Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Worries and angst

Time is getting closer for the departure to Yemen

. But there´s many worries, since Yemen is so unpredictable. It is still relatively stable, but due to the new influx of young Western journalists who want to make a career and for this simple reason seriously over dramatise the situation, I am getting un necessary problems. So right now, I hardly sleep.

One thing I really want to make clear with my Expedition, if it happens, is this issue of the media. I realised during my first trip this issue regarding journalists which just come to Yemen, free of any knowledge about its intricate situation and cultural workings, just go there like poachers and hired soldiers, just to find the rubble and negative aspects of this great country. It is very worrisome. But it isn´t only Yemen who is suffering from this one side and negative media. I have a friend which I respect a lot, explorer Julian Monroe Fisher who is heading down the Sudan and he sent me an email yesterday, basically saying:

“Same situation here as in Yemen, global media is lying!”

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It is really, really sad that this is the situation. I will try my best to show another side of the coin. But this hysteria is also scaring my partners in Yemen. They´re feeling the heat of all these negative articles and are beginning to believe what is written, even though they know the real truth. But such are humans. They believe in media. Scary, but true. However, there´s still good journalists in Sanaa and Yemen. One of them is Michelle Shephard, who recently wrote this article giving a proper perspective of things. Another is Gregory Johnsen at Waq al-Waq. As regards to good international journalists. Locally there are quite a few.

As always, with so little time left, I haven´t all needed gear, but spend most times emailing Tom at Explorers Web, how to solve all small details. All equipment hasn´t arrived yet. My wish on this trip is that I can engage in realtime more than the first time. The mission is clear:

Show the overwhelmingly positive aspects of Yemen!

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I will miss the family an awful lot. It has never been as difficult as this time.

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