Hamid al-Ahmar has been named the "most prominent political personality of 2009" in a poll conducted by Yemen Today. This should surprise no one besides a few in the US Embassy. (Hopefully I will have much more to say about Hamid in a forthcoming piece.)

For those in San'a. Dar al-Afif, the publisher of the magisterial Encyclopedia of Yemen, is hosting Abdalilah Haydar Shay'a to speak on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Tuesday. Should be a great lecture. I know I will be reading his most recent piece from al-Jazeera over the weekend.

If the Majlis is correct in that the US in contemplating a "counterterrorism fund for Yemen" then it might also want to contemplate naming it something else. The US is just asking for trouble if it designates it for use against terrorists, since Yemen and the US seem to have different definitions. For the US it means al-Qaeda, while Yemen has no problem calling Huthis and supporters of the "Southern Movement" terrorists.