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Atiaf Z. Alwazir


The Myth of the "Yemen Model"

[Supporters of the people of Yemen during a demonstration calling for the departure of President Abdullah Ali Saleh and his regime 13 May 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Image by André-Pierre du Plessis/Flickr.]

Shortly following the internationally-funded uncontested election in Yemen, a high-ranking western diplomat berated me for not voting. When I asked him, "would people in your country be happy with a one-person election?" He responded: "people in my country are not trying to kill each other!" While not all diplomats think this way, unfortunately, that simplistic and ignorant statement is what drives much of western policy on Yemen -- if there is a policy ...

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Garbage Collectors and the Struggle for Workers' Rights in Yemen

[Honorary Ceremony for Garbage Collectors in May 2012. Photo by Atiaf Alwazir.]

“I will do everything I can to grow a field in the desert.” - Haidar Swaid, Member of the Garbage Collectors Syndicate In both the foreign and local press, conventional frameworks for understanding the uprising in Yemen locate its popular impetus within two main social groupings: the disaffected middle-class urban youth, who first occupied the streets and squares and called for an end to both corruption and the ruling regime; and tribesmen and political party members, who ...

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Atiaf Z. Alwazir


Atiaf Zaid Alwazir, currently a research fellow at The Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) working on the role of Yemen's independent youth movement in the National Dialogue Conference, is based in Sana’a, Yemen. Her career has focused on nonprofit work dedicated to promoting social justice. Since the beginning of the Yemeni revolution in January 2011, Ms. Alwazir was documenting and analyzing the situation as a citizen journalist/blogger in her blog and contributing to media outlets. Her work has been published in Arab Reform Initiative, Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Al-Akhbar and Foreign Policy. She is also a member of the Support Yemen video advocacy campaign to promote grassroots involvement and reforms in Yemen.