Between 2019 & 2020: Yemeni Women Share their Experiences & Aspirations

Curated by Esra’ AlNaggar

Dr. Arwa AlEryani
Associate Professor in Information Technology, Independent Researcher

We cannot evaluate 2019 or any other year because any year is the sum of experiences and situations that pass by us. If we benefit from them and enjoy them, it is a wonderful year, but if we ignore them and do not see their beauty, it is a boring year. Looking back at 2019 I have achieved a number of my goals. I have published four papers in international journals, two of them in Information Technology (IT) and two in higher education aspects. I also got my book “Interactive User Interface Design” published in November 2019. It is my seventh book but the first one with my co-author Nejood Al-walidi. In March, I published a blog called “Yemeni Expat Women” ( along with its page on Facebook to spot wonderful achievement stories of Yemeni immigrant women. There are great stories that are really worth sharing. Also, in November, I published my academic website ( and uploaded all my lectures in IT subjects and my books covers with the link to where you can get them. Also available on there are the links to my researches (Researchgate – Academia) to make my researches available for the students. The website has a blog where I always publish academic content for the students.  The most surprising thing to come out of 2019 was the personal invitation that was sent to me to attend the 4th North American International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management as a speaker which was held in Toronto, Canada. It was a great experience. During 2019 I continued leading the Yemen Chapter for IT women which is part of Arab Women in Computing organization. I am also proud of my WhatsApp group “Yemeni Female Researchers” which gives us a space to share a lot of information in IT and gives me the chance to keep supporting the young female researchers who study all over the world including of course Yemen. In addition, I continued attending IRSN meetings that is for internationally educated researchers in Canada.Honestly, I do not have a plan for 2020 in advance. I hope to get my new book “User Requirements Management” published in 2020 or 2021. We (my co-author and I) are still working on it. I also hope to make my academic website a valuable platform for students all over the Arabic world. I am waiting for what 2020 will bring for me. I trust it; I am looking forward to the new things that 2020 will bring.When I left my country, I thought it was normal that my professional work would end, and I would not pursue the work that I love and spent my career life building. However, now four years have passed and I found myself continuing academic work and doing all the things I love to do. At the same time, new pages opened in my life and new experiences were gained. Only because I decided to have an open mind to new things and did not lock myself in the past. My only advice is that we always have to look deep inside ourselves to know what we want and listen to our passion to lead us to what we love to do, it may be completely new and very enjoyable than what we used to do or maybe the same but in quite a different way. Just be hopeful and open to new experiences because life is full of surprises. 

Yousra Ishaq
First- time Film Directors and an Emmy Award Nominee

2019!was a bit challenging and exciting, lots of changes happened in Comra films, but as much as it was unexpected, me and Sara, my business partner tried to make it a good thing and shift it to a new opportunity and path. 2019 was only a preparation period for the new era that will start in 2020. I look forward for 2020, new plans and new goals will start and on the first day of the coming year. More opportunities for filmmakers and artists. 2020 will be the start of our biggest resolution, which is putting the first steps of Yemeni films in the international market. I hope things get better for this beloved country, there are lots of talents, resources, and great history in Yemen, and people has to stop wasting this and start to build again, even with the smallest step possible, always try. My advice, always and always be there to help others either professionally or personally as long as you can. Share your knowledge and experiences, we are in a time where we need each other to stand tall.

Najwa Noman
Certified Life Coach, Certified Consultant by Birkman, Certified Trainer and an Ambassador of the International Academy of Personal Development.

Since 2015 & until now, 2019, I have been exploring Najwa from different perspectives and at different levels. I have learnt to observe my emotions and thoughts that have resulted in actions, so I have realized what the triggers behind certain choices would be. I have given myself a chance to be observed with love & care rather than judged and evaluated by Najwa. I thought at the beginning that awareness is about time and task management, reading & maybe also fitness, but later I have gone through the different levels of self-awareness realizing that awareness at the physical level only is not fulfilling enough, same with the emotional level as emotions are like clouds, always moving. And as I experienced with thought, I realized that they too change based on our beliefs. So I have changed my perspective of wanting to accomplish a certain level to feel enlightened. I think so far I can say that real accomplishment to me is being here & now, enjoying the journey of better thoughts, better emotions & better interactions with the world as I feel way more content being able to replace thoughts that don’t serve my life purpose, level my emotions and act upon that. This realization has made me manifest self-love and appreciation. For 2020, I would like to help more people with what I do and be equipped with more and more skills. I aim at becoming enlightened and enlightening, empowered and empowering. I believe that 2020 will be the year for harvest. I pray that those who have worked are pleased by the results, & those who haven’t gotten to know themselves, I encourage them to realize the importance of self- exploration in order to fortify . Everyone should be in charge of his own progression. As for Yemen, I hope that we learn to communicate with the rest of the world in order to exist. Our agenda has to align with others’ agendas to develop, improve, create and go international.

Eman AlMaqtari
ICT & Social Media Consultant, Trainer & Content Creator

2018 and 2019 were more of a roller coaster to me. They both had their ups and downs and extreme ones at that.  It was the time when the shock of the war was finally absorbed and we overcame the stages of denial and bargaining and reached acceptance. It was the year we started the rebuilding process amid the war, and doing so in such circumstances made the journey tough yet quite thrilling. 2019 witnessed a lot of collaboration and breakage of restrictions both on the personal and professional levels. I got to travel after a long time, and thus have experienced new things, new horizons, fields and new ways of thinking as well as implementing. I reaped what I sowed of the business I started in 2016; it was very rewarding, however hard. As for 2020, it seems to be a milestone for everyone, as it marks the fifth year of the war imposed on Yemen. For this year, I would like to fix the damages left by the war. I plan to make it a period for healing for me and my family. I will also put the strategy for the coming five years where I will work to seek new opportunities and looking for a better future for my kids. A final advice I would like to share: It has been five years since the war broke, and dawn might not be coming any time soon. I advise people to start healing physically, personally and emotionally.  It is the time to start adapting and toughening your stamina, to take a breath and prepare yourself for the 5 coming years. It is the time to work on your inner-self, peace and skills. The period of transformation and construction is close; you have got to polish yourself so that you do not miss out on competition. Experiment with new fields especially those related to computer science and the digital market; it is easy, affordable and very rewarding. And the building era is will exercise a huge segment in technical development.

Fatma Al-Baiti
Content Creator, Entrepreneur & Founder of Meet me at Fatma’s; a series of Yemeni pop-up brunches in London.

2019 has been a year of growth and learning…lots of lessons learned the hard way though. My resolutions for 2020 is to become more adventurous, and invest more time and effort in my passion. Not everything that shines is gold. Do your homework and follow your instinct. I pray for a more productive year for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you fail or succeed…as long as you are productive!

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