100 under 40: The world’s most influential young Arabs
Afrah Nasser
32

Afrah Nasser

Industry: Media

Designation: Blogger and activist

Country: Sweden (Yemen)

Age: 31

Afrah Nasser launched her journalism career while still
studying at Sana’a University in Yemen, contributing to two national
newspapers. But when the so-called Arab Spring arose in 2011, Nasser, who was
by now well awake to the unequal state of the world around her, relinquished
her objectivity and began blogging.

Her commentary on Yemeni politics, women’s rights and
democracy soon forced her into exile and she has been a political refugee in
Sweden since May 2012. From the relative safety of her new home, Nasser has
continued to draw attention to the human rights abuses in her homeland, writing
on her eponymous blog, organising events and occasionally running workshops.

She deliberately writes in English, referring to her blog as
“a megaphone to the world”. She has contributed to media outlets including Al
Jazeera English, CNN, The National, Al Arabi magazine, Institute for War and
Peace Reporting, the Doha Center for Free Media and Swedish International
Radio. Her blog has been ranked among the best in the Middle East by numerous
organisations and in 2014, she won the Dawit Issak Prize, which recognises
those who fight for freedom of expression.

Through the Yemeni Salon Organisation that she and colleague
Hana Al Khamri founded in 2012, Nasser has helped to empower the ever-growing
Yemeni diaspora by organising cultural and media empowerment projects.