Yemeni Women’s Call to Defend Honor

Burqu’s and Scarfs were thrown and burnt in the middle of Change Square in Sanaa.  Today a strong message was sent from the women of Yemen to Ali Abdulla Saleh and the Yemeni Tribes, as thousands of women piled their veils and put them on fire. Since Ali’s Saleh’s return, the country has been under a massive crack down.

He came back seeking revenge, promising to step down “soon” every single day. Everyday that passes with him in power is considered a threat to Yemenis, as their lives remain in stake. The regime has lost all sort of honorable fighting, as women and children have been brutalized under these attacks.

Yemenis are ruled by tribal traditions, and according to tribal customs, women should not be harmed at any condition, especially during clashes between tribes. He who harms a woman in not a man, and the burden falls on tribal men to stand up for their women and get their honor back.

Yemeni females have reverted to an old Bedouin tradition, which is the burning of clothes to call for help. Having used their veils to transmit this message is considered a strong symbolic act considering the conservative nature of the country.

They are calling all tribes to follow their customs and to protect them during their marches. It is considered shameful if the tribes remain silent about Ali Abdulla Saleh’s assaults, as they will lose the respect of the Yemeni women.

Here are women who were making a clear statement, doing something for the first time, marking a historical moment and standing against Ali Saleh. This act will cause a huge controversy, and will face vicious criticism from the conservative community.

Ali Saleh has lost his credibility, as he is trying to convince international nations that he will be resigning in the next few days, the public think that this is just another lie, one of many manipulative acts he used over the years.

When will Ali Saleh actually resign? How will the tribes react the burning of the veils? The next few days will hold the answers.

FYI: A point to clarify: the women did not strip and takeoff their veils in the square, they brought extra veils and burnt them.


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