Dear Friends of the Arabian Leopard,
It has just been brought to my attention that a video of an Arabian Leopard captured in Yemen was posted on YouTube on May 28, 2011:
The animal being tormented in the video is one of the most critically endangered mammals on Earth (up to 16 times rarer than the Giant Panda and 30 times rarer than the Bengal Tiger). As Yemen's National Animal (as of Yemen Cabinet decree on April 29, 2008) this animal should be fully protected by law. From the video it is obvious that the law is not working. Can you please take ten minutes from your day at the first opportunity to perform the following actions: 1) Watch the video and click "dislike" so that the person who posted the video, and everyone who subsequently watches it, begins to get the message that what the video depicts is unacceptable. 2) Write a message to Mr. Omer Ahmed Baeshen ( email@example.com), Director of the Endangered Species Unit of the Yemen Environmental Protection Authority and the CITES officer for Yemen demanding that the Endangered Species Unit at the EPA fully investigate this "incident." 3) Encourage your friends, family, colleagues, students etc. to do the same. 4) If you are Yemeni and can tell from the accents, clothing or any other clues the governorate where this took place, contact me immediately with this information. It is impossible to tell at this point when and where the video was taken, but knowing where and when it was captured will contribute to the effectiveness of future actions on the part of the Foundation.
Thank you. I'm sorry to have had to bring this to your attention, but devoting just a few minutes to these tasks right away will contribute in a meaningful way to the battle that the Foundation continues to fight. Sincerely, David
David B. Stanton Executive Director of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen P.O. Box 7069 Sana'a, Republic of Yemen Mobile: +967733916928 Fax: +9671370193 firstname.lastname@example.org www.yemenileopard.org
Monday, November 7, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
But just because FPLAY met their minimum goal doesn't mean that advocacy for this funding drive needs to stop. As David mentions, there are other projects moving forward that he would like to pursue, and there are administrative costs to running the FPALY office. Please continue to give right up to 11:59PM on September 30th!
FPALY's Kickstater webpage is located here. Thanks to everyone who found FPALY here and gave!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The money quote: "Short-sighted security goals may play well with American voters, but they get Yemenis nowhere." The fact is that American voters are largely unaware of what is happening in Yemen. If they knew, it wouldn't sit well with them either.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
September 17th: Clashes Erupt in Yemen, and a Sit-In Is Attacked
September 18th: Protesters Shot, Starting Battle in Yemen Capital
September 20th: Mortars Fall on Yemeni Capital as Battles Continue
Monday, September 19, 2011
Today, Sana'a International Airport was closed for the first time since demonstrations began early in the year. Yesterday, Yemeni security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters with anti-aircraft weaponry.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Anyone else getting tired of this?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
“The government did not stand quiet when the guards refused orders to clash with tribes and officials in the republican guards felt it was necessary that those who disobey orders are killed,” the official said.The big question, however, is whether the pilots were Yemeni or, as reported, Iraqi mercenaries doing the regime's dirty work.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations Releases Fiscal 2012 Appropriations Bill
(g) YEMEN.—None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated for assistance for the Government of Yemen until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that— (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Yemen is controlled by a foreign terrorist organization; (2) no member of a foreign terrorist organization serves in any policy position in a ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Yemen that is proposed to receive such assistance; (3) a comprehensive anti-terrorism vetting and tracking system exists for all Yemeni security forces personnel benefitting from United States security assistance; and (4) all ministries, agencies, or instrumentalities of the Government of Yemen that directly or indirectly benefit from United States security assistance are financially transparent and accountable.
Now, it seems, stringers for WAPO have been told where the secret base is. Is anyone surprised? The relevant passage in the story follows:
At the same time, the agency is building a desert airstrip so that it can begin flying armed drones over Yemen. The facility, which is scheduled to be completed in September, is designed to shield the CIA’s aircraft, and their sophisticated surveillance equipment, from observers at busier regional military hubs such as Djibouti, where the JSOC drones are based.So who's surprised? I am. I had predicted we'd all know where it was by the end of July, and I think the Administration will probably be able to keep the secret past this Sunday.
