“I felt like Yemen was locked from the world… I couldn’t take it anymore I needed to know if my country is safe”
I was just a normal 17 teenager who enjoyed being with friends… The Arab spring came and I was totally transformed.
It was the last and final year to finish 6th form where I was going to be heading to university a couple of months later… At this important time, for anyone my age, who are in the UK, all making up their mind up for what they wanted to do next in their life. But me, I honestly didn’t care much, like I should be. I was too busy following the Yemen Revolution that I forgot my personal life. I skipped University. There are a few reasons why, but I really didn’t care about university at the time. My mind was only thinking about one thing only. That was the Yemen Revolution. I used to wake up first thing in the morning to watch the news of any hope that I’ll see how the people of Yemen are managing.
photo by: Aroundtheworld
At the start of the Revolution, I didn’t bother much about getting involved in it. I was just a follower and a supporter because never did I think it would take more than a month-I expected it to be as quick as the Tunisian and the Egyptian. A month was gone then another month… that was it my faith in this Revolution and the people started to fade. Time went pass and Yemenis were still determined. I never thought they would stay this patient. Never! I was of course happily proving wrong. The numbers started to increase and Increase and for once I felt so proud to be Yemeni. I forgot for once, I am also British.
These were the Yemeni people who have been lowered by many and in many ways. They stood up high and said it loud and clear. We want the reason who has lowered us to be lowered. They said we want this dictator and Regime to fall. A moment of Respect and proudness.
I started speaking about Saleh and the Revolution, even though I was in a free country who believed in freedom speech I never felt I could do so, maybe due to my young age, maybe because I never felt I was capable of that or maybe because I was never into politics. But surely I wasn't scared of doing so.
I spent my time following the news about the revolution, this revolution has put me in numerous emotions. Putting me in depression for taking longer than the other revolutions which have made me annoy so many people. Every break time during my studies I would go to the corner shop that was by my school which was owned by a Yemeni. I would go and ask has he fallen yet? The answer was always: No, he’s still too selfish!
It was around May, I was behind work, and deadlines were running in an unstoppable pace. I needed to focus on my work so I undesirably stopped following it. Work was done. School finished and over. Summer holiday came. I turn 18 and the Yemeni people remained in the streets. Media stopped paying attention to the Yemen Revolution; I didn’t know where else I could get my news from! I felt like Yemen was locked from the world… I couldn’t take it anymore I needed to know if my country is safe. For all I know things won't be any good, They aren't just facing a corrupt person but a criminal who all my life I have been hearing about and didn't understand why my dad hated him until I went back to yemen when I was 13. So I made a twitter account and there I was following it in detail, not missing a thing.
I met many amazing Yemenis who are truly after change and who love their country more than anything. Through twitter I went through an enormous emotions, I was sad, hurt, I cried, I begged, I screamed, I hoped, wished and screamed my happiness to the world when the unexpected Nobel Prize was given to the Yemeni women Tawakul Karman.
Then I wanted to do more than just tweet, I have never been into writing never mind be a good writer. But I felt the urge to write, anything, for Yemen… I used this blog which was started before the Yemen Revolution but was empty; I used it to write my thoughts on things related to Yemen, though I didn’t get much of my thoughts out, hence the half empty blog.
Since I started writing, I received a long email from someone I know personally who was a pro Saleh; I wasn’t annoyed by it but hurt. I simply replied with: “You came here (UK) seeking a better life, many in Yemen can’t even afford food for a day never mind seek a better life elsewhere. And you don’t want me to ask for a better Yemen?”
I turned from a follower and supporter to an activist; I do all I can for my country behind a screen. I want to go further than being behind a screen but when you have family who are always worrying about my future it gets hard. And for my family I still remain the unknown Najla without a surname and without a picture who is dreaming of a better Yemen and change in this world.