“Face it,” Ken Silverstein begins, “until recently many of you didn’t know for sure if Yemen was a country or an erectile dsyfunction medication.”

Well. While that’s probably not the case for you, dear reader, it’s certainly the case that—given recent intelligence about terror activity originating from Yemen and even more recent threats against American interests within it—American involvement with the country is going to last, you know, a tad longer than four hours. So we should all make a point of informing ourselves about the republic and its role in its region.

Thus, Silverstein—who, over at Harper’s, has compiled a brief-but-helpful digest of Yemen-related blog posts from various Middle East in-the-know-ers. “This stuff won’t make you an expert,” Silverstein acknowledges, “but at least you’ll know enough to get through the next cocktail party, and help follow the story as it unfolds in the media.”

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.