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 Sanaa in 2009, she was the only American reporter based in the country. She quickly fell in love with Yemen’s people and culture, in addition to finding herself the star of a local TV soap opera.
When antigovernment protests broke out in Yemen, 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.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Bullets is a fascinating and important debut by a talented young journalist.
"To read . . . Don't Be Afraid of the Bullets is to understand how Yemen rose up, nearly fell apart, and tried to put itself back together in 2011. It's a necessary primer on the chaos that has beset the country yet again." —Washington Monthly
"[Laura Kasinof] provides vivid details of those years, bringing readers into the heat of the conflicts, into the mosques-turned-hospitals filled with the wounded and dying, and into the sitting rooms where she interviewed some of the most important men in Yemen . . . A moving portrait of life as a war correspondent. An action-packed account of the civil war in Yemen from a woman who experienced it firsthand."
"This is a beautifully written, highly personal account of a young journalist's experience with revolution and war in Yemen. Kasinof offers a revealing portrait of the lives and work of a rising generation of young journalists at a time of urgent and perplexing changes. She weaves together their stories with a compelling account of Yemen's ambiguous revolution as witnessed by one of the few Western journalists on the ground. It is a gripping, thought-provoking read about how the news is really produced in today's turbulent Middle East."
—Marc Lynch, professor and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University