The Washington Post is withholding the specific location of the CIA facility at the administration’s request.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
For over a decade, the organized political opposition has sought to substantially reform the political regime in Yemen and to replace Saleh through legal and non-violent mechanisms. This opposition, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), is itself a cross-ideological umbrella of religious parties, socialists, and other leftist nationalists. Indeed, it is so ideologically diverse that issues of procedural and institutional reform have, for a long time, been all that the groups can agree to pursue in common. The Youth revolutionaries' critique of the JMP has centered on its gradual and incremental approach, and its perceived neglect of grassroots. Alienated over time from constituencies outside of Sana'a, the JMP had difficulty articulating a common position on the Huthi crisis, all but missed the emergence of the Southern movement, and was able to carve out only minimal concessions from an encroaching regime. In other words, until a mobilizing push came from Cairo and Tunis and they began to organize (reformist, but not revolutionary) protests of their own in January, the JMP appeared to be teetering on obsolescence.I want to thank Stacey Philbrick Yadav for an incredibly insightful article. It sheds light on the potential for the opposition in Yemen to play a part in the future success of Yemen.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Yemeni Opposition Leader Sadeq bin Abdallah Al-Ahmar: Ali Abdallah Saleh is a "Second Satan," Who Conned the US and Saudi Arabia with the "Boogeyman of Terrorism"
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
My guess? We'll all know where the secret base is before the end of July.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Secret from whom? Certainly NOT the Yemenis!
In the story, it is related that Abu Ali al-Harithi was killed by American jets. No, not that Abu Ali al-Harithi. He was killed by a drone strike in Yemen back in 2002.
Interesting to consider: when the first al-Harithi was killed, it came out that the US had been behind the strike after the Yemeni government had assured its people that they had run the operation. This is because senior people in the US government couldn't keep their mouths shut. There was an incredible amount of blowback.
Could this be déjà vu all over again?.
It is only days since President Saleh left the country. Yemen is on the verge of civil war. Yemenis already have a deep sense of mistrust for the US. Is this really the right time for a story of this nature to come out? Should we be telling Yemenis that, while most of them face the most trying time of their existence, the US will remain and potentially infringe upon their sovereignty, regardless of the political outcome in their country?
I don't think so.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The president of Yemen has made a serious mistake in rejecting the GCC's plan for a transition government to take over that troubled country. Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign the plan two days ago, throwing the whole process into doubt. His actions raise the prospect of serious violence engulfing the country within days.
Not only did pro-Saleh protesters put the lives of foreign diplomats at risk on Sunday, but they've engaged tribesmen of the Al-Ahmar clan in clashes in the capitol using tanks and RPG's. This is not what the average Yemeni deserves, and it is Saleh who history will declare the central cause of what looks like an impending civil war:
The protesters also have insisted that their movement is a nonviolent one. But as tensions grow between Mr. Saleh’s supporters and the tribesmen allied with the political opposition, the prospects of a nonviolent transfer of power grow dimmer... tensions have grown so bad that fighting could break out even without government provocation.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Now, our opposition to Iran's intolerance and Iran's repressive measures, as well as its illicit nuclear program and its support of terror, is well known. But if America is to be credible, we must acknowledge that at times our friends in the region have not all reacted to the demands for consistent change -- with change that's consistent with the principles that I've outlined today. That's true in Yemen, where President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power.
However, I found the speech to be pretty vanilla, and the idea that we are going to engage the Middle East in a different way moving forward a bit specious. President Obama said within the speech that
It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy. That effort begins in Egypt and Tunisia... both nations can set a strong example through free and fair elections, a vibrant civil society, accountable and effective democratic institutions, and responsible regional leadership. But our support must also extend to nations where transitions have yet to take place."
Love him or not, it was our past president, George W. Bush, who heralded this new age in American foreign policy with a speech he gave at the NED in 2003. He said:
Therefore, the United States has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
While academics (with far more wisdom on the situation) may still believe that Saleh will ultimately go, I’m no longer so sure.
