Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As Yemen Jumps onto our Radar . . .

Kudos to Ken Silverstein at Harper's Mag for this brief note that points us to some good sources for info - and continued reporting - about Yemen.  Among them, the "always interesting" Professor Marc Lynch at Foreign Policy as well as a primer from Michelle Shephard at The New Republic.

But I was especially happy to learn about the blog Waq al-Waq, published by Gregory Johnsen (a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen and currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University) and Brian O'Neill (a former writer and editor for the Yemen Observer and currently an independent analyst in Chicago).  Silverstein's piece links to this entry - What to do in Yemen: Five Basic Suggestions - and the blog in general looks to be very promising as the US wades into the new morass that Yemen is on the way to becoming.  The authors seem to know the region well, know Arabic, and propound a mission statement that grabs one's attention:
We both have been studying Yemen for years, and as the country has risen in importance, the quality of discussion has declined. We wanted to contradict some other individuals, blogs and commentators who have no experience in Yemen or with Arabic, and who turn the facts to fit their opinions. We feel that presenting a thoughtful and nuanced discussion of Yemeni affairs, based in knowledge of its history and culture is in the best interest of all.

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