Yemen once known for it's rich culture and kind people, is now infamous for it's instability. Post-revolution, nearly everyone is looking for a beacon to cling to.
Many have found one - the Houthis.
Once a small group in the highlands seeing to revive their religious and cultural practices, the Houthis were beat down by the Yemeni government in six wars between 2004 and 2009.
With most politicians and groups untrusted by the government, the Houthis have proven to be a cause worth following for some Yemenis.
Their slogan is fierce "Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Victory to Islam". They claim this is for the governments - who can blame them when shells of American missiles are found on their mountain slopes? Those who do not support them decry their violent slogan.
Named for their founder, Hussein al Houthi, followers have organized politically, seeking to re-brand themselves under a different name - Ansar Allah. They are highly media savvy, with propaganda for their cause and community rebuilding, education, and support, their numbers have grown exponentially.
The Houthis appeal not only to the tradition-minded tribal Yemenis - but modern ones as well. As one supporter who lived out of Yemen for over a decade said,
"We seek safety, justice, independence, rule and order. Sadaa was a haven for drug smugglers and human trafficking to Saudi Arabia, now with Ansar Allah [the Houthis], it has become the safest place in Yemen. Electricity and water is better than anywhere in Yemen, and Ansar Allah has helped farmers build dams and make organic fertilizers.
In Yemen we take pride in our guns, just as they do in the USA. Ansar Allah had made it clear that you can decorate yourself with guns but you will be punished if you misuse this privilege. Al-Qaeda has been wiped out from all areas under Ansar Allah control...
Give Yemeni people safety and security and they will give their full support."
But the question is - after fighting the government and opposing tribes and religious sects, which path will they follow - political dialogue and community support, or continue with strengthening a political militia? Only time will tell.