Fresh from his success in killing Osama, President Obama seems to be walking a slippery slope by okaying a failed targeted assasination of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. The United States government - as directed by President Obama - is sending the absolutely wrong message to Yemeni protesters with this move. Only six days later, Salih had another dozen protesters killed (most in Sana'a).
Everyone knows that previous to the Arab uprisings Saleh only had a tenuous grip on the country. It was widely reported that, apart from oil and LNG facilities, the regime was only capable of governing a few cities. With so many people focused on AQAP and the security implications for the "western world," the question has yet to be asked as to whether the internal security situation relative to governance has changed to any significant degree?
Regardless of the defection of top generals, I don't think it has much. And from the looks of things, I think Saleh might agree.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I’d like to comment on the Carment piece first. While the article brings many of Yemen’s problem’s to light and may indeed be entirely factually correct, the author draws some interesting conclusions from assertions that are entirely undocumented within his paper. Carment claims that “Saleh’s government is heavily influenced by al-Qaeda Arabs: jihadists who fought for him in the 1994 civil war after their return from Afghanistan.” While it is true that “al-Qaeda Arabs” did support Saleh in crushing the southern secessionists in 1994 and General’s such as Ali Mohsen are widely known to be sympathetic to the salafist-Sunni trend, Carment in no way substantiates the contention that “Saleh’s government is heavily influenced by al-Qaeda Arabs.” Instead, he goes on to further assert that “today, Bin Laden supporters are thought to be in positions of influence in the military and the government.” Who thinks so?
The other assertion Carment makes is that “transitioning Yemen towards a more democratic system will only mean a hardening of tribal divisions and a deepening of the corruption, clientelism and cronyism that are rife throughout the country.” This claim is also undocumented and offers little in the way of potential solutions. What does Carment suggest with this statement? That Yemen should transition towards a more authoritarian government?
In sum, it is a piece that should have shown up in the op-ed pages of a newspaper, and not under the pretense of a scholarly report. To be a scholarly work – whatever its length – an author should always seek to substantiate his or her claims though documentation that directs the reader to where the author found the information that allowed him or her to draw their conclusions. This allows the readership to draw as objective an understanding as possible – especially if the claims made are as important as the un-sourced ones looked at above.
Objectivity draws my attention to the Glevum Report which, by the way, references the Yemeni peaceful protests that began on January 18, 2011 as “protests and riots.”
I would only like to address one question Glevum put to a polled group in Yemen. Question 14 asks “From what you know, or have heard from others, do the people in this area strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose: the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in Yemen?” 86% of those polled believed that other Yemenis either somewhat or strongly supported this statement. What was their motive for answering this way? Why wasn’t the question put directly to those polled? As a second order question (asking how one perceives the thinking of another), the data allows for too wide an interpretation. Do those polled believe the idea of an Islamic Emirate to be akin to what many Americans believe when they see the US as a “Christian Nation?” Are those polled more secular and making assumptions about their less secular brethren? Are Yemenis conditioned to this response regardless of their inner feelings and potential actions?
I could go on and on with similar questions. The truth is that the polled question is incredibly unclear and it is potentially dangerous to be disseminating (unqualified) information of this nature towards a western audience: information that (inadvertently?) plays upon the ongoing western public fear of the Muslim World and its efforts towards “Islamic Emirates.”
Whatever that means.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The person running The Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen is David Stanton. Please give if you can, and tell them you saw the documetary here!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Watch the "Inside Story" here:
The Gulf states are also in discussions about how the transitional government will take shape. As reported by Reuters,
"The talks in Saudi Arabia will discuss the modalities and mechanism for transition of power," another source close to the discussions told Reuters. "There are some names being circulated to head a transitional council."
