Yemeni youth activists played a critical role in the popular movement that led to the end of Ali Abdullah Saleh’s presidency and the National Dialogue Conference that followed. In the wake of Saleh’s death, and suggestions of new alliances being formed, can Yemeni youth mobilize themselves again to serve as a catalyst for a negotiated end to the war and a transition to an inclusive, postconflict government? Is it even possible to imagine the resurgence of a cohesive youth “movement,” or have Yemen’s young people fragmented along with the rest of society? This panel will seek to address these questions and more.
A light lunch will be served.
Unable to attend? Watch live at 12:30 pm EST on Tuesday February 20. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #YemenYouth.
Fatima Abo Alasrar is a senior analyst for the Arabia Foundation. Prior to joining the Arabia Foundation, Abo Alasrar was the MENA director for Cure Violence, a research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, a Mason fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and an international policy fellow at the Open Society Foundations. From 2006-12, she worked as an advisor for the embassy of Yemen in Washington, DC. Earlier in her career, Abo Alasrar served as a program officer for the Department for International Development in Yemen. She holds an MA in public administration from Harvard University, an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in architectural engineering from Sanaa University in Yemen.
Waleed Alhariri heads the New York office of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and the center’s U.S.-based operations generally. His work includes advising the international diplomatic community, U.N. agencies, and international nongovernmental organizations on key Yemen-related policy issues. Alhariri authors the monthly report “Yemen at the UN,” which assesses the efforts of the U.N. Security Council and international community in relation to the Yemen crisis. Alhariri is also a Carnegie New Leader at Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Prior to SCSS, he worked with the International Peace Institute in supporting the development of the Arab Forum for Citizenship in Transition project, was a researcher and monitor of political and human rights developments with Human Rights Watch following Yemen’s 2011 uprising, and was a member of the International Constitutional Court Project Ad Hoc Committee, chaired by former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki. Alhariri holds a bachelor’s in political science and human rights from Hunter College, with a concentration in international relations and international human rights law.
Awssan Kamal has been working with diaspora groups in the United Kingdom to mobilize and campaign on humanitarian issues since the 2011 Arab uprisings. He co-founded the Yemen Relief and Development Forum, a charitable diaspora-led organization that invested heavily in policy and advocacy work in the U.K. In Yemen, he worked with a group of country activists under a collective called #SupportYemen to advocate for the rights of marginalized communities, including youth and women. This work led to a temporary relocation in Yemen where he worked for Oxfam in the governance program before moving over to U.K. advocacy. More recently based in the U.K., Kamal rejoined the Oxfam Yemen team as Yemen Humanitarian Campaign Lead.
Ambassador Stephen A. Seche is the executive vice president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He spent 35 years as a career U.S. foreign service officer. From 2011-13, he served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, with responsibility for U.S. relations with the GCC states and Yemen. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Yemen from 2007-10. At the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria he served as chargé d’affaires and deputy chief of mission. He additionally served as counselor for public affairs and director of the American Cultural Center in Damascus. Seche also spent two years as director of the Office for Egypt and Levant Affairs at the Department of State in Washington, DC.