Nadia Al-Sakkaf
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Nadia Al-Sakkaf

Nadia Al-Sakkaf (Arabic: ‎; born March 8, 1977) is a Yemeni Minister and politician. She was the Co- Founder of the Yemen Times from 2005 until 2014, before becoming Yemen's first female Minister. She fled Yemen in 2015 after the coup and is currently a PhD Leader at Reading University in the United Kingdom. She is also known of coming from one of the richest families in Yemen. Nadia has a networth of 11 Million American Dollars.

In 2011, Al-Sakkaf gave a popular TED talk called "See Yemen through my eyes" which had over 3 million views.[1][2]

Early life and education

Al-Sakkaf was born in March 1978 to Aziza and Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf.[3] Her father was a lecturer in economics at Sana'a University, a founder of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and founded the Yemen Times in 1991.[2][3] She has two brothers and two sisters.[2][4]

Al-Sakkaf has a Bachelor of Engineering in computer science from the Birla Institute of Technology in India and a Master of Science in Information Systems Management from the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. She was a student member of Amnesty International.[5] As of 2016, she is studying for a PhD at Reading University.[6]


Al-Sakkaf worked as a systems analyst at the Arab Experts Center for Consultancy and Systems.[5] She joined the Yemen Times in July 2000 as a translator and reporter. The newspaper is the country's first independent English language newspaper and was started by her father in 1991. He died in 1999 after being hit by a car, although Al-Sakkaf and her brother believe he was assassinated for opposing the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.[3][7] She became an assistant editor in September 2000.[5]

Al-Sakkaf worked in Oxfam's humanitarian program in 2003.[5] In March 2005, she became the editor in chief of the Yemen Times. In 2011, during the Arab Spring in Yemen, Al-Sakkaf and her staff participated in protests demanding that Saleh step down[7] and played a significant role in reporting the Yemeni Revolution to the wider world.[1] Al-Sakkaf is a member of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate and the International Journalists Syndicate.[5] She is an advocate for women's rights,[8][9] successfully recruiting female journalists to bring a gender balance to the newspaper's staff and running articles on female genital mutilation.[7][10]

In 2012, she launched Radio Yemen Times, an FM radio station which was Yemen's first free public platform for expression, broadcasting ten hours a day as an alternative to the state-monopolised media.[10]

Al-Sakkaf was appointed Information Minister under Prime Minister Khalid Bahah in 2014.[11][12] On 20 January 2015, when Houthi fighters stormed the capital and took control of all media outlets, Al-Sakkaf took to Twitter to report the coup. She later said, "I felt more like a reporter than the minister of information. I wasn't scared at the time but I was afterwards when I realised the implications. My name was everywhere. I had more than 20,000 more followers on Twitter in one day."[11] In May 2015, Al-Sakkaf was living in exile in Riyadh as a member of the internationally recognised Yemeni government seeking to restore President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.[11] As of 2016, she is studying in the United Kingdom, and continues to serve on the Yemen Times board of directors,[13] as well as writing about the ongoing situation in Yemen.[14][15][16]

Al-Sakkaf is the director of Yemen 21 Forum a development NGO based in Sana'a.[13]

Awards and honors

Al-Sakkaf was the first recipient of the Gebran Tueni Award in 2006, given by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and An-Nahar Newspaper in Beirut.[5] In 2013, she received the Oslo Business for Peace Award, an award chosen by winners of the Nobel Prizes in Economics and Peace and given to leaders in the private sector who have "demonstrated transformative and positive change through ethical business practices."[10][13][17] She was recognised by the BBC as one of "100 women who changed the world" in 2013.[13][18]


  • Al-Sakkaf, Nadia (October 2012). "Yemen's Women and the Quest for Change: Political Participation after the Arab Revolution" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Personal life

Al-Sakkaf is married to a Jordanian man and they have two children.[3][5][7]


  1. ^ a b Al-Sakkaf, Nadia (July 2011). "See Yemen through my eyes". Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Vasseur, Flore (21 August 2012). "The Siblings Fighting For Freedom of Expression in Yemen". World Crunch. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Abu-Fadil, Magda (25 May 2011). "Nadia al-Sakkaf: Yemen Times Editor on a Mission". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Family". Yemen Times. Archived from the original on 2004-03-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Muslim Women: Past and Present". Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ "Nadia Al-Sakaaf". The New Arab.
  7. ^ a b c d Sheehy, Gail (3 April 2014). "Editor on Fire". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Friedson, Felice (17 February 2012). "Interview: 'Yemen Times' editor Nadia Al-Sakkaf". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Heydarpour, Roja (10 April 2014). "Nadia Al-Sakkaf: How the Arab Spring empowered women". New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Nadia Al Sakkaf, Chief editor of Yemen Times, receives Business for Peace Award". International Media Support. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Black, Ian (21 May 2015). "How Yemen information minister's tweets broadcast the fall of Sana'a". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Yemen clashes throw capital into chaos". Al Jazeera. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d "Nadia al-Sakkaf". The Washington Institute.
  14. ^ Al-Sakkaf, Nadia (12 May 2016). "Ethnic hatred in Yemen". The New Arab. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ Al-Sakkaf, Nadia (8 February 2016). "A silver lining in Yemen's tragedy". The New Arab. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Al-Sakkaf, Nadia (16 July 2016). "What is the real challenge for Yemen's Hadrami Elite forces?". Al Monitor. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ "Nadia Al Sakkaf - a Yemeni Businesswoman receives Business for Peace Award, honored on May 14th at Akershus Nobel Prize Fortress in Oslo". UNDP. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ "100 Women: Who took part?". BBC. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 2017.

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