CEU alumnus Maad Sharaf (SPP ’18) uploaded a video on his Facebook page on September 30, 2018. In the video, he asked people in a busy pedestrian area in central Budapest what they knew about Yemen. The #Ask_me_about_Yemen video project aims to raise public awareness of Yemen in general, and the humanitarian crisis caused by the war broke out in 2015, in particular. In a week, the video has generated over 13,000 views.
In the winter term of 2017-18, Sharaf took the Documentary for Social Change course at CEU, taught by Jeremy Braverman, media and visual education specialist, and Kate Coyer, director of the of the Civil Society and Technology project, where students made several advocacy videos, tackling different global issues, including harassment, migration policies, Roma communities, homelessness, disability in sport industry and more. Sharaf, in collaboration with fellow SPP students Darika Bamrungchok and Sutong Liu, worked on a project that aims at raising public awareness of the Yemeni crisis.
#Ask_me_about_Yemen is Sharaf’s personal initiative that enables people to approach him and ask him about his country, either in organized seminars or during informal conversations. “It usually gives curious people the confidence to ask whatever they feel like asking without being restricted by the feeling of hesitation or ignorance,” Sharaf says.
The project also aims at encouraging other Yemenis all over the world to openly share their narratives with their friends, classmates, and/or colleagues. “I hope the hashtag used worldwide allows the international society to learn more about Yemen from Yemenis themselves via different social media platforms,” he adds.