A vendor who sells donkeys waited for customers at the Souk al-Milh market in San’a, Yemen, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
[Credit : Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]
Social Media in Yemen: Expecting the Unexpected
"…it may seem unimaginable that social media would have an important role to play in Yemen where illiteracy rates reach approximately 45% according to UNDP and where Internet penetration is less than 2%.
However, it is important to note that a large majority of the Yemeni population are youth, by some estimates, close to 60 percent. These youth also represent the majority of users online. While it is important not to exaggerate the impact of this small group of users, it is also important not to disregard their effect.”
An Incomplete List of the Best Protest Slogans and Revolutionary Catchphrases of 2011.
- الشعب يريد اسقاط النظام/Asha’ab yurīd isqāt anizām
“The people want the fall of the regime” and it’s variations (The people want the fall of the Makhzen (ruling elite in Morocco), or the Field Marshal) is probably the most classic and well-known of all the chants. Its simplicity and versatility and its place in 2011’s incredible politics make it the shoo-in for first place on this list
- We are the 99%
This has been an inescapable slogan, and has resonated very powerfully with people’s experiences of economic injustice around the world, becoming a rallying cry and a point of unification for Occupiers.
The command, Leave!, is directed at despots, from Ali Abdullah Saleh to Field Marshal Tantawi. Another versatile protest chant that has been heard in revolutionary music, painted on faces and walls and shouted in the streets countless times over thecourse of 2011.
- يمكنك ان تدهس الورود، لكنك لا تستطيع ان تؤخر الربيع
“You can trample the roses but you cannot delay the spring” hardly has the ubiquity of “Asha’ab yurīd isqāt anizzām,” but happens to be one of my personal favorites.
- Strike like an Egyptian.
An expression of admiration and solidarity, playing on “Walk like an Egyptian,” acknowledging the incredible influence of the North African revolutions.
- The people are too big to fail.
The play on the famous phrase said about banks captures perfectly the intentions of the Occupiers and the potency of the Occupy movement.
- كن مع الثورة/Kun ma’ athawra
A beautiful sentiment: be with the revolution. Based on the saying “Be with Allah.”
- We are the power!
One of the more popular ones heard in recent Russian protests against Putin’s governance and rigged parliamentary elections.
- هو يمشي مش هنمشي/”Huwa yimshī mish hanimshī.”
This very catchy phrase, in Egyptian dialect, means “he will leave and we will not!”
Extras: Watch the teaser clip of director Stephen Savona’s documentary “Tahrir,” featuring footage of Egyptian protest chants. And watch Egyptian singer Ramy Essam perform his song “Irhal,” featuring a number of popular chants.
(Thanks to @ArabRevRap for input on this post!)
Any slogans in particular that you felt were amazing or influential in global protests this year?
Yemen. An anti-government demonstrator wears a blindfold and gag to protest the torture of detained protesters.
Credit: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters
This year, as protesters from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, Jordan to Kuwait were taking to the streets in the name of democracy, the security forces of those regimes struck back by threatening, jailing or attacking them. The Pentagon was there too — offering training in counterinsurgency, intelligence gathering and small unit tactics to those militaries and others around the Greater Middle East.
In “Making Repression Our Business, The Pentagon’s Secret Training Missions in the Middle East” at the Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com, I pull back the curtain of Pentagon secrecy to reveal what Washington is really up to in the region and how it stands at odds with President Obama’s rhetoric.
Photo: Soldiers from the U.S. 1/118th Infantry Regiment clear a building with an “insurgent” hiding in it as part of “Friendship Two,” a joint training exercise between U.S. soldiers and Royal Saudi Land Forces in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Credit: DoD
A vendor sells posters in Basta at Taghyeer (Change) Square, where protesters have been camping for around ten months, to call for the ouster and trial of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa November 28, 2011. [REUTERS]
In this Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 file photo, a female protestor, center, flashes the victory sign during a demonstration in Sanaa, Yemen demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Women are fighting to keep a voice for their rights sounding out amid the tumult of Yemen’s landmark revolt. The main goal of the protests by millions around the country, day in and day out since February, is the ouster of President Saleh.
A veiled Yemeni female anti-government protester watches thousands of protesters taking part in a protest against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana’a, Yemen, 16 September 2011. According to media sources, tens of thousands of Yemeni protesters took to the streets across the country demanding the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a day after the US said it sees encouraging signs between the Yemeni government and opposition to implement the Gulf-brokered power transfer proposal. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
A Yemeni soldier keeps watch as thousands of Yemeni anti-government protesters take part in a protest against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana’a, Yemen, 16 September 2011. According to media sources, tens of thousands of Yemeni protesters took to the streets across the country demanding the ousting of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a day after the US said it sees encouraging signs between the Yemeni government and opposition to implement the Gulf-brokered power transfer proposal. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
A Yemeni anti-government protester with an inscription painted on his face reading in Arabic ‘Syria’ shouts slogans against Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Syrian President Bashar al-Asad during a protest in Sana’a, Yemen, 15 September 2011. According to media sources, two Yemeni men were killed and three others injured in clashes in Sana’a between the forces of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and tribal gunmen loyal to anti-government protesters. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB