Written By: Elena White
Article Date: Jun 13, 2012 - 6:02:20 PM
Co-recipient of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, rights activist Tawakkul Karman has since her accession to world fame been patrolling the globe, spreading her “revolutionary message” throughout the western, said that she since she had been successful in promoting women rights she is now ready to tackle human rights internationally.
From her “mother of the revolution” status to “mother of all” Karman claims she will successfully transitioned as a global activist, patron of the human condition. Still bathed in Yemen revolution after-glow, Karman has been hailed the Joan of Arc of Yemen, often recognized as “the’ woman of her generation.
But if the international community is welcoming the 30 something mother of three, her fellow Yemenis are growing tired of her antics, accusing her of seeking the limelight rather than promote the nation’s interests or even combat oppression.
Nevertheless Karman spoke at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Thursday evening. Karman’s keynote speech kicked off a conference at the Kennedy School entitled “Culture Identity and Change in the Middle East: Insights for Conflict and Negotiation.”
Karman spoke of the daily contradictions faced by peaceful protestors in violent countries
“I continue to smell the fragrance of hope and fortune that will better our society.
However, I still see the blood of my friends…as well as the blood of our brother Arabs who were murdered and wounded in the Arab Spring Revolution,” said Karman, who spoke mainly in Arabic through a translator.
“Their only crime was to demand a better future in their homeland for all people and their desire for equality of all citizens.”
Referred to as the “woman who sparked the Arab Spring movement in Yemen“by Kennedy School Associate Professor Hannah Riley Bowles, Karman certainly had an impact on a global level.
Her detractors however, often fellow female activists, are now critic of her work, accusing Karman of conveying the “wrong type of activism”, preferring to stir polemics than promote practical change through conciliation. Others still feel Karman sought to self-promote herself for financial gain rather than stick around Yemen and build it from the ground up.
A young woman who actually worked with Karman at the NGO Women Without Chain told the Yemen Observer under anonymity that the activist was very good at taking credit for other people’s work, not elaborating further.
In any case Karman continues to generate polemic wherever she goes. Karman said in her address the Arab Spring revolutions are a response to corrupt dictatorships for which other parts of the world share responsibility.
Such regimes stem from general hatred “between nations, between people, between West and East.”
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