#OurYemen: challenging the portrayal of a country at war

I'm launching a new initiative on the blog today. As you probably know, media coverage of Yemen is dominated by the escalating conflict raging in western and central Yemen right now. The Saudi-led aerial bombing campaign, which began last week, has made this an international conflict, and has focused much more attention on Yemen. People from all over the world are paying attention to this corner of the Arabian Peninsula now, but all they're seeing is the war. But Yemen is not defined by its conflicts alone. When we founded the Yemen Peace Project more than five years ago, we promised to try to humanize Yemen, to show people in America and the rest of the world that Yemen is not a source of potential problems, but a real place, inhabited by real people. This new blog series, which we're calling "Our Yemen," is intended to remind our readers of that fact. Through this series, we'll be sharing photos and stories about the human side of Yemen. Each post will highlight a person, place, or feeling that defines Yemen for us. As Yemen's neighboring governments and major international powers continue to inflame an already horrific conflict, these posts will serve as a reminder. This is not their war zone; this is Our Yemen.

Mahwit1 YPP co-founder Dana Moss took the photograph above on a trip to al-Mahwit, in Yemen's western highlands, in 2009. This young man, born and raised on this mountain that is also a village, generously shared his seat as waves of clouds literally washed over us.

What defines Yemen for you? Send us your pictures and stories, and we'll post them here. Email us at info@yemenpeaceproject.org.