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Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets

An Accidental War Correspondent in Yemen

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Laura Kasinof studied Arabic in college and moved to Yemen a few years later—after a friend at a late-night party in Washington, DC, recommended the country as a good place to work as a freelance journalist. When she first moved to the capital city of Sanaa in 2009, she was the only American reporter based in the country. She quickly fell in love with Yemen’s people and culture, and even found herself the star of a local TV soap opera.

When antigovernment protests broke out in Yemen in 2011, part of the revolts sweeping the Arab world at the time, she contacted the New York Times to see if she could cover the rapidly unfolding events for the newspaper. Laura never planned to be a war correspondent, but found herself in the middle of brutal government attacks on peaceful protesters. As foreign reporters were rounded up and shipped out of the country, Laura managed to elude the authorities but found herself increasingly isolated—and even more determined to report on what she saw.

With a new foreword by the author about what has happened in Yemen since the book’s initial publication, Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets is a fascinating and important debut by a talented young journalist.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 15, 2014 – This journalism memoir takes a personalized look at the Arab Spring in Yemen, where Kasinof arrived as a 25-year-old aspiring journalist hoping to improve her Arabic. She got far more than she bargained for when protests turned violent in March 2011, prompting her to volunteer her services to the New York Times as a war correspondent. Kasinof initially has an exaggerated sense of her own importance to the larger story, but gradually matures into a respectful witness to history. She captures the spirit of possibility in a conversation with a political activist who notes that the tumult of the Arab Spring "made our nations stronger and our rulers weaker." When the shooting escalates and civil war appears imminent, she decides to stay, pulling the reader into her heady, complicated mix of emotions. Never claiming to be a seasoned journalist, she notes at one point the charge she got from finding out "how reporting works" while chasing a lead. Nonetheless, Kasinof often manages a wryly knowing tone, as when she observes how integral the practice of chewing the narcotic herb qat is to Yemeni political discussions. By the book's end, she is sharper, savvier and a confirmed Yemenophile. Even if the reader doesn't fully grasp the appeal Yemen holds for Kasinof, her passion for the country still makes for a compelling tale.
Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets
View in iTunes
  • $16.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Mar 01, 2016
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 328 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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