Publications

  • Three Weeks in a Houthi Prison

    On May 15, 2015, I sat between two Yemeni officers in a police truck behind the Criminal Investigation Department in Sana’a. “You’ll be free in two hours,” one of the officers told me as he stared anxiously at the building, which housed a prison run by the US-backed Counter-Terror Unit (CTU).

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  • Journey into Shabwa

    In November, the Sana’a Center organized a visit by an international press delegation to Yemen’s Shabwa governorate. This was the third such trip the center has arranged, with previous ones being to Marib and Hadramawt, and came as part of the Sana’a Center’s continuing commitment to ensure the world, through its media, has a window…

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  • Al-Mahra: Where Regional Powers Define Local Politics

    Although far from the frontlines of Yemen’s civil war, Al-Mahra governorate remains an important battleground for Gulf powers competing for influence in the conflict. A Saudi military buildup in Al-Mahra, purportedly aimed at slowing the flow of Houthi-bound weapons from Iran, reached a tipping point in February when fighting broke out over the mounting restrictions on cross-border trade. The clashes immediately preceded the appointment of a new governor who has been less divisive than his predecessor and has found some…

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  • The Struggle Far From Home: Yemeni Refugees in Cairo 

    Since 2015, the devastating conflict in Yemen has created a debilitating economic and humanitarian crisis and displaced millions of Yemenis. While the vast majority of displaced Yemenis remain within Yemen — around 3.65 million — Yemenis who do seek safety abroad most often flee to countries across the Arab world, including Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti and Jordan, as well as to Malaysia.

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  • UAE Keeps Friends Close and Saudi Arabia Closer in Yemen

    Yemenis often puzzle over the role the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plays in Yemen. Today, the main source of confusion stems from Emirati actions in the south, which raise fears among Yemeni unionists and false expectations among Yemeni secessionists that the UAE is working to redivide Yemen into two or three parts.

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  • Islah Wary of a Hadi Reconciliation with the STC

    Commentary by Fahd Omer Editor’s note: The author, a Yemeni researcher, is writing under a pseudonym for security reasons. On December 11, Yemeni government and Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces began withdrawing from frontlines in Abyan governorate. The redeployments – first stipulated in the Saudi-sponsored Riyadh Agreement signed in November 2019 but implemented more than…

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  • Oil Extraction Industries’ Impacts on Health, Livelihoods and the Environment in Hadramawt

    Executive Summary This policy brief on the environmental impact of the oil extraction industries in Hadramawt explores what seems to be a well-known secret among residents living near oilfield concession blocks and people from the industry: that oil exploration and production activities in the governorate may be deviating from sound environmental standards and could be…

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  • Bushra al-Maqtari’s Speech when Receiving the Palm Award for Freedom of Speech and the Press

    Bushra al-Maqtari // Photo by Lina Malers To the esteemed friends awarding the Johann Philipp Palm Award for Freedom of Speech and the Press, I heartily thank you for giving me the honor of receiving the Johann Philipp Palm Award for Freedom of Speech and the Press this year along with my Chinese friend, publisher…

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  • Biden Needs a Yemen Policy That Doesn’t Look Back

    Each successive United States president over the past two decades has escalated America’s military involvement in Yemen in pursuit of ends in which Yemen itself was, at most, a secondary concern. In doing so, the US, and in particular the office of the president, has helped foster the situation Yemen faces today — splintered as…

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  • Time for a New US Policy – The Yemen Review, November 2020

    A soldier looks out toward Ataq from Al Sawt on the Hadramawt Plateau, Shabwa governorate, on November 12, 2020 // Sana’a Center photo by Sam Tarling The Sana’a Center Editorial Biden Needs a Yemen Policy That Doesn’t Look Back Each successive United States president over the past two decades has escalated America’s military involvement in…

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