Social media influencers dance on cargo ship hijacked by Houthi rebels


Yemeni social media influencers have been sharing videos of themselves on the cargo ship which was seized by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea – with one clip showing a group of men dancing on the top deck.

The clips have been shared on YouTube and TikTok by Mustafa al-Mumari and Abdul Rahman al-Joubi, who describe themselves as comedians.

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In one video, al-Joubi, who has more than 42,000 YouTube followers, is seen inside a lift on the Israeli-linked Galaxy Leader ship with a group of young men.

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Al-Joubi then puts what appears to be an emergency phone to his ear as he talks into the camera.

The men then step out of the lift before they walk up some stairs to the top deck and begin laughing and joking together.

In a separate clip which has surfaced on X, formerly known as Twitter, a line of men are seen dancing on the top deck of the ship.

Three of the men are carrying a Yemen flag while some of the others are clutching rifles.

Al-Joubi and al-Mumari do not feature in the clip and it is unclear who originally posted it.

Al-Mumari, who was detained by members of the Houthi group in December last year on charges related to freedom of expression, is seen talking on a beach with the ship in the background in a clip he posted on YouTube.

The influencer then travels to the Galaxy Leader in a smaller boat before he is seen on the deck of the enormous vessel.

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Speaking in Arabic, he jokingly says the ship will be sold to make money for Yemen.

He also calls on Israel to stop bombing Gaza and suggests people should expect to have their ships taken if they keep “killing our brothers”.

The comedian later stands next to a swimming pool and asks “is the whole sea not enough?”.

Al-Mumari and two other men are seen smoking shisha on the ship towards the end of the video.

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How Houthis seized cargo ship

Yemen’s Houthi rebels released a video last week showing armed men descend onto the Galaxy Leader before seizing the ship in the Red Sea.

The video from Yemeni Military Media shows at least seven masked men, carrying what appears to be AK-47s, drop from a helicopter and land on the top deck of the ship.

The ship was hijacked by the Iran-backed group on Sunday 19 November.