Laura spoke with PRI’s The World host Marco Werman about her new book and Yemen.
“I studied Arabic, maybe I did some interviews, then I had lunch with friends in sort of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant,” she remembers. “We ate this meat stew called fahsa that’s absolutely delicious, and then we went and chewed qat every day, the narcotic that is just used in Yemen by nearly the entire population nearly every day.”
But on that day in March, Kasinof, a freelance reporter who was just 25 at the time, ended up in the middle of a brutal crackdown on protesters in Change Square, a plaza at the heart of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. She recently finished a book, called “Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets,” which begins with an account of that day. You can read the first chapter at the end of this story.
“The violence that day was so concentrated, in a few blocks, and over a very short period of time,” she says. “It also was the first time that I — and the Yemenis at the protests at Change Square in Sana’a, and the other freelance journalists who were with me — the first time we saw violence like that, and that sort of gore, and that sort of killing.”
It turned out to be a turning point her life: “It’s something that sticks with you and causes anger inside of you, to witness something like that for the first time.”
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