She is one of three women working for peace in Africa/the Middle East and will split the prize.
Congrats to her and may Allah keep her safe in the work she is doing to free her country. -- J.
Tawakkul Karman, a Yemeni pro-democracy activist, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera on Friday, she dedicated the award to the Yemeni people and the Arab Spring.
"This is for the Yemeni revolution; [it is] victory for our peace. We will build our country with peace. I give this award for all the youth in the Arab world," she said.
"All Yemenis [are] happy over the prize. The fight for democratic Yemen will continue.
"[For] Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen and all the youth and women, this is a victory for our demand for citizenship and human rights."
Tawakkol Karman’s Moral Vision
When the news reached Tawakkol Karman that she’d won a Nobel Peace Prize, she was sitting in a tent off the main square in downtown Sanaa, the same tent where she’s been living since the protests against Yemen’s authoritarian regime began nine months ago. It’s a simple canvas tent, ringed by plastic chairs, and a fitting place for her to have been. Only a few streets away, on a breezy evening in January, the night after the dictator of Tunisia fell, Karman and a small group of like-minded Yemenis launched an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In the months since, Karman has been arrested, jailed, and released; watched government snipers shoot hundreds of her comrades; and seen the tiny movement she helped spawn blossom into a full-fledged popular revolt. Most crucially, Karman has watched President Saleh—who was nearly killed by a bomb in June—cannily cling to power.
Yemen is a deeply impoverished country, with low levels of literacy and a political culture that has swerved often toward chaos. Under the circumstances, you might conclude that the uprising against Saleh was one of unarticulated rage. It is that, to be sure, but its intellectual basis is solid and clear: in the face of relentless depredations, the movement has stayed together and stayed peaceful. That the revolt has unfolded this way is thanks, in no small way, to Karman’s moral vision.
I visited Karman’s home earlier this year, while reporting a piece for The New Yorker. On her mantle sit the photographs of four people: Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mahatma Gandhi; Nelson Mandela; and Hillary Clinton. The first three, of course, are apostles of non-violent change. Karman told me that if her movement had a playbook it was Mandela’s autobiography. Karman idolizes Clinton because she is a strong woman—“she is my role model”—but also because of Clinton’s support for her. On a trip to Yemen days before the uprising began, Clinton met with Karman in Sanaa and saluted her human-rights work. Karman’s organization, Women Journalists Without Chains, has been able to carry on, in part, because of grants from the American government. On the night that I met her, Karman was angry with the Americans for not pushing Saleh more firmly out the door, even as his goons were shooting people in the streets. “We are disappointed in Obama,” she said.
Karman knew she was in for a tough fight. She predicted that Saleh, who has been in power for thirty-three years, would turn to violence, if only to provoke the demonstrators into violence of their own. But Karman, a mother of three, spent as much of her time restraining the protesters as she did trying to inspire them. “We will not turn to violence, no matter what the government does,” she told me. On Friday, after the announcement, a group of Yemenis gathered around Karman and mocked President Saleh: “Hey regime—see?—we are struggling peacefully.” And in this way she has set up the irresistible Gandhian drama that is now playing out in the streets of Sanaa: the more violence the government uses against the protesters, the more it debases itself in the eyes of its people.
Early on in the protests, Saleh tried to silence Karman the way people do in societies dominated by men: by appealling to a male member of her famliy. “Control your sister,” Saleh told Karman’s brother, Tariq. “Anybody who disobeys me will be killed.” Tariq broke with Saleh, and Karman kept going into the streets. She is still in mortal danger. But the canvas tent where Karman makes her home is surrounded by thousands of others now, and by tens of thousands of Yemenis who responded to her call.
Postscript: A few hours after the Nobel announcement, President Saleh was quick with the congratulations—to himself. “This,” the president’s office said of Karman’s Nobel Prize, “is attributed to the man of peace and unity: Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen.”
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/10/tawakkol-karmans-moral-vision.html#ixzz1aEGsDAvH