In this episode we take our first look at the efforts of the international community in Yemen, a subject we'll come back to in several future episodes. The first segment features an interview with the UK's ambassador to Yemen, Mr. Nicholas Hopton, who summarizes for us his government's role in the country's affairs. This is followed by a chat with Ms. Kate Nevens of Saferworld, who talks about the non-governmental side of things. The episode wraps up with an excerpt from an interview with Yemeni writer and activist Farea al-Muslimi, who shares a personal perspective on US-Yemeni relations.
About our guests:
Ambassador Nicholas Hopton From the Ambassador's official bio: "Nicholas Hopton was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen in December 2011 and took up his post in January 2012. Nicholas is a career diplomat who joined the FCO in 1989 having studied at St Peter’s School, York, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College). He has also studied at La Sapienza University in Rome and ENA in Paris. With the FCO he has served overseas in Paris, Rome, Morocco and Mauritania. He is married with five children." Read Al-Sharq al-Awsat's interview with Ambassador Hopton here. Ambassador Hopton tweets at @NicholasHopton.
Farea al-Muslimi Farea al-Muslimi is a young journalist and activist based in San'a. He has made several trips to Abyan to report from areas formerly controlled by AQAP. He wrote about some of the issues covered in this interview here. Earlier this week, he wrote about a US air strike on his own village in Dhamar Governorate.
Kate Nevens Kate Nevens directs Middle East and North Africa Program at Saferworld, a UK-based international NGO. "Kate previously worked as the manager of the MENA programme at Chatham House, an international affairs think tank based in London, with a particular focus on youth and political inclusions issues in the region and international involvement in fragile states." Kate tweets at @KateNevens.
Please note: the lack of internet access and the state of the mobile phone network in Yemen makes it difficult to record high-quality interviews with people there. Please excuse the poor sound quality; we feel that the content is well worth the auditory discomfort.