Yemen: Campaign launched over missing Omani travel vlogger
Harith al-Shariqi, who makes video content showing the beauty of the countries he travels to, was reportedly stopped at a checkpoint in the city of Marib and taken to an unknown location.
According to local media, al-Shariqi was arrested on 30 August while on his way to the capital Sanaa.
His whereabouts have sparked widespread debate on social media, with many trying to find out more information about his condition and if he was kidnapped.
Yemen’s Press Agency (YPA) confirmed that he was taken to an unknown location by the Islah group, who are fighting on behalf of the Saudi-backed, internationally recognised Yemeni government.
Activists have come out in solidarity with the vlogger, calling for his release.
Activist Nawaf Hamad Nasser, who is from Marib province, denounced the move in a Facebook post.
“We condemn the arrest of Omani traveller Harith al-Shareiqi at one of the security checkpoints in Marib province,” he wrote.
“Shame on you, even the guests are not safe from you. You have humiliated us among the Arabs and the tribes."
'We are all Harith'
Dozens of people are also using the hashtag “We are all Harith al-Shariqi” in Arabic on social media platforms.
“We stand in solidarity with the traveller and friend Harith al-Shariqi who is being held by authorities in Yemen, and we appeal to the government to intervene quickly in order to return him home as soon as possible,” one person posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“We ask God to protect him from all harm and return him safely to his homeland and his family,” he added.
The Yemeni ambassador to Oman, Khalid bin Shatif, spoke with local media and refuted claims that the Omani vlogger was kidnapped, and said that he was detained and should be released soon.
“Harith is a good friend and well known, and was stopped at a checkpoint. Things are being sorted in an organised and quiet way and he should be released in an hour or so. Everything will be fine and normal,” he said.
When questioned about the reason why he was stopped, the ambassador said that he was not aware of the reason, but it is a common occurrence and that he would be communicating with Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ambassador assured people that he would focus on getting the vlogger out and then look into why he was stopped.
The prominent travel vlogger has more than 90,000 subscribers on YouTube, where he regularly shares videos.
Some of his recent videos show him travelling across Yemen and meeting new people. One video is titled “With the people of the mountains, the most beautiful place in Yemen,” which has over 150,000 views.
Another is titled “Switzerland in the east of Yemen” which has garnered over 175,000 views.