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Nobel Laureate, Tawakkul Karman visits Metro Detroit

Monday, November 14, 2011


A few months ago, Tawakkul Karman…a native of Yemen was just one of the thousands of people who gathered in Change Square to protest the authoritarian regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Now… the thirty-two-year- old mother of three is touring the world as a Nobel Laureate. I was able to speak to Karman about her feelings on winning the prestigious award.

Martina: How is this a victory for woman? You win this prize but what happens to the woman back home how is this a victory for them?

Karman: Before the revolution there was a bad view…a bad image of woman in Arab region in and woman in Yemen. They thought that she’s week she doesn’t have any decision… But what happened in this revolution… especially in Yemen…showing the world and showing woman herself and showing the society in Arab and in Yemen that woman is strong and woman can lead the society she’s leader of revolution, she’s leader of demonstrations and sit in. She participated in planning for this revolution…she trusts herself and the society also trusts her.

Karman is a young woman in her thirties…she’s vivacious, passionate about her cause and understands the impact the Nobel Prize has on woman in the Arab world.

So what is this impact? What is this peace prize? It’s recognition from the world about the peaceful revolution in Yemen and also the role…the good role and strong role of woman. I think the Nobel peace prize is a victory of peaceful youth revolution in Yemen. It’s also a victory of women in Arab region.

Karman says the global media attention from winning the Nobel Prize has shed light woman’s movement, which is still in its infancy.

It isn’t just political revolution…it’s social revolution.

Yemeni human rights activist Tawakkul Karman, the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, will discuss the role of women and the changes sweeping across the Middle East in a public lecture today at the University of Michigan.

I’m Martina Guzman. WDET News.