These included Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, a leading figure among Yemen's powerful tribes, Abdulkarim al-Iryani, a U.S.-educated former prime minister and currently an adviser to Saleh, and another former premier Abdulaziz Abdul-Ghani.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Since 2009, the United States has showered Saleh’s government with military aid. But Washington is well aware that Al-Qaeda is an enemy of convenience for Saleh, and that the danger to the United States from post-Saleh chaos in Yemen is exaggerated.and...
The reality is that the United States has known for weeks that it cannot save Saleh’s regime. Its concern for Saleh’s political survival is closely linked to its guardianship of the Saudi regime
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
And speaking of Hakim Almasmari, he has kept up the drumbeat for the honorable exit of Saleh for the last few months. For those of us in the West used to leaders going peacefully into retirement, it's important to note that most rulers in the Middle East either die or are killed while in office. What Saleh could do for Yemeni society by peacefully entering retirement while remaining in Yemen and acting as the elder statesman cannot be overestimated.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
SANA, Yemen — As his tenuous grasp on power eroded further with more public figures defecting to the opposition, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted a proposal by his adversaries to plan his departure from office by the end of the year, a government official said on Tuesday. Previously he had offered only to leave by 2013.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Thank God for Al-Jazeera, which faces greater security risks than western media when reporting in Yemen, but nevertheless does a better job in educating English readers. Last week, they did an in-depth story on Tawakkol Karman and the protest movement in Yemen called "Yemen: A tale of two protests."
My favorite blogger on Yemen (and a foremost scholar), Gregory Johnsen, has an up-to-date list of defectors from the regime located here. This list is substantial - including the resignation of Yemen's ambassador to the UN, who resigned this weekend.
Friday, March 11, 2011
An intersting story insofar as the Governor and general secretary of the local council of Dhamar both went to visit this man in the hospital. I don't wnat to minimize the fact that both his legs were broken, but the insight to be drawn from this article is that he was visited by two of the most prominent men in the province.
My guess it that important personages not only do not visit anti-regime protesters that are injured and killed, but that they could care less.
How interesting. This News Yemen story relates that the "Head of the JMP, Yasin Saeed Noaman, said the president's new initiative 'aims to rescue the regime, but not the country.'"
In related news, Mohammed al Qadhi reports that the committee of tribal chiefs and clerics led by Sadeq al Ahmar - and responsible for mediating negotiations between the government and the opposition - claimed Mr Saleh was responsible for the heavy-handed tactics of the security forces in dealing with the demonstrations in Yemen.
In light of the above, it only makes sense that the GPC would be "disappointed by the decision of the opposition coalition," right?
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The website Al-Shorfa reports that Mohammed Qahtan recently claimed the JMP's stance regarding the regime to be that they continue "to support public calls for the end of the regime and will not give up on these demands."
While this isn't necessarily an admission that it is his personal point of view, and while he is an acting spokesperson, it is a step in the positive direction.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Okay, the guy's corrupt as well, but not as corrupt as Saleh himself. And I do believe he is a bit of an idealist with a better sense of what is wrong in Yemen than the president.
The entire interview is worth reading, but I'll reproduce a funny exchange between the Yemen Times and Hamid when Hamid voiced his scepticism over Saleh stepping down by 2013:
Yemen Times: "In spite of the fact that the Americans believe that he will step down in 2013?"
Hamid al-Ahmar: "(Laughter) He lies to the Americans! They know that he is the biggest liar in the world."
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
There are two Yemeni journalists writing in English that I read frequently and whom I suggest those interested in events in Yemen read as well: Nasser Arrabyee and Hakim Almasmari. Nasser is a freelance journalist while Hakim owns the Yemen Post.
In Nasser's most recent article, he speaks with opposition leaders who believe Saleh should step down before the end of the year. He also discusses a 7-point plan put forth by the opposition to solve the crisis, which was amended by Saleh to include an eighth point that "all parties are to end demonstrations and sit-ins to bring an end to streets [sic] congestion, prevent ...chaos, [as well as prevent the] destruction of public and private properties." Effectively denying the right to assemble.
