Millennial Letters

Millennial Letters Wants to Hear From You

Got an alternative viewpoint on Bahrain? Let us hear from you.

Critics say Millennial Letters only provided one side of the story in Bahrain, based on this interview with Ali, a young activist there. Are you in Bahrain? Do you have a different perspective you’d like to share? Contact Millennial Letters here.

Bahrain's PR Firm

This popped up on Twitter in response to Millennial Letters’ recent interview with Ali, a young student active in the anti-government uprising in Bahrain:

Not unfair, no. So the reader and I got in touch, rather publicly (it is Twitter, after all)—a conversation that immediately prompted the following:

A Young Bahraini Activist Responds—Meet Ali

Like so many young people in the Middle East, Ali dates his political awakening to protest activity, having taken part in demonstrations in Bahrain when they first broke out over a year ago. The 23-year-old, who declined to provide his full name for safety reasons, responded to Millennial Letters’ recent blog post, “Where’s the News Coverage of Bahrain?” by explaining that the opposition is often misunderstood on the outside.

In Bahrain today, “it’s not a simple Sunni vs. Shiite divide,” the young accounting student explains in an e-mail interview. “More accurately, it would be Shiite Islamists + liberals (both Sunni & Shiite) vs. Sunni Islamists + rich liberals close to royal family (which I think is an oxymoron, how can a liberal be pro-dictatorship?).”

Where's the News Coverage of Bahrain?

Don’t hear much about Bahrain?

Thousands of opposition demonstrators hit the streets there little over a week ago, while security forces faced off with activists at a flashpoint village just yesterday as unrest continues to roil the Gulf kingdom, a nation so strategically located it plays host to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Wait a second. Geopolitically critical nation—check. Protests against the government—check. Sexy Twitter feed about demonstrations—check. Youth bulge—check. Key activists imprisoned—check. Demand for a more representative government—check.

Isn’t this where CNN starts panning massive crowds like those seen in Egpyt’s Tahrir Square last year? Isn’t this where the microphone is held up to the lips of a cute female twenty-something protester? Where’s the love?


First things first: “Millennial Letters” is the work of a legit Millennial—I was born in 1985. Therefore, I'm well-positioned to track the emerging youth media narrative, that is, news read and written by my peers and shared by them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. I'm not the first to observe that what constitutes “news” to us often differs from coverage chosen by the older generation in newsrooms around the world. So by its very nature, “Millennial Letters” promises a fresh take on world affairs. It will be about issues my generation cares about, and will highlight events we're invested in that are sometimes sidelined by the dominant media narrative. It'll bounce from critically underreported global issues to bizarre news developments to odd business dealings to underrepresented groups: in short, all those seemingly minor but strangely important events that, purposefully or not, are just not given enough attention. The Internet, as much I and my peers love it—StumbleUpon-style—has news consumers of all ages on a fast-paced information superhighway that leaves a lot in the dust.

Welcome to Millennial Letters

Editor’s Note

World Affairs typically features commentary and analysis from established commentators from the US and abroad. At the same time, however, we make it a point and practice to seek out young talent and give it a voice. Today, those young voices would belong to the Millennial Generation, a group as large as the Baby Boomers, if not, perhaps, as much given to the dramas of selfhood and as wedded to the notion that the personal is political.  

America’s Millennials came of age in an era that has been defined by the attacks of September 11th, global jihad, a rising China, a faltering America, divisive politics, and war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the first generation to come of age in the Internet and Facebook era.  But while it knows how to reach across the globe with a keystroke, this generation has been failed by a declining public education system that has struggled to teach world history and America’s unique place in it.