GirlGI | Girl Gone International Issue 6 - Page 32

ThePowerof Words Faced with death threats and family disapproval, self-exiled journalist and activist Afrah Nasser tells untold stories about life in Yemen “When I told a college teacher I wanted to become a writer, he smiled and replied, ‘You will die poor and no one will ever know who you were.’ Despite this less than enthusiastic response, I became the social and cultural editor at the Yemen Observer in my hometown, Sana’a. It was there that I met people from all walks of life in Yemen and saw that journalists can be the voice of the voiceless. In 2010, I dove into social media and into an increasingly digitized world through my blog (afrahnasser.blogspot.se). Originally, one topic was to remain off-limits. ‘No politics!’ my family repeatedly warned. Yemen has one of the worst records of violations against journalists. Fearing for my safety, I steered clear of any political comment. But then the Arab Spring swept through my country.