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January 04 2012

Arab World: A Year In Pictures - Our Authors' Selection

Since Mohamed Bouazizi, a young Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in the small city of Sidi Bouzid on December 2010, a wave of unprecedented popular protests is sweeping the Arab world. The region has seen unprecedented events that no one could ever imagine witnessing in a lifetime.

Three Arab dictators have been toppled, some others forced to engage in reforms, while in other places the confrontation is proving to be painful and bloody.

In any case, 2011 is likely to remain engraved in the history of the Arab world as the year when people started raising against their oppressive regimes.

As we bid farewell to 2011 and look ahead to 2012, we asked our authors to share with you pictures that in their eyes have marked the past year in their respective countries. The following selection represents their choices.


Photo by Talel Nacer, used with permission

On January, 14, 2011 thousands of protesters gathered near the Interior Ministry building in Tunis calling for the fall of the regime of dictator Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali. Later on the same day, Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia.

Afef Abroughi


Author unkown

A powerful message from “the occupied city of Kafar Nabel”, Syria.

Leila Nachawati


Photo by KrikOrion, used with permission

Even though Lebanon has not witnessed a revolution in 2011, the Land of the Cedars was highly affected by the developpements and turmoil in the area. But for Lebanese it's the high cost of living that is haunting them the most. Following each wage increase by the government and even before the plan is approved by parliament, prices soar tremendously.

Thalia Rahme


Photo by Jillian C. York, used under a CC license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Palestine: “Marching United Towards Freedom”

Jillian C. York


Copyright Shohdi Al-Sofi, used with permission

The peaceful massive marches of Yemen which never stopped throughout the year are a testimony of Yemenis' steadfast and resilience and prove ultimately, like the billboard reads, that “victory is to the people”.

Noon Arabia


Picture posted on Twitter by @almakna

The above photograph, shared by @almakna on Twitter, shows the number of areas reportedly tear gassed by the Bahrain authorities in one night. On that particular day, I myself choked on the tear gas, spending the night and the following day sick and closely followed tweets and complaints by Twitter users from across the country.

Amira Al Hussaini

Picture posted on Twitter by @SanabisVoice

This photograph, from the Sanabis Voice, shows empty teargas canisters, collected from a small area, in one day. Such photographs are found in abundance online, shared by netizens on social networking sites, and tell a story that has been recurring for 11 months - a story not much of the world cares about.

Amira Al Hussaini


Picture by rouelshimi, used under CC license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

January 25, the first wave of protesters go to Tahrir square. It's the dawn of the revolution.

Tarek Amr


Copyright Amine Hachimoto. Used with permission.

The little girl looking up at this Moroccan Superman pausing in front of the parliament seems to be wondering if he can fly. Maybe he's an ultra-nationalist trying to make a point? Or maybe he's a supporter of the pro-reforms group February 20? It doesn't really matter. Because behind this amazing photo by Amine Hachimoto lies a new reality in Morocco: 2011 is the year when the street has become the theater of nonviolent political expression. Something that is likely to continue in the years to come.

Hisham Almiraat

September 22 2011


April 04 2011


March 14 2011

Yemen: A Life-Threatening Message to Blogger Afrah Nasser

Written by Afef Abrougui

This post is part of our Yemen Protests 2011 special coverage.

When protests first started in Yemen in January, President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised not to run for re-election in 2013 as an attempt to quiet angry protesters. However, this concession did not please anti-government protestors who have been asking for the immediate resignation of Ali-Abdullah Saleh and the fall of his 32-year regime. The government then turned to force, deploying thugs, live bullets, and possibly nerve gas to bring an end to a series of mass protests that have swept the country.

Afrah nasser

Afrah Nasser

Yemeni blogger, Afrah Nasser, lives near the anti-government protest area in the capital Sana’a and has been uploading photos and posts calling for revolution. Nasser is also a journalist at the Yemen Observer Newspaper.

She received the following life-threatening message on Facebook on March 13 and decided to post it on her blog the next day, “so the entire world reads it“. The original message was in Arabic and she translated to English:

يبدوبان بانالكلام والتعامل معك بالطيب لا ينفع , رغم الجلسات التي تمت بينك وبين الــــ ؟؟؟؟!! كانت توحي بطيبه واحترام وذوق الطرف الاخر لكن مايتضح هو بانك لاترغبين بالعيش في امن وامان مع امك المسكينه التي تعبت وضحت من اجلكي انتي واختكي المغتربه ,قدمت كل التنازلات الشخصيه من اجل الحفاظ على ابنتيها الوحيدتان وتربيتهن وتعليمهن حتى اصبح كل من حولها يحسدونها على هذا الشي ,لكن يبدو بان المقوله المشهوره لاتريد ان تفارقكي(العرق دساس “نـ….. ر” ) اتمني بان تكون الاستاذه القديرة/ @#$% هي قدوتكي في الحياه فلا تخالفيها واسمعي كل كلامها فهيا اعلم منكي بالتعامل مع الاخرين ولااضن بان هناك شخص اخر يعرف مصلحتك ويخاف عليكي اكثر من امك… كم اتمنى بان تكون هذة الام هي امي فسوف احاول اسعادها ولو بعمري …….

