Mafraj Radio episode 1

Welcome to the home of the new YPP podcast, Mafraj Radio! Our podcast will cover contemporary political, social, and cultural affairs in Yemen and the Yemeni diaspora from a range of sources and perspectives. Our aim with this podcast is to make Yemen accessible to casual listeners who don’t necessarily have a background in Yemen or Middle East studies, while still providing a level of depth and context you can’t get from mainstream media coverage of Yemen. On this episode, we take a look at two growing movements that are threatening the established political and social order in Yemen: the Peaceful Southern Movement, also known as al-Hirak, and the Huthi movement.

Our guests on this episode are:

Adam M. Baron is a freelance journalist based in Sanaa, Yemen who reports regularly for the Daily Telegraph, McClatchy Newspapers and the Christian Science Monitor. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, The Nation (US), The Daily Beast, The Economist, The Independent (UK), Brownbook, Vice and Sports Illustrated. He has been interviewed by radio and television outlets in the United States, Canada and Europe, including CBS Radio, ABC Radio, CNN, the CBC, NPR, RTE and various arms of the BBC.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he graduated from Williams College with a dual degree in Arab Studies and Religion. He has lived in Sanaa since January 2011.

You can follow Adam on Twitter: @adammbaron

Stephen W. Day Stephen Day is Adjunct Professor of Middle East Politics at the Hamilton Hold School at Rollins College in Florida (USA). He has written for many journals, including Middle East Journal, Middle East Policy, and publications of the Carnegie Foundation. His latest book, Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen: a troubled national union, is published by Cambridge Press.

Madeleine Wells Goldburt is a 2013 visiting research fellow at the AUK and a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the George Washington University, where she concentrates on comparative politics, ethnic politics, and international relations. Her dissertation research focuses on the politics of citizenship and social benefits in the Arabian Gulf. Prior to attending GWU, Ms. Wells worked for two years at the RAND Corporation analyzing rebellion and insurgency in Arabian Gulf and Horn of Africa. She also assisted with research for the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. Ms. Wells is a co-author of the 2010 RAND monograph Regime and Periphery in Northern Yemen: The Huthi Phenomenon. She holds an MA in Islamic Studies from Columbia and a BA in Government and Near Eastern Studies from Cornell.

You can follow Madeleine on Twitter: @SwellWells

For a brief but excellent history of the Peaceful Southern Movement (al-Hirak), I recommend that you read these two posts by Yemeni blogger Sama'a al-Hamdani: Part 1, Part 2

The video for the song Dana mentions at the end of act one can be found here:

A note about this episode: we make a serious effort to include Yemeni voices in each episode, but in this case it was not possible to record interviews with any of the three other guests we had planned to speak to before our deadline.