The revolution ate my homework – Five Yemeni bloggers you should be following

Much of the West’s knowledge of what’s happening in Yemen at the moment is coming from a handful (I can count them on one hand) of foreign journalists based in the capital Sana’a. As brilliant as those guys are they’re no substitute for local Yemeni journalists who know both the language, the people and the ins and outs of Yemeni politics far better than any ajnabi ever will.

In the past couple of weeks a number of young Yemeni bloggers and youth activists have sprung up on the web. Armed with twitter, facebook accounts and blogs, they’re doing an invaluable service in disseminating timely, on-the-ground updates as well as a much need Yemeni perspective on what’s happening here.

Here’s my selection of young Yemeni journalists/bloggers/photographers who I think you should be following.

Let me know if there are others who think deserve a place on the list.

Afrah Nasser

Afrah describes herself a ‘A young Yemeni woman who was born to be a writer.’ She’s a journalist at the The Yemen Observer and was recently interviewed by IWPR to discuss Yemeni women’s role in the demonstrations. Her blog gives you snapshots into the lives of protesters as well as her own views on what’s happening. Twitter: @Afrahnasser

Hamza Shargabazi

Hamza is a Yemeni doctor and a political activist. He runs a fascinating blog called Late Night Surgery where he discusses everything from Islam’s view on software piracy to swine flu.

He’s recently set up a vblog called revolutionary updates where he posts on-the-ground face-to-camera videos from the protests at Sana’a university. Follow him on twitter: @ichamza

Watch his latest video shoot from the roof of a house above the Sana’a sit-in where he tells the American ambassador what Yemen’s protesters want.

Nasser Arraybee

I think its safe to say that Nasser is Yemen’s most well established (English-speaking) journalist. He writes for The Yemen Observer, Al Ahram Weekly, Gulf News. His blog is gives balanced, independent reports with details you won’t find in the mainstream western media. He’s recently started tweeting, follow him: @narrabyee

 Alaa El-Aghbari

Alaa is an amazing source of information for those who want to know what’s going on in Yemen’s volatile port city of Aden.  He gathers mobile videos of attacks on protesters as well as the latest statements from youth protest organizations and posts them on his blog Opinions.

His tweets are regular and invaluable: @AlaaIsam

Osama Al-Eryani

Two weeks ago Osama, a budding photojournalist, flew back to Sana’a from New York in order to ‘witness his country’s revolution.’

He’s set up a blog called the revolution ate my homework, in order to document his trip. Every day he posts a photo or a story giving a behind-the-scenes, personal and moving account of what he’s seeing. On day 6 his father, Yemen’s Minister of Water and Environment, resigned from the government in response to the killing of peaceful protesters. On day 13 he joins a group of youth activists who are trying to get political representation by distancing themselves from the opposition parties.

Here are a few of his photos, his flikr account is well worth a look too.