In a bid to shine a light on the incredible work of Yemeni women around the world, British-Yemeni artist and musician Intibint founded the online platform Al Yamaniah.
Building on her existing platform on Instagram, the London-based creative launched Al Yamaniah in March 2020 in collaboration with six other Yemeni women who share a common goal of changing the global narrative surrounding women in Yemen.
Since the civil war in Yemen started in 2015, the image of the country in the media is largely dominated by the war, and narratives of everyday life and Yemeni people are largely if not entirely absent.
“In the media, conversations surrounding Yemeni women have always focused on undermining their position, and push aside the fact that despite the difficulties faced from the war in Yemen, as well as other issues, they continue to rise and contribute greatly to wider fields including music, politics, science, and development,” Intibint told The New Arab.
The team is currently formed of Intibint, Asma Ibrahim, Anwar Baobeid, Afraa Ahmed, Shaima Al Mekhlafi and Makadeer Kassim.
Through the platform, the team are hoping to change the conversations surrounding Yemeni women and create a space to inspire people through highlighting examples of brilliant Yemeni women.
Al Yamaniah seeks to change the global narrative surrounding women in Yemen
“There are so many talented Yemeni women and we wanted to bring them all to one place,” says Intibint.
The 30 Yemeni Women Campaign
At the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the platform launched the 30 Yemeni Women Campaign through Instagram.
The campaign is in its second year, having taken place on Intibint’s platform last year, and celebrates women from a range of fields including art, healthcare, and journalism among others.
“The idea of a 30 Yemeni women campaign came to me as a way to expand the conversations that occur during this month. As we post about a woman each day we hope that their achievements will be discussed around the Ramadhan table,” Intibint told The New Arab.
This year, with the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, the campaign has been tied to a fundraiser to raise money for the ongoing work of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an NGO who provide emergency life-saving services for women delivering babies, people injured in fighting, and children suffering from malnutrition.
Over 500 people are thought to have died so far after contracting the coronavirus in Aden, a main city in Southern Yemen, according to local health officials.
Having suffered damage to its health infrastructure as a result of the armed conflict, the spread of the virus is particularly worrying in Yemen, and it is feared that the country will not be able to cope under the strain of the pandemic.
As this situation unfolds, the work of Al Yamaniah becomes increasingly urgent. At the time of writing, Al Yamaniah had raised over £3,215 for MSF through their campaign.
The inspiring work of Yemeni women
Esra’ AlNaggar is a Yemen-based journalist and writer. After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Sanaa and working as a journalist for some time, Esra’ launched The Elixir Magazine – a publication aiming to revive the importance of reading.
Her motivation for launching the magazine came from a desire to educate people on the benefits of reading and learning, but also to prove to the world that Yemenis can produce regardless of the ongoing war.
Commenting on the work of the Al Yamaniah platform Esra’ says “as a Yemeni woman, highlighting the work I am doing helps The Elixr Magazine gain better recognition and creates more opportunities for us to grow both on the local and the international level.”