Back in 2013, the Middle East Media Research Institute – or MEMRI for short – published a plea made by 11-Year-Old Nada Al-Ahdal from Sana’a. She had escaped a forced child marriage and sought refuge by her uncle. The video quickly went viral across the globe, spiralling a vast range of condemnations from human rights organisations and various country leaders.
Today, Nada is 17 years old and a self-proclaimed children’s rights activist. She publishes infographics and videos of herself explaining the dire situation of Yemeni youth going through wars and the situation of children in the Middle East in particular.
However, her public Twitter account gives a glimpse of the people who might be funding her activities. In May and June earlier this year, her newly-launched “Nada Foundation” website was seen posting various articles heavily critical of US-Saudi involvement in Yemeni affairs, and the dangerous impact their bombing attacks have had on Yemeni infrastructure. Many of the posts published on the website have since been deleted, but a few remains. On July 30th, Nada publically expressed regret for the Saudi-critical posts on her website, expressing her heartfelt apologies to the “wise Saudi leadership”.
Her most recent Twitter post publically praising the Saudi regime and Mohammed Bin Salman in particular stems from October 8th, where she praises the “improvement of women’s rights in the Saudi kingdom”.
Her public praise for the Saudi regime goes way back to 2016 however, featuring a Saudi propaganda song with praise for the Saudi monarchy.
Oddly enough, most of her content focuses on the “Houthi terrorist militia” and their alleged methods for recruting child soldiers, but one should ask himself if Nada Al-Ahdal is as credible of a source as she claims to be.
Understandably, she has experience with the abhorrent child-marriage phenomenon prevalent in parts of the Arab world as she has experienced one herself, but she has likely been groomed by the Saudi regime to act as a mouthpiece on their behalf. The precedent this time is not just a “coup militia” taking control of the country, but how the Coalition is intervening in Yemen to improve the lives for Yemeni children.
The war against Yemen, launched on March 26th 2015 by a multinational Coalition spearheaded by the Saudi regime, aimed at restoring power to pro-Saudi President-in-exile Mansour Hadi, who was forced to step down in the wake of the September 21st Revolution of 2014 commonly dubbed the “Houthi takeover” by mainstream media.