Tawakol Karaman: An Iconic Yemeni Woman

Tawakol Karaman, a journalist, Yemeni human rights activist and a mother of three has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, October 7 2011. Karaman, who created and is president of the Women Journalists Without Chains organization has been active in calls for freedom in Yemen for many years before the country’s uprising. Her years of tireless efforts for change in her country was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.

This amazing news brought only happiness to millions of people in Yemen and around the world. It gives a sense of hope for the future of Yemen and its people. It also shows the tremendous patience that many, like Karaman had to deal with for years in order to succeed and see their country finally rising against the president, Ali Abullah Saleh and the Yemeni government.

For those who haven’t really paid attention to the Yemeni uprising, women actually lead the uprising. They are the ones standing in front of the men in protests, that are held daily. What does that show to the world?

It shows the ability and ambition that Yemeni women have. The peace prize that was awarded to Tawakol not only shows that the women in Yemen have been proven to the world as strong and fearless ladies, but show that we aren’t “oppressed” or in a home, forever locked up.

“Yemeni female activist, Tawakul Karaman has won a Nobel Peace Prize. This is a win against Ali Abdullah Saleh, but a win for Yemen and Arab women empowerment. She is the most amazing Arab woman in the Middle East. As a Yemeni myself, I am very proud of Tawakol and all my country’s men and women who laid their lives for the future generations. Her courage gives all women strength to do what is right, no matter what the cost. This is a price to women’s role in activism and nonviolent struggle. She is an inspiration to me and all the women out there, that are trying to to build a fairer and more peaceful world” says Lola Sharif, a Yemeni American residing in Chicago.

From the start of the uprising, Tawakol Karaman lived in a tent in Change Square of Sanaa. She dreamt of a free Yemen and a better place for her people. A simple term that will change the country as we know it: Democracy.

Her efforts and strength never shattered, despite being threatened and arrested. Threats not only have targeted her, but also her family. This is because of her role in mass marches and protests in Sanaa. Her iconic image was and still is a fearful one in the eyes of Ali Abdullah Saleh and the rest of the regime.

But In the eyes of the millions of Yemenis and non-Yemenis, she shows characteristics of a hero; which includes bravery, courage, strength, determination and loyalty to her people and the revolution.

She is, an iconic Yemeni woman.

Today, on December 10, 2011 Tawakol Karaman had received the Nobel Peace Prize medal in Norway. As she walked up to receive her award, the attendees applauded and her smile was brightened.

Ahmed Fathi, a famous Yemeni artist, also called “the king of Oud” played his music at the Nobel Peace prize ceremony in Oslo.


About Summer Nasser
Blogger, with Yemeni roots based in New York City. Student of Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on the country of Yemen. I would consider myself a student of knowledge.

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