Mafraj Radio #19: Alex Potter reports from San‘a

June 14, 2015

On this short episode we speak with American photojournalist Alex K. Potter, one of the few western journalists reporting from inside Yemen. Alex has been taking extraordinary photographs of life in Yemen for over three years. We featured her series Waiting for Guantanamo in our 2014 Film & Arts Festival.

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Mafraj Radio #18: Marib, Saudi politics, and Change Square in photos

May 6, 2015
On this episode we take a closer look at one of the many front lines in Yemen's civil war(s), the governorate of Marib, where local tribes are fighting to repulse pro-Houthi and pro-Saleh forces. We also talk about the politics behind Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen, and look back at Change Square, four years after Yemen's popular uprising.
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Mafraj Radio #17: Yemen’s civil war goes international

April 5, 2015

On this episode we discuss Yemen's escalating civil war between forces aligned with the Houthi movement and former president 'Ali 'Abdullah Saleh on one side, and Yemen's recently-ousted president 'Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi and other regional factions on the other. On March 25, a coalition of foreign governments led by Saudi Arabia joined the war, launching hundreds of airstrikes against pro-Houthi and pro-Saleh forces. Hundreds of Yemenis have been killed so far, most of them civilians.

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Mafraj Radio #16: 20 Years of Houthi History in 48 Minutes

February 25, 2015

On the first episode of our third season, we explore the origins and expansion of the Houthi movement, also referred to as Ansar Allah, and we look at how the movement has adjusted to its new-found power, following the fall of Yemen’s government. Get ready for 20 years of Houthi history in 48 minutes!

This episode features clips from Mafraj Radio episode 1, which featured interviews with Adam Baron and Madeleine Wells Goldburt, and episode 13, which featured Peter Salisbury and Hussain Albukhaiti. This episode also features new interviews with Albokhaiti and Baraa Shiban.

 

For more coverage of Ansar Allah’s coup and the events that have followed, check out the Mafraj blog. Hussain al-Bukhaiti’s op-ed, which we reference in the last segment of the show, can be found here.

 

Read recent reports on violence against anti-Houthi protesters by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

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Mafraj Radio Episode 15: UK Strategy, and Reprieve on Multiple Kills

December 10, 2014

On this episode we speak with Sir Alan Duncan, the British government’s Special Envoy to Yemen, about UK foreign policy and his thoughts on Yemen’s precarious transition. We also talk to Jennifer Gibson, a staff attorney for the London-based NGO Reprieve. Her recently-published report reveals damning details about the American targeted killing program.

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Mafraj Radio Episode 14: an accidental war correspondent, and two Yemeni-Americans making a difference

October 29, 2014

On this episode, we speak with journalist Laura Kasinof about her forthcoming memoir, and meet two Yemeni Americans who are working to make a difference in Yemen and beyond.

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Mafraj Radio episode 13: President Hadi vs. Ansar Allah

September 16, 2014

On this episode we look at the Huthi movement, which is waging a campaign of expansion in northern Yemen, and calling for the fall of the government in San'a.

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Mafraj Radio Episode 12: Tracking Leopards and Drones in Yemen

August 15, 2014
On this episode we speak with American freelance journalist Gaar Adams about protecting Yemen's environment and wildlife, and to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Jack Searle about reporting on drone strikes and casualties.
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Mafraj Radio Episode 11: A new voice for air strike victims

May 28, 2014

On this episode we learn about the National Organization for Drone Victims, a new network seeking to give voice to the suffering of Yemenis affected by air strikes. We also learn about a program helping Yemeni-American youth in New York express themselves. 

Since 2002, the US military and CIA have been responsible for a huge number of air strikes inside Yemen, targeting members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At least 15% of those killed in the strikes have been civilians. Because the US targeted killing program is operated in secret, researchers have struggled to compile accurate statistics on the strikes (we’ll talk more about this in our next episode). Two organizations that try to track strikes and casualties are the Bureau for Investigative Journalism and the Long War Journal.

The Arab American Family Support Center, in Brooklyn, New York, provides a wide range of services to immigrant communities in Brooklyn. Visit their website here. Photos from the public screening of youth-made videos from the Center’s “I need to be heard” program can be found here.

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Mafraj Radio Episode 10: Remembering al-Karamah, Panel Discussion

March 18, 2014

On this special episode, we mark the third anniversary of the day known as Jum‘at al-Karamah, or the Friday of Dignity, on which regime forces massacred unarmed protesters in San‘a’s Change Square. The massacre, which is powerfully documented in the Oscar-nominated film Karama Has No Walls, became a turning point in the Yemeni Revolution of 2011.

We’re screening films about the Revolution as part of our inaugural International Film & Arts Festival. At last weekend’s Festival event in Washington, DC, we invited a panel of expert special guests to join us for a discussion of the films, the Revolution, and its aftermath. This episode of the podcast features excerpts from that fantastic discussion panel.

About our guests:

Amal Basha is a prominent human rights activist, and the head of the Sisters’ Arab Forum. She was a delegate to Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference, and served as spokesperson for the NDC’s technical committee. She is also the mother of activist-filmmaker Ammar Basha, whose documentary series Days in the Heart of the Revolution is featured in our Festival, and the aunt of Mohammed Albasha, below.

 

Mohammed Albasha is the spokesperson for the Yemeni embassy in Washington. He is one of the most visible–and controversial–public faces of the Yemeni state.

 

Sama’a al-Hamdani is a political analyst and researcher, based in Washington, DC. She writes one of the most respected blogs on Yemeni affairs, and tweets at @Yemeniaty.

 

Laura Kasinof is a freelance journalist, writer and researcher whose work focuses on the Middle East. She was the Yemen correspondent for the New York Times during the anti-government protests of 2011, as part of the Arab spring. Laura’s first book, Don’t be Afraid of the Bullets, about her experience in Yemen, is to be published in Fall 2014 by Arcade. She tweets at @kasinof.

 

Nabilah al-Zubair is a prominent Yemeni activist, and served as a delegate to the National Dialogue Conference/

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