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A Force to be Reckoned With (…and she wears a tiara!)

We always hear about superheroes - Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man….but there are every-day heroes out there, and I know one! I’m also happy to say that the world knows one, too as Jane’s mission has made the NYT:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Jane Novak, a 46-year-old stay-at-home mother of two in New Jersey, has never been to Yemen. She speaks no Arabic, and freely admits that until a few years ago, she knew nothing about that strife-torn south Arabian country.

And yet Ms. Novak has become so well known in Yemen that newspaper editors say they sell more copies if her photograph — blond and smiling — is on the cover. Her blog, an outspoken news bulletin on Yemeni affairs, is banned there. The government’s allies routinely vilify her in print as an American agent, a Shiite monarchist, a member of Al Qaeda, or “the Zionist Novak.”

The worst of her many offenses is her dogged campaign on behalf of a Yemeni journalist, Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, who incurred his government’s wrath by writing about a bloody rebellion in the far north of the country. He is on trial on sedition charges that could bring the death penalty, with a verdict expected Wednesday.

Ms. Novak, working from a laptop in her Monmouth County living room “while the kids are at school,” has started an Internet petition to free Mr. Khaiwani. She has enlisted Yemeni politicians, journalists, human rights activists and others around the globe. Her blog goes well beyond the Khaiwani case and has become a crucial outlet for opposition journalists and political figures, who feed her tips on Yemeni political intrigue by e-mail or text message.

She says her campaign is a matter of basic principle. “This is a country that lets Al Qaeda people go free, and they’re putting a journalist on trial for doing his job?” she said. “It’s just completely crazy.”

You simply should go read the story in The New York Times…it is only one glimpse into Jane’s heart-felt passion and her diligence. You should also read her blog: Armies of Liberation

I am so very proud to know Jane and her focus and dedication to the Yemeni people who have been treated unfairly and cruelly for simply speaking the truth.

While you are at it, please Support Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani by signing a letter to the Yemeni government. You can do that here.

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A Tiara makes the NYT

About two weeks ago I posted about Cotillion sister Jane Novak, who has become an outspoken advocate for a Yemeni journalist, Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, who is facing execution for sedition. Since then, so many have signed the petition and blogged this ...



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