Conflict & Justice

There's more to Yemen's youth than revolution


Yemeni boys play in Sanaa's old district on March 4, 2010.


Mohammed Huwais

Not everything in Yemen is terrorism, tribes and tumult. There's also hip hop.

These days Yemen's youth are synonmous with the country's uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled the country, sometimes brutally, for more than 30 years.

Yemen is the region's youngest (and poorest) country and it was the youth that began the peaceful protest in the hours after Egyptians of similar stripes successfully forced the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. And it is the youth, against all odds — including violent security forces, an entrenched political opposition that has its own agenda, and an international community that wants everyone to just chill — that continues to lead the movement toward its ultimate goal: demorcracy.

It is a stark contrast when compared to American youth of the same age, most of whom are either gearing up for prom or summer vacation.

It is easy to believe that Yemen's young people are consumed only with poverty, revolution and terror.

Alas, there is so much more.

Check out (after the jump) this documentary, via GlobalPost reporter Tom Finn, about Yemen's hip hop and b-boyz community, who is part of a worldwide break dancing movement that is uniting young, impoverished populations around the globe.

Shake the Dust - Yemen from Loose Luggage on Vimeo.