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Yemen Through Our Lenses

Holding a photography exhibition about Yemen by Yemeni photographers in Stockholm

About the project

My name is Afrah Nasser and I'm abloggerandfreelance journalistfrom Yemen living in Sweden. I have been blogging since January 2010 about Yemen and, last year, CNN.com has featured me onthe 10 must-read bloggers from the Middle East. -- By all that, I mean I'm really trust-worthy! ^__^

Plus, I'm very passionate about journalism and Arts. I'm very keen to tell the truth and journalism gives me the chance to do so. I'm also Arts junkie; truly believing that Arts are food for souls. On top of that; I have this habit; every morning I wake up with a strong aspiration for achieving my dreams and goals. Basically, that's what keeps me going! 

One of my favorite proverbs says, “If it's dark, go and light up a candle” and through this project, I'm attempting to light up a candle in the midst of all the bleak current situation Yemen suffers from. -- I don't wanna just complain; I need to do something. I want to walk the walk.

Hence, I came up with a project that is to hold a photography exhibition about Yemen in Stockholm, titled: “Yemen Through Our Lenses”; exhibiting fascinating and creative photography works from Yemen by Yemeni photographers.

Photo by Yemeni photographer Eman Al-Awami.

I think this project is so important because it would highlight aspects of Yemen by Yemeni photographers with their artistic photography. Seriously, if you just take a look at those wonderful photos by the Yemeni photographers, you'd know what I mean!

Here is Yemeni photographer, Boushra Almutawakel depecting women's gradual invisiblity within a conservative society like Yemen, in this powerful work titled "Disappearing" which is part of herHijab Series. 

You can watch here an old clip about her and her Hijab Series project:- 

And the photo below is one of my most favorite photography works by the talented Yemeni photographer, Ameen al-Ghabri. He beautifully mixed traditional fashion with today's fashion. The red fabric is one of the most traditional outfits Yemeni ladies wear when they are walking on streets, it's called "Sitara" .. and the boots looks so in! ^__^


And here above, Yemeni photographer, Abdulrahman Jaber masterfully depicts a very paradoxical situation at a certain point in Yemen during the protests in this photo titled: "Situation". He explains, "Situation concept was born during the days of the clashes in Yemen ... During that days, many people tried to continue move on with their lives but even though .. they couldn't hide their true emotions & feelings .." 

Jaber has posted a series of photos under the same title, you can view them(here). Plus, you can watch behind the scene video of shooting "Situation" here below:-

There are other many touching photography works by Yemeni photographers who will be part of  the exhibition for sure.  

In a nutshell, since Yemen is going through tough times, this could be one of the ways to support it. The exhibition aims to raise an interest about Yemen in general, to let the public enjoy the photography works, to support Yemeni photographers to become a bit international, and, most importantly, the exhibition's revenue would go to fund couple projects inside Yemen in cooperation with local NGOs that I personally know they would do terrific work for vulnerable groups. 

What are the funds for?

To pull this project together, I need €6,000 as funds to:

*Buy 15 images with high resolution quality from the photographers.

*Print out the images professionally by trusted professional printing company in Stockholm and make them in decent frames provided by the printing company.

*Rent an Art gallery in the middle of Stockholm for one week.

*Print posters for publicity before the exhibition.

*To rent a truck to carry the images from the prining company to-from the gallery. 

*To cover expenses of the rewards. 

*To cover taxes for the total amount of money raised. 

Any more raised money, would directly go to the local NGOs inside Yemen.

About the project owner

As I mentioned, my name is Afrah Nasser, 27 and I'm blogger and freelancer. I grew up in Yemen and lived there all my life, except the past one year. Right now, I live in Sweden.

I've always loved writing since I could ever remember and blogging has given me the chance to write and write and write! ^_^  I'm a BA holder of English Linguistics from Sana'a University, the capital city of Yemen - 2008. I belong to a humble working-middle-class family. Something I'm really proud of is that I was the first person from my whole family members to be graduated from University. During my college years, I developed a sense of interest about human rights and, most importantly, about feminism. 

Later, in 2009, I joined the Yemen Observer newspaper and worked as a full-time reporter. I was the only female journalist in the whole newsroom; which was very challenging but it was fun. I was being called Mr. Afrah! ^_^

I had the chance to report about wide subjects related to society and culture of Yemen. I was also lucky to have been traveling around the world participating in workshops, training courses and conferences which widened my knowledge about global issues. In 2010, I started blogging on my blog, www.afrahnasser.blogspot.com, about random thoughts I had. 

In January, 2011, the uprising started in Yemen and, as many netizens in Yemen, I used my blog as a tool to spread the word about Yemen's pro-democracy movement. Since censorship in Yemen is very high, I had to counter the risk for being outspoken. Accordingly, I have repeatedly received death threats for my writings. 

In May, 2011, I came to Sweden to participate in a leadership program by the Swedish Institute and decided to seek asylum for two reasons. One, for the death threats I was receiving. Second, because of the violence erupted in Yemen in that time.

Around 2,500 people were killed and 8,000 were injured by the security forces' crackdown on protesters. Today, Yemen is facing a severe humanitarian crisis with 10 million people -- 44 percent of the population -- without enough food to eat. Millions of people are unable to afford to feed their families, and are being driven deeper in poverty. With 58% of children in Yemen under the age of five stunted by amlnutrition, Yemen has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, behind Afghanistan. It's catastrophic! 

I resist very hard being depressed about that and I try to focus on using my humble and imperfect skills to tackle the issue. 

Now, I need to take it to higher level and initiate a project for Yemen and that's how the idea for the exhibition started. I need to have something concrete for Yemen; not just writing. I believe I have the imagination, time and energy to make it happen; I just lack the funds. I really hope through your generosity and ulule.com I can realize my project.

Thanks in advance for your support! 

Don't forget to like the exhibition's Facebook page here.

If you are interested in getting involved in the project in somehow, please contact me through my blog, twitter and/or Facebook