Yemeni Tawakkul Karman, one of three women awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, dedicated her unexpected win to all activists of the Arab Spring and said it was a victory for her nation's own "revolution."
"This prize is a victory for the Yemeni revolution and the peaceful character of this revolution," demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, she told AFP.
"It is a recognition by the international community of the Yemeni revolution and its inevitable win," she said from Change Square, the epicentre of months of protests against the veteran leader.
Referring to protesters who took to the streets in several Arab countries demanding democracy, she earlier told Al-Arabiya television: "I dedicate it to all the activists of the Arab Spring.
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"I am very happy. I didn't expect this at all," she said, adding that "the project for freedom and dignity has become a reality."
"This is an honour for all the Arabs, Muslims and women," said the woman who has become a leading figure in nationwide protests against Saleh.
"We are heading towards a beautiful future for our nation," said the 32-year-old mother of three, who has been holed up in Sanaa's protest encampment for around four months in fear of Saleh partisans.
"We will work to reach all our (protest) goals, not short of one."
Protests erupted in January in the impoverished south Arabian Peninsula nation demanding the removal of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.
Saleh has opposed international calls to leave, insisting that change should come through elections.