The 7th of October will forever be remembered, not only was it the Friday “Loyalty to the martyr Al Hamdi” one of the most loved and greatest president to govern Yemen, but it was also the day that a woman from Yemen – won a Nobel peace prize. The land that once upon a time had great women leaders, became to be perceived as the oppressed land – Where the veiled woman was seen as voiceless. On the 7th of October the world recognized the work of an activist a human rights defender a mother of 3, a wife; only oppressed by a regime.
This Friday from north to south, east to west as they all marched out of hope for a better country and to show their respects to the late president Al-Hamdi. The people remebered a ruler respected not out of fear but because of the love, compassion and passion he had for his country. Although ironically he only ruled for 3 years before he was assassinated he is still remembered by young and old decades on. The Contrast to three decades of Saleh’s rule which has only made the people poorer and created a country exploding due to corruption. I saw it fitting that on a day when Yemen was honouring a great fellow Yemeni and ruler of the past. Tawakul Karman was honoured globally for her work, dedication and leadership in working for a better democratic country in the present.
Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday in Sa’ada
Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday in Aden.
Female march in hodeidah in Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday
Huge crowds chanting on Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday in Ibb
Ibrahim al-Hamdi was the President of the Military Command Council that governed the country. During his rule, he cemented the central government’s control over the country, planned on ending tribal loyalty, and Yemen’s medieval social classes by proclaiming all Yemenis as equal. He also improved relations with Saudi Arabia. Under Al-Hamdi’s administration Yemen enjoyed the most prosperous economic boom since 1962, as he was responsible for a civil engineering endeavour that would rival that of any country. Al-Hamdi’s civil and economic policies helped bring Yemen into the 21st Century by building hundreds of new schools and eleven hospitals countrywide as well as the paving of more than 2,000 roads.
Tawakul Karman founded Women Journalists Without Chains in 2005 she is a prominent human rights activist and holds a position on the central committee of Yemen’s major political Islamist opposition party, the Islah (Reform) Party. Tawakul started her movement on the basis of non-violence and even before the ‘Arab Spring’ she has organized and led demonstrations of media professionals against censorship & women’s rights amongst other things. Since 2007 despite the violence and despite the lack of people openly supporting her she continued to strive for change.
The poorest country in the Middle East has been blessed with great people at the forefront in trying to create democracy and equal rights. Although Al-Hamdi and Tawakul were of different times, held different positions and faced different challenges they are leaders in their own way; With the same goals of justice and peace and a love for their homeland.
Al-Hamdi proved that a ruler should have the peoples interests at heart at all times in order for democracy. Tawakul karman showed that an Arab woman is able to empower and fight for what is right not what is accepted. Tawakul is proof that modern history still has streaks of the likes of Queen Bilqis and Arwa; Yemen still has great women throughout its land.
Chants from the crowds in Yarim on Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday:
Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday in 60th Street of Sana’a, supplication prayer, very touching:
Massive crowds and chants in Sana’a on Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday:
Tens of thousands gathered in Al-Qaeda city in Ibb in Loyalty to Martyr Al-Hamdi Friday:
Nobel Peace prize winner Tawakul Karman talking to Al Jazeera: