Afrah Nasser

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East

Afrah Nasser

Expert Connect

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Civil society, Democracy and human rights, Identity Politics, Media, Middle East Security, US policy in the Middle East


Middle East, Yemen


Amharic, Arabic, English, Swedish

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Recent Activity

  • October 03, 2018
    When over style=xhtml billion was pledged for the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) earlier this year, it was considered not only a success but also the best funded response plan worldwide according to anonymous aid workers who spoke to
  • May 01, 2018
    An international fundraising conference for Yemen took place at the United Nations (UN) offices Geneva in early April. Co-chaired by Sweden, Switzerland, and the UN, the conference succeeded in securing humanitarian funding worth over style=xhtml billion, doubling the previous year’s
  • February 23, 2018
    With one hand holding the hose for hookah and the other his beeping cell phone, a conversation with Mohammed al-Qadhi is constantly interrupted. He swiftly takes a glance at his cell phone and says, “Excuse me, it’s breaking news I
  • January 03, 2018
    The end of Saleh-Houthi alliance marks a new chapter in Yemen’s intractable conflict. Two weeks after Saleh’s death, warring parties intensified their military escalation, increasing an already abominable human cost. Despite Saleh’s legacy of subversive tactics and coercion, his death undermines
  • September 21, 2017
    Despite the two previous unsuccessful attempts to pass a draft resolution to establish a UN independent international investigation commission into possible Yemen war crimes, sixty-seven Human Rights groups recently initiated another call demanding the establishment of the inquiry commission. The
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Full Bio

Afrah Nasser is a nonresident senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. She is also a freelance writer and columnist. Her articles have appeared in Al Jazeera English, CNN, Middle East Eye, The New Arab, among others. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Sana’a Review website.

While pursuing a BA degree in English Linguistics, she began to contribute to the Yemen Times newspaper (2004-2012) and later began working as a social and cultural editor at the Yemen Observer newspaper (2008-2011). At the beginning of Yemen’s 2011 Uprising, Nasser began her blog providing analysis and commentary on the political developments in Yemen. Her blog attracted wide readership and was featured as one of the ten must-read blogs from the Middle East by CNN and one of the top Middle East blogs by Al-Monitor.

Besides being an international public speaker on Yemeni affairs, Nasser has occasionally worked as a workshop-facilitator and as a lecturer on topics related to digital media and power. She has shared her knowledge and experience with various universities and institutions, such as Gothenburg University, Aarhus University, the Swedish Institute, Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, and the Olof Palme Center.

She has contributed to an anthology of essays titled 'Everyday Racism' (2015), the book 'Now That We Have Tasted Hope: Voices from the Arab Spring' (2012), and the book (يحدث في الطريق) 'Happening on the Street' (2012).

Nasser received the Committee to Protect Journalists Organization's 2017 International Free Press Award, the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society Organization's 2017 Eldh-Ekblads Peace Prize, the Pennskaft Prize for 2016, and the Swedish Publicists Club's 2014 Dawit Issak Prize. Nasser was featured in BBC’s “100 women who changed the world” in 2013 and she has been featured three times as one of the 100 most influential Arabs by Dubai-Based Arabian Business Magazine.

Nasser is a Yemeni-Swedish journalist and speaks four languages: Arabic, Amharic, English, and Swedish. She has contacts on different sides of the Yemeni conflict including Hadi’s government, Houthi leaders, and local civil society actors. Nasser’s experiences on the ground and ongoing reporting about the region from a local level gives her a unique perspective on the geopolitics of the region.

Afrah Nasser holds a BA degree in English linguistics from Sana'a University (2004-2008) and a master's degree in Communications from Gothenburg University (2013-2015).