Interview With Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

After a week of advocacy in New York and a whirlwind tour of the United Nations, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkol Karman of Yemen spoke briefly with the Global Observatory. During her time in New York, Ms. Karman pressed for political change in Yemen and met with the Secretary-General as well as with Security Council representatives; participated in street protests; and spoke at an IPI working lunch that was convened in her honor.

In this short interview, which took place on the margins of the IPI working lunch, Ms. Karman highlighted the role of youths and women in the Arab Spring, saying the Nobel Peace Prize represents their victory. Ms. Karman also stressed the importance of equal rights and basic freedoms–not only equal political rights, but also human rights, freedom of speech, and the absence of violence.

Ms. Karman, 32, is the first Arab woman and the youngest winner of the prize to date (two other women were also awarded the prize). She is the founder of the human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains. She is also a journalist and a member of the Islah opposition party.

The interview was conducted on October 21st by Nur Laiq, Senior Policy Analyst in IPI’s Middle East Program. Parts of the interview contain consecutive interpretations in Arabic and English.

Listen to interview (or download mp3):