Yemen

Yemen: ‘I thought that I would not be affected’

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This is the story of 30 year old Abdulsalam Al-Kibdi, a Yemeni man who spent 13 years as a working migrant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, living with his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is only a few months old.

“On 22 November 2017 police officers stopped by my work and asked me to get into their truck. I knew that the Saudi government had put new restrictions on Yemeni migrants and workers but I thought that I would not be affected.

Yemen in Crisis

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One morning last December I opened the newspaper to read that “today marks 1,000 days since the beginning of the war in Yemen, a country which is now suffering from the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”

By mid-2017 Yemen faced its worse famine since the 1940s and the world’s worst cholera epidemic. The war between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels has claimed at least 10,000 lives. The former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh had switched sides before being killed and wider imperialist tensions drive the conflict.

Imperialism and the new wars in the Middle East

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The decline of US imperialism in the Middle East is fuelling rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Simon Assaf looks at the region as it plunges deeper into violence and uncertainty.

In the heady days of the Arab Spring revolutions, tens of millions of people took to the streets in vast movements for change that raised the possibility of a deep transformation of the region. The retreat of these revolutions has been marked by a return of repression and the unleashing of horrific sectarianism.

Yemen: a dangerous escalation

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels have swept across the country, reaching as far as the strategically vital port of Aden, driving out the president and laying siege to a US base. The Houthis are Shia tribes from the mountainous north. They have been able to fill the power vacuum following the stalling of the Yemeni Revolution, one of the most popular and well supported uprisings of the Arab Spring.

The fate of two revolutions

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Mirfat Sulaiman reports from south Yemen on how the growing movement for independence from the north has been fuelled by the dashed hopes of the 2011 popular revolution.

In January 2011 Yemen witnessed the start of the biggest anti-government protests in the country's history. Following decades of dictatorial rule, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt gave ordinary Yemenis confidence to demand an end to the unemployment, corruption and injustice that marked the dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Letter From... South Yemen

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It is 50 years since 14 October 1963, the day that marked the start of the armed struggle for independence from Britain. Four years later the British were kicked out and the state of South Yemen was born on 30 November 1967.

To celebrate this anniversary, and despite soaring temperatures, last month the city of Aden hosted a two-day protest and carnival. It was the biggest such event in the city's history.

It featured cultural and regional dance, displays by young artists, new revolutionary songs by youth musicians and other activities.

South Yemen: a clash of wills

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The struggle in South Yemen for independence from the North continues to be way down the agenda of the international media. Mirfat Sulaiman reports on a rising revolutionary tide which no amount of repression seems capable of stemming.

Travelling through the port city of Aden in South Yemen gives you a clear picture of both a city under occupation - with army checkpoints, tanks and armoured vehicles in the streets - and a people's demand for independence. The South Yemeni flag is painted and hanging everywhere, along with revolutionary slogans, pictures of movement leaders and photos of those killed during the ongoing uprising. In contrast, the regime's "unity" flag can only be seen on government buildings and military vehicles.

Resilient Revolutions: Bahrain and Yemen

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The Arab Spring is far from over. In the wake of controversy over the Formula One race, Dominic Kavakeb looks at the movement in Bahrain, while Mirfat Sulaiman considers the ongoing uprising in Yemen

"Sumood" is a common word in Bahrain at the moment. Literally translated it means "resistance", although its meaning is closer to the idea of refusing to give in or persevering through great difficulty.

This word isn't just a reference to the physical action of the Bahraini people it is about a mentality. It encapsulates the mindset that keeps this extraordinary population coming out onto the streets day after day, night after night, to face down repression and demand freedom.

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