People You Should Know Series

Nobel Peace laureate and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, is a Journalist, politician, human rights activist, and one of the youngest Nobel Peace Laureates to date. Karman who advocates for human rights and freedom from government corruption in Yemen, is the president of Women Journalists Without Chains, an organization she founded in 2005 to develop the media skills of journalists, promote freedom of expression, and fight against injustices and corruption.

Affectionately known as the “mother of the revolution” and “the iron woman” amongst Yemen’s youth movement,
in 2007, she began organizing weekly protests in the Yemen capital of Sana’a.  The focus of the protest targeted government repression; and urged people to get involved, with Karman saying …

“We have the power to end corruption, extremism, and human rights abuses in our society. But we cannot overcome the obstacles and challenges before us until we understand them, and that is why education and open dialogue are the foundation for a peaceful future. It will take full participation from all of us to get there. We each have a role to play in educating our brothers and sisters and the future global leaders of tomorrow.”

Earlier this month Karman was honored during the during the “Afkar-e-Taza” ThinkFest which was organized by the Information Technolgy University (ITU), the Punjuab on January 13-14, 2018.  The honor was given by Pakistani senior member of the cabinet of the Punjab province and the founding Vice-Chancellor of the Information Technology University (ITU), Punjab, Dr. Umar Saif.


The “Afkar-e-Taza” ThinkFest is an academic literary festival which is organized by ITU as a collaboration with the Federal Higher Education Commission (HEC), Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) and other private sector organizations. The festival brought together speakers from all over the world including representatives from 35 different universities.

Durning her keynote speech at ThinkFest Karman remarked,

“In the Muslim world, there is no bigger terrorist than a dictator as they always block the means of peaceful change and create misunderstandings about Islam,” she said. “There is a need to demonstrate the true spirit of Islam, a nonviolent and peaceful religion, through tolerance, rule of law and love.”


To hear more about Karman in her own words check a recent interview conducted by the University of California for the “Walter H. Capps Center Series,” below…