Hakim Almasmari is a wonder to read when he writes editorials. Maybe he avoids the wrath of the regime because he only voices his opinions in English? In a February 28th editorial, he predicts the fall of the Saleh regime this March, going on to say "Everyone in Yemen is an enemy according to the regime. The southerners are separatists, the northerners are rebels, tribes are barbarians, and the political parties are foreign agents, which leaves no one loyal to the country except the ruling family that has stolen billions of dollars of wealth." Extraordinarily courageous writing!
In my opinion, the Islah party is the one to watch when it come to reform emanating from the "opposition." This is because of their dominance within the Joint Meeting Parties, as well as the fact that they are the most conservative political party within that grouping (thus, the most likely to acquiesce to the regime).
As Paul Dresch in "A History of Modern Yemen," and Ahmed Hezam Al-Yemeni in "The Dynamic of Democratisation – Political Parties in Yemen" both explain, at the party's foundation in 1990 it was made up of intellectual‐reformist Islamists (or the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood, personified by moderates such as Abdul Wahab al‐Anisi), a conservative tribal group (led by Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar), and a conservative‐radical salafi group (best personified by the infamous Sheikh Abd al‐Majid al‐Zindani).
With the recent defection of al-Zindani from the regime - albeit, his desire is to found an Islamic state - it looks like Saleh's authority is further eroding. Coupled with the almost complete defection of the al-Ahmar's, it will be interesting to see what reformist Islamists like al-Anisi and Mohammed Qahtan (a co-founder of Islah along with Zindani and Ahmar) decide to do in the near future.
Recently, Qahtan was quoted as saying "We support the people, but we wish they had waited a little bit to protest so much... the reform movement in Yemen requires wise deliberation. We need to be careful against taking an impulsive course of action, or there will be losses." I'm a bit sceptical of wise deliberation, as the deliberation in Yemen - be it a facade or not - has been going on for far too long.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Hussein Abdallah al Ahmar, brother of Sadeq al-Ahmar, the "sheihk of sheikhs" of the most powerful Yemeni tribe -- the Hashid -- has recently defected from the president's party (the GPC) and denounced Saleh as the "Imam." His brother, Hamid, is also a leading member of Islah and the JMP movement.
While Hamid has been (at times) a very vocal opponent of the Saleh regime since the crisis of 2005, this is the first time I am aware of that this son of Abdullah al-Ahmar (a man who towered above all others in modern Yemeni History) has made what seems to be an irrevocable break with the regime. Could it happen that Sadeq also turns his back on Saleh?
It should also be noted that the protests are getting larger, as attested to in this Washington Post article. Maybe there is hope for change in Yemen.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
As most people know, the dominating force in the JMP is Islah - the cat's paw of Saleh's GPC during the unification process in Yemen (which began with unification in 1990, and ended in 1994 with the defeat of southern secessionist forces). What most people don't know is that the YSP (or Yemeni Socialist Party) is not only the JMP's second most powerful party, but was the leader of the forces seeking secession in 1994. While the leaders of the JMP still do not look to have distanced themselves greatly from the regime, the coalescing alliance between the youth and the JMP described in this NYT article points towards some type of resolution of the problems in the south of Yemen.
At the same time, it looks as if the Houthi's in the North have been heartened by this nascent alliance, and have come out to protest in the thousands in Sa'adah.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
While Egypt had hundreds of thousands protesting, potentially approaching more than a million after all was said and done, Yemen can only point to hundreds. These numbers were easily outweighed by riot police and pro-Saleh supporters, who engaged the protesters in a rock-throwing contest.
On top of that, the opposition has agreed to enter into dialogue with the president.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
This NYT story hits the nail on the head without even trying to. While the military in Tunisia (though small) is considered impartial and professional, that is not the case at present in Yemen. While huge protests may be occurring, the tell here is the reportage of President Salih's Sunday press conference (where he apologized if he had ever made errors, as only God is perfect), where he promised to "raise salaries for the army, by approximately $47 a month, and denied reports that he is preparing his son as his successor."
The average monthly salary in Yemen is about $200.00 USD.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011