared and focused on the articles published by these two media networks during the first 100 days of the protests in Yemen. It’s been tough focusing on the thesis, while the war is waging in Yemen and the idea of losing family members was and has been painful. Reading a good book on the psyche of traumatised people and how to heal, was a worthwhile interruption from my studies–which cost me missing the first deadline &, hence, missing the real deal of the graduation ceremony. Anyhow, I can’t complain.

The prolonged time was well-spent. Through all this time, I’ve been living with media power, media hegemony, the honeymoon phase of the Yemeni uprising, the power of words in shaping the way we look the world through, all these ideas and more were all what I have been thinking of. As I stopped blogging because I had to focus on writing the thesis, I had to go through a calculation process about where I was and how am I doing today and how to go forward. Calculation. Mind you, it’s a continuous process but one must be conscious that it’s happening, otherwise you lose its enlightenment.

My thesis is almost done and after I defend it in end of August, I plan to publish it here, and/or somewhere else. I’m so proud of it - you know that I’m the first person in my whole family who has completed a university education and held an M.A.? it’s a moment of pride. Expect me being back to blogging soon, because the struggle has to continue, even in the post-revolutionary phase.