When political uprisings began in Yemen in January to drive out Ali Abdullah Saleh from his 33-year dictatorship, Ahlam Said, a Yemeni-American activist, wondered what role she could play in the movement. At the time, Said was living in Phoenix and working as an online organizer for Promise Arizona, an immigration reform group. As she looked online for trustworthy websites and news sources on the demonstrations happening in Yemen, she came up short. "Unlike Egypt, there wasn't a clear bridge between the Yemenis and the Americans," Said explains. That's when she decided to partner with a friend living in Yemen to create their own website for the movement: Yemenis4justice.com.
Begun as a "Yemen 101" website that simply aggregated news stories in English and Arabic, Yemenis4justice.com has now evolved into an open source community of online and offline organizers and activists in Yemen and the United States. The website includes an interactive Google map where users can plot recent uprisings by location and attach live video footage; an open source Excel spread sheet tracking all deaths related to the revolutions; a synchronized Twitter stream that aggregates all Yemeni and American activists and reporters; practical guides for protesters; and videos, photos, and blogs from other Yemeni activists.