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Friday
Feb282014

Al-Qaida Destroyed Our Family

Tik Root | Slate and Roads & Kingdoms

O
n the morning of Aug. 30, 2013, in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a, Khaled al-Dhahab’s phone rang. The villager on the other end relayed the news Khaled had long dreaded: His brother, Qaid, was dead.

Hours earlier, Qaid al-Dhahab had been returning from a wedding celebration to his home near the rural city of Rada’a, roughly 160 miles southeast of Sana’a, when a torrent of missiles flew from the sky, turning the car in which he rode into a smoldering heap. Qaid, who by most accounts was a rising leader in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—considered the most active and dangerous branch of the global terrorist network—had been a target in a suspected U.S. drone strike.
 
Khaled was not vengeful—he said Qaid had “chosen his path.” He was, however, upset—distressed that his once-proud family keeps finding itself mixed up in al-Qaida and the West’s so-called war on terror.

CONTINUE READING AT ROADS & KINGDOMS OR SLATE

Tuesday
Dec102013

Deported Yemeni migrant workers: Down and out

Tik Root | The Economist

HAGGARD and penniless, thousands of Yemenis are being dumped at the dusty and chaotic al-Tuwal border crossing with Saudi Arabia. As they pour out of dangerously overcrowded buses, aid workers hand them bread and juice. For many, this is the only support they receive. Freshly expelled from Saudi Arabia, the mass of deportees is now Yemen’s problem.

CONTINUE READING AT ECONOMIST.COM... 

Thursday
Dec052013

Militants stage complex attack on Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing at least 52

Tik Root | The Washington Post

SANAA, Yemen — Militants carried out a multi-stage attack on Yemen’s Defense Ministry early Thursday and clashed with government forces in the fortified compound throughout the day, leaving at least 52 people dead and scores injured, the government said.

The assault was the most ambitious in the capital, Sanaa, since May 2012, when al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a local offshoot of the global terrorist network, targeted a military parade with a suicide bombing that killed more than 90 soldiers. Although many observers here said they suspected AQAP was behind the latest violence, it remained unclear late Thursday exactly who was responsible or why the assault occurred.

Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee said in a statement that at least 167 people were injured in Thursday’s attack, which began just after 9 a.m. when a car bomb exploded outside the Defense Ministry’s western gate, shattering windows in nearby building and shaking panes across the city.
 
CONTINUE READING AT WASHINGTON POST...  

Saturday
Nov302013

Yemen’s New Ways of Protesting Drone Strikes: Graffiti and Poetry

Tik Root | TIME

An American drone hovers along a main thoroughfare in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Not a real drone, but rather a 7 foot-long rendition of an unmanned aircraft spray-painted near the top of a whitewashed city wall. Below it, a stenciled-on child is writing: “Why did you kill my family?” in blood-red English and Arabic script.

Painted by Yemeni artist Murad Subay, the Banksy-esque mural sits beside three others also admonishing the United States’ use of drones in Yemen to track and kill terrorism suspects. This drone art is part of Subay’s latest campaign, “12 Hours”, which aims to raise awareness about twelve problems facing Yemen, including weapons proliferation, sectarianism, kidnapping and poverty. Drones are the fifth and arguably most striking “hour” yet completed.

“Graffiti in Yemen, or street art, is a new device to communicate with the people,” says Subay, 26, who after taking up street art two years ago in the wake of Yemen’s Arab Spring revolution has almost single-handedly sparked the growing Yemeni graffiti movement. “In one second, you can send a message.”

CONTINUE READING AT TIME... 

Tuesday
Sep102013

Yemen: End Child Marriage

Field Producer: Tik Root | Human Rights Watch