A Fine Balance
In 2011, along with many other countries of the Arab world, Yemen started a revolution. Thousands of people from all walks of life and corners of society took to the streets to demand Ali Abdullah Saleh step down from his presidency. The scale of the protests were unprecedented - tribesmen laid down their weapons to join university youth in the Change Square, and women spoke alongside men to demand their dignity.
After Saleh left, Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi took power after a one-man election and transition organized by the Gulf Cooperation Council. The transition process did not go smoothly, and Yemen drifted further from the goals of the revolution. Yet while sheikhs, politicians, and foreign policy experts planned out the country’s future, Yemeni citizens: men, women, and youth continued to fight for change. Yemen has been plagued by Al Qaeda in the south, tribal conflict in the north, a water crisis, and widespread malnutrition: the country truly lies on a fine balance.
Yet the most important element of Yemen is what many do not see – the strength of the Yemeni people, their deep national pride, ingenuity of the youth, and undying hope for a new Yemen.
A Yemeni woman walks next to the Old City of Sana'a.
Yemeni protesters pray at Change Square in Sana'a, which they occupied for over a year during the Yemeni revolution.
A Yemeni woman votes in the one-man election, the candidate the only choice according to the Gulf Cooperation Council who brokered the peace deal.
Foreign and UN diplomats gather at a press conference where former President Saleh formally handed over power to President Hadi.
Members of the Yemeni military march in a parade to commemorate the end of the revolution.
Yemeni women graffiti the walls near the Presidential Palace, calling for the former President to be tried and convicted.
A bleeding heart is displayed at the field hospital in Change Square.
A Yemeni man releases a dove during a march to commemorate the end of the revolution.
A Yemeni girl runs through the Change Square in the coastal city of Hudaydah.
Yemeni men greet each other before a theater performance in Sana'a.
Yemeni men repair the walls of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Yemeni men chew and sell qat, a stimulant leaf that controls much of Yemen's economy.
Yemenis from the southern city of Aden march through the streets calling for independence for the South.
Yemeni children watch a performance at Change Square commemorating one of the deadliest days of the revolution.
Yemeni children, displaced from their homes in Abyan due to fighting with al Qaeda.
A Yemeni man looks for his name before going to vote in the one man election in Sana'a.
Adeni women hang the flag of former South Yemen on the steps to Seera Fortress in Aden.