Protester Sets Himself on Fire, Yemen Remembers the Revolution

Days before the second anniversary of Yemen's revolution, Munif Al-Zubairy set himself on fire in capital city Sanaa, to show solidarity with the country's striking injured revolutionaries.

Atiaf Al Wazir tweeted:

@WomanfromYemen: At noon today,Muneef alzubairi set himself on fire protesting lack of care by Yemeni govt to wounded revolutionaries

@WomanfromYemen: Muneef who set himself on fire today is alive but suffering severe burns, he's currently in the hospital. #Yemen

Blogger Afrah Nasser posted a post about him in which she wrote:

Shocking images of Munif has spread like fire over social media websites but I hope those political leaders have bothered to see them. Munif was rushed to the hospital and he managed to survive. Though, he suffers from sever injuries. “I want us to have a second revolution,” he shouted while he was setting himself on fire, today.

Striking injured revolutionaries

The protesters injured during the revolution have yet to receive adequate treatment or care from the government. Following the death of Taha Mohammed Al-Ariqi, who was hurt during the revolution, a group of injured revolutionaries staged a sit-in protest (some even went on hunger strike) in front of the Cabinet office, demanding the government to provide them with financial aid to get treated abroad.

An Injured protester holding a sign that reads in Arabic “They rose on our blood and we beg them for medical treatment”.

Yemen Updates tweeted:

Injured protesters staged a sit-in at the cabinet gate &went on hunger strike protesting official negligence of their medical needs. #Yemen

Journalist Aron Baron added:

@adammbaron: morally, opposition politicians inability to secure treatment for injured activists is disturbing. politically, its simply moronic. #yemen

Remembering the Revolution

Yemenis are commemorating the second anniversary of February 11, 2011 – the day their revolution began.

Mohammed Al-Asaadi tweeted from Taiz where the revolution began:

@alasaadim: I'm in Taiz witnessing the crowds gathering to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of #11Feb revolution. A remarkable day for #Yemen & #Yemenis.

A design commemorating February 11th, the beginning of Yemen's peaceful youth revolution

A design commemorating February 11th, the beginning of Yemen's peaceful youth revolution

Yemen is known to be the second most armed nation in the world (after the U.S), yet Yemenis impressed the world with their peaceful marches. Men and women flooded the squares of Change and Freedom every Friday across 21 provinces, for over a year.

Two years have passed since Yemenis went to the streets “demanding, dignity, freedom and a life worth living”, as the SupportYemen team echoed in this video:

Yet looking back at what has been achieved many feel a bitter disappointment. Living conditions in Yemen have not improved, and according to some, have even deteriorated further. The country continues to suffer from electricity cuts and water shortages.

The military has not been properly reconstructed yet, although some decrees have been passed by President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi. The suffering economy has not improved either. Much needed development and relief pledged funds are still awaiting the “Friends of Yemen” conference in March, hosted by the UK. Also set for March is the ever elusive National Dialogue, which is supposed to deal with political divisions and bitter grievances that threaten the country's unity and draft the new constitution preparing for the 2014 presidential election. President Hadi chose March 18 to be the launch date of the conference – a date that some Yemeni found to be very distasteful since it marks the second anniversary of the “Friday of Dignity” Massacre in which 52 people were killed by the regime forces.

Osamah Fakih tweeted:

@osamahfakih: March18 for National Dialogue n #Yemen is provocation 2 obliterate the anniversary of the #Friday_of_Dignity.Nations have their own memorie

Summer Nasser added:

@SummerNasser: I find Hadi's decision to make the National Dialogue on March 18th, also known as the anniversary of Dignity Friday, disrespectful. #yemen

Journalist Adam Baron tweeted:

@adammbaron: as #yemen's elites squabble abt natl dialogue, most here remain mired in a daily struggle to eke out a living amidst a moribund economy.

Even Yemeni students studying abroad are suffering from the corruption that the new government inherited from the old regime which the revolution “supposedly” overthrew. Students in Algeria, Germany, Egypt, Sudan, Malaysia and Russia are struggling with financial difficulties and mis-treatment from the educational sector in the embassies abroad. They have been staging sit-ins in their respective embassies and so have their supporters in Yemen staging sit-ins in front of the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have been blaming each other for the responsibility behind their hardship. This video was uploaded on YouTube by VSJ Germany with messages od students in Germany recounting their problems and asking the government to solve them as soon as possible:

Mohammed Al-Asaadi tweeted:

‏@alasaadim: Saleh is toppled. Family rule in #Yemen are gone. Construction, development and advancement are to follow. Thx to #11Feb youth revolution


@alasaadim: These crowds I see in Taiz and are everywhere in #Yemen will defend their nation & revolution. #11Feb is the start of a long march.

Rooj Alwazir tweeted:

@Rooj129:STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!! Youth of #Yemen are striking tomorrow to bring the #revolution to victory! #feb11

Afrah Nasser tweeted:

‏@Afrahnasser: In the 2nd anniversary of #Yemen's uprising, I'd lik 2 congratulate th #US, #KSA & th rest #Gulf states 4 suppressing the people's revo.

Ataif Alwazir wrote a blog post: “Revolution 1.0 has ended & Revolution 2.0 has begun”
She wrote:

Those of us who have dedicated our life to speaking out about injustice, those of us who felt betrayed by the system, those of us who went to bed hungry, those of us who were tortured in prison, those of us who couldn't find a job, and those of us who had to face the corruption of the government on a daily basis, were ecstatic that this day has finally come. We all went out dreaming, and refused to wake up from our dream.

Then there was the biggest blowback, and the stab in the back to the youth revolution: the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council's plan, under the support of the “international community”. The plan gave immunity to Saleh & many in his regime. Adding insult to injury, the plan stated that there will be a “one man election” and that the next president would be Saleh's vice president-Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi.

With the signing of the GCC deal, it seems that everyone (regime and opposition parties) had a piece of the cake, except the independent youth who started the revolution with big aspirations for change and dreams of building a new Yemen.
A video of a Yemeni rap song commemorating the revolution's martyrs was uploaded on Youtube by sakhr galeb and was shared widely on Facebook and Twitter.

Despite the many disappointments, grievances, international interference, setbacks and unaccomplished goals, history has taught us that revolutions do not succeed overnight. A lot of commitment, effort, faith, hope, patience and above all time is needed for any concrete change to happen or for any desired results to occur. The fact remains that today is February 11, the day written in history as the date in which Yemen's revolution started… and seemingly it will continue for a long time.


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