Opinion makers

The history of Yemen shows a large list of notable and important Yemenis, including scholars, academics, muslims clerics, jew rabbis, poets and professors. Recently the importance of Yemeni opinion makers emerged clearly during the Revolution of 2011. Just to mention one of the most famous, Tawakool Karman is a Yemeni journalist and activist, belonging to the Islah Party, who fought for the establishing of a new country, spreading words of peace and defending women rights. Tawakool received the Nobel Prize for Peace and actually is the most famous Yemeni opinion maker and influencer all over the world.

The conflict started in 2015 polarised several Yemeni opinion makers around the parties at war. Twitter, which was an emerging social media during the revolution, became the place where some activist used their influence to orient the public opinion or, simply, became the best place to spread news about the situation in the country under the war and the siege.

Ali Abdulkhaiti, Mohammed al-Ruaba, Hayal Bafana and Hisham al-Omeisy are the most popular Yemeni influencers on Twitter, each followed by thousands, thanks also to their communication in two languages, Arabic and English. The last two give a daily on-the-ground insight about the war on Twitter. They show a clear and strong anti-Saudi position.

The critical voices take a considerable risk with their public opposition of any side. According to the Human Rights Watch Houthi forces, the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia, and different armed groups have arbitrarily detained people perceived to be security risks. Torture, sexual violence, and forced disappearances.

Over the past years thousands of people were arrested for peaceful assembling, while on other protests security forces used lethal force against the protesters.