Daily Prompt: Nuance

When you’re trying to learn something new, you often don’t know where to even begin. My typical Google searches about Yemen for news have been simply searching the country’s name. Sometimes I pop in a city, a topic I read in an article to narrow down the search, or generic culture terms like food or architecture. 

Now more recently with the help of these daily prompts, I’m searching for Yemen + whatever the day’s word is. After less than a week, so far it’s a great way to learn about new things without knowing where to look.

Today’s nuance search led me to this New York Times photo blog. These photos were shared in 2010 at a time when journalists were going to Yemen in search of stories about Al Qaeda suspects. This photojournalist, however, went to Yemen with a more nuanced perspective. 

“I found everything I liked about the Arab world in one place: the beauty of the architecture, the quality of the life, the sense of history. When you travel in Yemen, outside of the city, you can be 500 years back in time.”

Mr. Ben Khelifa has obvious affection for Yemenis. He says most of them are among “the sweetest people on earth, the most welcoming — they don’t care where you come from, what is your background, your religion.”

But he feels there’s a lot of misunderstanding between Americans and Muslims. He worries that simplistic views of Yemen dominate news coverage. “More people are looking at Yemen as one block, and it’s a lot more complicated,” he said.

Take a look at his photo blog for a nuanced perspective about Yemen. Since those photos are from 2010, here are some much more recent ones. I paired 5 examples with photos from another country to show my nuanced perspective because in the 2017 version of the news from Yemen, it’s a lot of botched Navy SEAL raid and Al Qaeda airstrikes.

There are different ways to look at countries and we’re really not so different after all. The differences can sometimes be subtle, nuanced. 

Crafts: Sewing in Yemen vs. target making in Japan.

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Reading: Yemeni vendor reading outside a shop vs. reading a tour book in Greece.

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International Women’s Day demonstrations: Yemen vs. Ukraine.

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Valentine’s Day: Preparing flowers in Yemen vs. Russia.

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Shopping: A street market in Yemen vs. Hong Kong.

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