News / Middle East

Yemeni Peace Prize Winner Tells VOA Struggle Will Continue

Al Pessin

The Yemeni activist who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize says the democracy movement she helps to lead will continue, in spite of the transition plan developed by the Gulf Cooperation Council and endorsed by the international community.

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis have marched for freedom in all corners of the country this year, eventually forcing President Ali Abdullah Saleh to agree to step down.

But the process he agreed to calls for an end to the demonstrations and sit-ins.  That is something Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman says will not happen. “Of course not, people will continue their peaceful revolution until they reach all demands and goals," she said.

The transition plan would put Mr. Saleh’s vice-president into power.  Karman calls it undemocratic, corrupt and contrary to everything the revolutionaries have been protesting, fighting, and dying, for.

“We will stay in the squares until we reach to a new country, democracy country and modern country," she said.

It has been a long road for Tawakkol Karman, six years of writing and protesting, and the past year living in a tent on Sana’a’s main square.

Now that foreign leaders are listening to what she says, she wants them to freeze the assets of the Saleh regime and prosecute the president at the International Court of Justice. “I trust them and I believe that they will act now.  If they will not, they choose wrong way because we will achieve, we will succeed, and we will not go back.  We will not go back.  We choose the way of freedom and dignity and democracy country, and we will reach to this period.”

Karman says Western leaders are wrong if they think a popular Yemeni government would hurt their efforts to fight al-Qaida and other terrorist groups operating in the country. “Ali Saleh and his regime,  they are the environment of terrorists and of al-Qaida. “We know that dictatorship means al-Qaida.  And we know also that we are the only ones who [have] interest and who will dry al-Qaida and its resources.  We are the future and we believe that we have the responsibility to do that," she said.

She says the youth in the Middle East are learning that peaceful protest is the best way to achieve their goals, not terrorism.

At 32-years-old, the journalist and mother of three is the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. "The crisis around us, the crisis," she said when asked what motivated her. "Our country collapses around it.  And there was a question, how can we save our country, and how can we be part of the solution, not the problem.”

The Nobel Committee says it gave Tawakkol Karman the Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle, particularly on behalf of women.

She says that struggle will continue.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid