Yemenis in Sana’a celebrated the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday to journalist and activist Tawakkul Karman.
Karman joins Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee as their year's winners.
Yemenis were beaming with pride as they believe the Nobel Peace Prize is a recognition of their revolution being a peaceful movement. The prize is more valuable as it recognizes the efforts and sacrifice of women and the role they are playing in instituting change in their societies.
Karman, who said receiving the award was an honor and a "victory for the Arab Spring", was greeted by anti-government demonstrators at a rally in the capital Sana’a on Saturday.
Karman said, "I say to tyrants and despots: your reign is over, I say to President Ali Saleh and his regime: you are deluded, if you thought that the revolution would fail, the revolution has triumphed."
The 32-year-old Islamist journalist used the opportunity to voice her opposition President Saleh and vowed to see an end to his rule, which began in 1978.
She added, "The Nobel Prize is awarded to the great Yemeni people. The first money that will be returned to the public treasury is the money received from the Nobel Peace Prize."
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that it had recognized three women campaigners in its 2011 award because “democracy and lasting peace could not be achieved unless women obtained the same opportunities as men, especially in African and the Arab worlds.”
Meanwhile, President Saleh said on Saturday that he would step down, “within days”. A government official said Saleh was merely indicating readiness to reach a deal to end months of unrest.
Saleh has already pulled back three times from signing a Gulf Arab peace initiative that would seen him form an opposition-led cabinet and then hand over power to his deputy before presidential elections.
Tawakkul Karman, Yemani journalist and activist
Voice: Noora Faraj