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Tawakkul Karman

AKA Tawakkul Abdel-Salam Karman

Born: 7-Feb-1979
Birthplace: Mekhlaf, Yemen

Gender: Female
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist, Journalist
Party Affiliation: See Note [1]

Nationality: Yemen
Executive summary: African free speech activist

Much to the aggravation of Yemeni government officials, journalist and human rights activist Tawakkul Karman has worked to establish and increase journalistic freedom in her nation. The founder and chair of Woman Journalists without Chains, she has faced death threats and been arrested and jailed repeatedly for leading sit-ins and rallies opposing restrictions on free speech, laws against open protest, and freedom for jailed dissidents. "I couldn't see any sort of human rights or corruption report that could shake this regime," she said in February of 2011, as she established an open-ended tent-based protest against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. She was still leading the protest from a tent in "Change Square" at Sana'a University when she won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the honor with Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. 32 years of age when she was awarded the Nobel, Karman is the youngest-ever recipient of the Peace Prize.


[1] Yemeni Congregation for Reform.

Father: Abdel Salam Karman (attorney)
Brother: Tariq Karman (poet)
Sister: Safa Karman (reporter for Al Jazeera)
Husband: Mohammed al-Nahm (three children)

    University: BS Economics, Sana'a University

    Nobel Peace Prize 2011; with Leymah Gbowee, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
    Woman Journalists without Chains Founder & Chair (2005-)



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