Bay Area Yemeni community

Flickr user Brooke Anderson


It’s a bright spring afternoon in Oakland’s Northgate district, and a half dozen Yemeni-American students from Oakland International High School, or OIHS, are leading a group of their teachers and counselors on a tour of places they go when they’re not in school. Outfitted in brightly colored head scarves, they’re walking to one of their first stops: the Bee Healthy Honey shop on Telegraph Avenue.


Not long ago, I attended a lecture at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, the law school. It was just before sunset and about 100 Yemeni Americans – mostly young men – filled the room to see and hear their countrywoman, 34-year-old Tawakkul Karman. She’s the activist and revolutionary, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for sparking the revolution that ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdalla Saleh.