First Tunisia, then Egypt, and now ... Yemen? Unrest is increasing across the Middle East and North Africa, and young people are leading the way. Demonstrators are calling for democratic change, social justice, and economic improvements. In this essay, Yemeni Omar Fotihi explains his frustrations with his home-country, and tells us of his hopes and dreams for a new Yemen.
BRATISLAVA – From the relative serenity of Central Europe, I’m following events in Egypt like many of you: scan headlines, surf for more and more voices. To watch history being made in real time is a thrilling, if voyeuristic, experience.
At what point in a revolutionary moment do you put down the drums and take up the guns? It used to be that I was a stubborn advocate of total pacifism and non-violence. Over the past few years, however, I have shifted—very slowly—from that position.
At a party before the New York City screening of Che, director Steven Soderbergh said the reason he stretched Che to 257 minutes was because there was just too much story to tell about the revolutionary in a mere two hours. Later, at the same party, I asked a seasoned journalist and avid film viewer (who had just seen Che) his reaction to the film. While he enjoyed the film on the whole, to him it seemed that the jungle scenes were repetitive, ultimately making the film too long. Having now seen the full four and a half-hour film I can attest that, while their opinions are disparate, both Soderbergh and the journalist are right.