Explorer Mikael Strandberg

“I am really worried, really worried!” – An insight into the protests in Yemen

I follow Al Jazeera and BBC a few hours every day. Read the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Gulf News and the Times. But most of all I try to keep in contact with friends I have in the Middle East. Specifically in my favorite country Yemen.  They give the best insights of what is happening and gives a personal touch to it all. It is an odd feeling. I sit in security and they worry for their lives. Last Thursday I chatted with my old Arabic teacher Rashad Saaed.

“It is dignity Friday tomorrow” Rashad told me over the chat, “I am really worried for what is going to happen.”

“Are you worried for your personal safety?” I asked.

“Very worried. “

“Are you going to join the protests?” I asked and got a quick reply; “Of course!”

“Can you send me a summery what happened?”

“I will do my best” , Rashad finished sharpely and than he was gone from the chat.

I didn´t hear anything from him yesterday and started to get real worried, but early today I received this report from his observations during Dignity Friday.


Courtesy of The POMED Wire

Dignity Friday


Rashad Saaed

It was the worst day since the beginning of anti-government protests in Yemen. More than 52 were killed and 600 injured by the bullets of veiled snipers who were distributed on the roofs of many houses in Al- Dairi Street

President Saleh and ministry of interior affairs quickened to negate their relation or responsibility for the massacre committed against peaceful people practicing their legal rights and justified the incident by saying;

“The Killers were just citizens protecting their homes of being broken into”.

This irresponsibility showed by Saleh and ministry of interior affairs face by a wide condemnation and censure from Yemeni people. Soon after, tens of thousands of people, sheikhs, politicians and many army leaders joined the youth of revolution in their sit-in squares which caused a big lose for the regime that keeps to threaten people by army and security forces around 33 years of its ruling on Yemen, especially after his historical army ally Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer left him and announced his supporting to the revolution of youth.

President Saleh appeared again to Yemeni people to declare his grief and regret for the killed people whom he consider as martyrs in the sake of democracy. He announced a day of mourning for them promising to follow those who committed this crime.

Among the huge public anger against the regime that was accused of committing this crime, the youth of revolution and some parties leaders decided to move to presidency palaces in many governorates of Yemen just to put an end for the regime.

Saleh felt the danger, so he equipped the area surrounding his presidency palace in Sana’a with crowd of soldiers and heavy army equipments (tanks and military vehicles). From the other side, he and his assistants called tribes and their supporters from all over Yemen for presence in Sana’a -on the same Friday on which youth of revolution decided to move- spending more than 2 billion Yemeni riyals on them. He opened the 70th square -which locates before his palace- for them to be the first bulwark, if the revolutionaries moved towards him as a plan to fight people by people.

All observers expected a massacre, if that happened. But revolutionaries realized how do Saleh thinks so they stopped moving to the presidency palace just the night before Friday. All people sighed when they heard this decision. While people was worrying about next Friday, some local, regional and international diplomatic mediation talks were holding in the house of vice-president  Abd Raboh Mansour to seek peaceful ways to transfer the authority to some person appointed by Saleh. But Saleh on Friday in the 70th square before the crowd of his supporters blowed up all the results of those talks. He also confirmed that through an interview with Al-arabia TV channel. Moreover, he keeps to threaten people of a civil war if the revolute against his regime.

Another Yemeni friend, Abdulghani al-Iryani, a Yemeni political researcher and analyst, breaks down the challenges facing his country.

Till this moment, in front of the intransigence and indifference of the president, all expected scenarios still opened before the youth of revolution to draw an end for their revolution.

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  1. Dear Mikael:

    I am a man of 28 who live in chile, and searching I found your website, the only thing I can say is that I am impressed with what you’ve done in your life.

    Right now I’m thinking of doing something very similar to what you did and keep doing, but I have not taken the decision yet.

    Always struck me about different cultures of people around the world. today is mygreatest motivation.

    I might die without having fulfilled that dream. and hopefully have the opportunity totravel some to meet and learn from you.

    Delighted to read your life

    Best Regards,

    Elias Cassis Reig

  2. Hello how are you, my dear friend I want to thank you for Alrobertaj she created for Yemen you really a great man and deserves respect want to know who I am Yes I am your friend taxi driver Oh forgot Thank you for the determination lunch you and I and my girlfriend that participate with you in your journey spectacular in Yemen and I wantsay I see your ills Inter Net website has given me a piece my friend I wish you luck in your life wonderful I want to say why did not see any pictures of me and I am talking with a taxi or restaurant any friend taxi driver….alamrawy

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