Bushra Al Fusail
Introducing Bushra. Ever thought about the value of your heritage? places, objects, customs, values and creative expressions? Our heritage defines us. Imagine USA without Grand Canyon or Pakistan without Badshahi Mosque. How would you feel if your heritage is destroyed, lost, damaged? .
For many populations, the loss of their heritage is a reality. Think of Notre-Dame in France or Citadel of Aleppo in Syria or a place currently going through the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world, Yemen. War has gripped the country since 2011 where 3 million have been forced to flee, 15+ million people of Yemen's population are on the brink of starvation. Yemenis mourn the destruction and are witnessing an entire generation lose their history and heritage.
In 2015, amidst the civil war, a Yemeni artist and activist Bushra Al Fusail decided to teach women to ride bikes, to give them an alternative in this time of gas shortages. The Yemen bike campaign quickly became a two-wheel revolution internationally and in Yemen and challenged gender stereotypes.
What happened next would have a profound impact on Bushra’s life. Many girls and women joined the Bike campaign and got an avenue to engage in something different among so many ugly things they had/were seeing during that period. The women felt happy and empowered. This was the women’s resistance to the war. Her Yemeni women biking photo (swipe left) sparked both support and controversy from Yemenis.
“We took the streets of Yemen, we cycled for freedom of movement, for justice, and for our lives. Nothing will stop us from moving around, not bombs nor social taboos”
Bushra came to the U.S. as a tourist and stayed because the fighting in Yemen intensified. Airports in Yemen were shut down due to bombings, and since then Bushra has been in the US as a #refugee .
Trump's Muslim ban trapped Bushra’s family in Yemen and she continues her fight for her home by organizing initiatives in the US in the face of this relentless war. Bushra as a photographer seeks to trigger questions of social and political injustice faced by women.
Bushra in Kandaka, the Nubian Queen