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Visit to Revolution ‘Birthplace’ Shows Yemen Still on Edge

Eighteen months after Yemen's revolution, some worry the country is slipping backward. Nafeesa Syeed talks to activists, politicians and everyday people in Taiz, the intellectual heart of the revolution, about their fear that Saleh's remnants have too much control, Iran and the US are fighting on their soil and women's rights are being ignored.
A Yemeni women wears a lock around her wrist with the name Taiz painted in red on her hand, during a demonstration in Taiz, south of the capital Sanaa on December 5, 2011. Forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh shot dead a woman and wounded six other people when they opened fire on a crowd of protesters, medics said.
AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

TAIZ, Yemen — Inside a tent at Freedom Square, a sketch shows a young man, his mouth agape as blood streams from his forehead. He clutches the ends of his blue shirt, and across his chest, three Arabic letters in red, white and black — the colors of the Yemeni flag — spell out this southern city's name, Taiz.

Such graphic images comprise makeshift memorials in this square, the site of clashes during last year's uprisings that led to the ouster of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled the country for 33 years. But the displays are not merely a remembrance of the past, as some in this city say the revolution has not run its full course. Eighteen months on, activists and political figures question the progress since Saleh's fall and suggest that foreign influences are looking to stir up divisions in the country.

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