على العموم سيتم تجاهل كل الماضي ليس لاجل شي وانما لاجل تلك الام المسكينه المناظله التي لايتم مكافاتها بمثل هذة المكافه وهي حرمانها من احد افراد اسرتها بكل هذة السهوله مقابل طيشكي لانريد ان نفقدها كل تعب السنين الماضيه.

اتمنى بان رسالتي قد وصلت اليكي يابنت اليمن …..
اصحي اصحييييييييييييييييييييييييي فلا تكوني وامكي واختكي ضحيت طيشكي يامتعلمه

The Message received by Afrah Nasser, a Yemni Journalist.

It seems that peaceful discussion with you won’t work out. Even though the meetings you had with ???!!! that seemed nice and respectful and that the other party was kind to you, you see to keep on not wanting to live in peace and security with your poor mother who worked hard and scarified a lot for you and your sister’s sake; your sister who is abroad. Your mother did many personal sacrifices to provide decent education for you and your sister and make you decent educated people that every one envies her about. However, it seems the saying “ ……” applies to you. I wish that Mrs. @#$% is your role model in life; so don’t disagree with her and listen to all her orders because she knows better than you do and knows better how to treat people than you do and I don’t think there is any other person knows what’s better for you than your mother. Gosh! I wish this lady to be my mother so I could whatever it takes to make her happy.

Anyways, the past will be forgotten, not for the sake of anything but only for the sake of your poor mother who fought a lot for you and you awarded her with this award; that’s to deprive her easily of one of her family member because of your irresponsibility and recklessness. We don’t want her to lose all what she earned for the past years.
I wish you receive my message…..

Wake up, waaaaaaaaaaake up! Don’t make your mother and your sister pay the price of your recklessness, you educated lady!

Afrah's followers on both twitter and her blog were shocked and they expressed their support and solidarity.
WomanfromYemen tweets:

@Afrahnasser oh my God!!!! they are trying to use fear tactics to scare you. we are with you to support you.

Muna (@ArabsUnite) tweets:

@Afrahnasser OMG. We are with u, supporting u hope u stay safe, strong and make sure u keep proof as @WomanfromYemen said..

Amal says:

من انتم؟؟ من انتم ؟ يا من تهددون حاملي الاخبار !
هذا هو الجبن بعينه .. ومن ارسل هذه الرسالة سيجر خيبته ورائة عندما يسقط الطاغية وسيسقط اعوانه تباعاً!!

يالي فاكر نفسك رجال وبترسل هذه الرسالة .. شوف الرجال الحقيقيين في ساحات التغير !

Who are you?? Who are you?? Threatening reporters!! This is cowardliness… And the one who sent this message will be extremely disappointed when the dictator and his followers fall… You think you're a man for sending a message like this.. The real men are at Al-Taghyeer square

Mohammed Al_Shaheri posted this comment on Afrah's blog:

الشعب كله مهدد لكن والله لن يزيدنا هذا إلا إصرار وأصبري يا أختي فما هي إلا أيام معدودة فالنظام يلفظ أنفاسه الأخيرة

The whole people is threatened, but I swear that this will only makes us more determined. Be patient sister, only few days remain until the fall of the regime.

He ends his comment with a piece of advice for Afrah:

ونصيحة يا أختي أبقي قريبة من مظمات المجتمع المدني حتى إذا ما حاول أي شخص أن يمسك بسوء فلن يستطيع وسيردعه الخوف فهم لن يقوموا بأي شيء يهيج الشارع في ظل الأوضاع الراهنة

A piece of advice sister: stay close to the organisations of civil society, because in case someone tries to hurt you he will not be able to do it and fear will stop him. Regarding the current events, they will not do anything that will enrage the streets.

Afrah (@Afrahnasser) tweets:

الحقيقة تزعج الكثير من المواليين .. سحقا لهم .. لن يسكت صوت الحق ابدا

The truth bothers many supporters..Screw them.. the voice of the truth will never be silent

This post is part of our Yemen Protests 2011 special coverage.

March 01 2011

Yemen: Thousands Protest on Day of Wrath

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Thousands of protesters are marching across Yemen, in a Day of Wrath, to condemn Friday's attacks on protests in Aden and call for the end of the Ali Abdullah Saleh regime. According to Amnesty International, clashes on the day claimed the lives of four Yemenis, and left 26 wounded.

Saleh's call for national dialogue to end the protests, that have been taking place for weeks, have been snubbed by the opposition, who only want him and his regime out of power.

In the capital Sana'a, protests by both anti and pro-Saleh groups took place, while Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, accused both Israel and the US for standing behind the latest wave of protests across the Arab world.

On Twitter, the world continues to watch and react to developments in Yemen. Following are some reactions from Yemenis and tweeple paying close attention to developments on the ground:

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

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