Ottoman officers and Mahris in the very early 20th century
Ottoman officers and Mahris in the very early 20th century
On July 3 Dr. Najwa Adra will present a talk at the Institute for Social Anthropology in Vienna, Austria entitled: “What Does it Mean to Be Tribal in Yemen?”
On July 5 Dr. Daniel Martin Varisco will give a talk at the same institute on “Agriculture in the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen.”
Both talks are free and open to the public. For details, see https://www.oeaw.ac.at/en/isa/events/upcoming-events/
Details on both talks are provided below:
What Does it Mean to Be Tribal in Yemen?
A large majority of Yemen’s population self-identifies as qabili /pl. qaba’il, terms normally glossed in English as “tribal.” Qabyala a uniquely Yemeni term that can be translated as “tribalism” comprises tribal ideology, customary law, behavior in formal contexts and a set of presumed personal characteristics ascribed to tribal Yemenis. This talk, based on long term field research, explores the behaviors and events associated with qabyala, in contrast to activities that do not connote tribalism; describes the interaction of tribes with urban elites; and suggests ways in which Yemeni tribes can collaborate with the state in peacebuilding and national development.
Najwa Adra (www.najwaadra.net) holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Temple University. She is a cultural anthropologist with long-term experience in field research and development consulting in Yemen. She has studied tribal identity and customary law in Yemen’s Central Highland Plateau as these have changed over the past 30 years and the ways in which these indigenous institutions can contribute to state building. She has written on Yemeni tribal mediation for ISA and is currently completing a book on tribal identity in Yemen. Her research also extends to Yemeni dance traditions, women’s role in Yemeni agriculture and literacy.
Yemen has a rich tradition of agriculture, stemming from the South Arabian kingdoms through the Islamic era. Yemeni scholars, anthropologists and agricultural experts have written about Yemen’s agriculture in the past half century, but less is known about the state of agriculture during the Mutawakkilite Kingdom in Yemen of the Zaydi Imams Yahya and Ahmad (1918-1962). This talk draws on Arabic resources, accounts by foreign travelers and the report of a 1955 FAO agricultural mission to Yemen in describing the role of agriculture and cultivated crops in the area ruled by the imams in the first part of the 20th century.
Daniel Martin Varisco holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania for ethnographic research on water resource use and agriculture in Yemen. He has also conducted ethnographic and historical research in Yemen, Egypt and Qatar. He serves as President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, editor-in-chief of CyberOrient (www.cyberorient.net), and was editor of Contemporary Islam (2006-2016). He has published on the history of Yemeni agriculture in the Journal for the Economic and Social History of the Orient, the Journal of Semitic Studies, History and Anthropology and in his Medieval Agriculture and Islamic Science (1994).
The current battle for Hodeidah is not the first time it has been the target of foreign intervention. In October, 1924 the young Idrissi ruler took over Hodeidah, much to the chagrin of Imam Yahya, who was forging his kingdom after the departure of the Ottoman Turks. It was short-lived. Below is an account given by the U.S. Consul in Aden in an official dispatch.
Details of the exhibit are described below:
The Mahra people of the southern Arabian Peninsula have no written language but instead possess a rich oral tradition. Samuel Liebhaber takes readers on a tour through their poetry, collected by the author in audio and video recordings over the course of several years. Based on this material, Liebhaber developed a systemic approach to Mahri poetry that challenges genre- based categorizations of oral poetry from the Arabian Peninsula. By taking into account all Mahri poetic expressions—the majority of which don’t belong to any of the known genres of Arabian poetry—Liebhaber creates a blueprint for understanding how oral poetry is conceived and composed by native practitioners. Each poem is embedded in a conceptual framework that highlights formal similarities between them and recapitulates how Mahri poets craft poems and how their audiences are primed to receive them. The web-based medium allows users not only to delve into the classification system to explore the diversity and complexity of the Mahra’s poetic expressions, but also to experience the formation of a poem in the moment. Through a series of questions designed to define the social context in which a poem is being created, the reader is taken on an experiential tour through the corpus that highlights the embeddedness of poetry in the Mahras’ everyday practices.
“Featuring Arabic as well as Mahran texts translated and annotated in English, When Melodies Gather is a superb educational resource for appreciating the verbal and performative skill of modern tribal bards.”—Flagg Miller, University of California, Davis
“Of vital importance to the documentation of Mahri, When Melodies Gather enables native speakers and scholars alike to examine and appreciate an endangered genre within an endangered language.”—Janet Watson, University of Leeds
Some random memories about the founding of AIYS and subsequent times in Yemen.
McGuire Gibson, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
The American Institute for Yemeni Studies came into being because the late Selma al-Radi had taken a job as an advisor to the Department of Antiquities, as part of Dutch aid. In 1977, I was in Riyadh, working on some finds from the survey that the Oriental Institute had done in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. All the foreigners I met insisted that, since I was so close, I should go to visit Yemen, which was “marvelous.” Finishing my work a couple of weeks early, I sent a wire to Selma, asking if it would be possible to visit. A week later, I arrived at the Sanaa airport, paid $12 for a visa, and was driven into the city by Selma in her Suzuki, Flosi. Within two hours, we were having lunch at the top of the American ambassador’s house, one of the finest tall houses in the city. Tom Scotes, the ambassador, and his wife had also invited Dr. Abdul Karim el-Eryani and Marjorie Ransom, the Public Affairs officer of the embassy. Much of the conversation was an attempt to convince me to start archaeological work in Yemen. Being already fully engaged in Iraq, with a small remaining commitment to the Saudi project, it looked unrealistic to begin research on a country I knew nothing about, except for the snippets learned in Arabian Seminar meetings in Britain. (Although there were serious academic talks based on inscriptions, real archaeology had barely begun at that time, and the presentations were more often than not: “When I was leading the X rifles in Aden, we chanced on a dam and some buildings in Y valley.”)
Dr. Abdul Karim stated that he had previously been the Minister of Planning, but had decided that you could not plan anything without basic data, and therefore he had become Minister of Education and had pushed for the admission of foreign researchers to help in the gathering of information on which to develop the country. I had already been told by Selma about the dozens of American researchers in Yemen, studying development projects, doing medical research, and carrying out dissertation projects in anthropology. I told the group at the table that what was really needed was an American Institute, similar to the one in Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, which would foster more research, make it easier for scholars to find cheaper housing and a library, and would become a center for the exchange of ideas. By the time we got up from the table, the ambassador, Dr. Abdul Karim, and I had signed a note of intent to form an institute, and the ambassador promised $40,000 as a seed grant while Dr. Abdul Karim promised either a house or land at the new University of Sana’a, on which to build. And I promised that I would try to mount an archaeological project, even if I did not carry it out myself.
The following papers relating to Yemen will be presented at the upcoming MESA meeting in San Antonio in November. Details are available at: https://mesana.org/mymesa/meeting_program.php?program_bookyr=2012
تمويل المعهد الأميركي للدراسات اليمنية لطباعة أبحاث أكاديمية يمنية
الموعد النهائي لتقديم طلب التمويل 31يوليو2018
يعلن المعهد الأميركي للدراسات اليمنية عن منافسة لطباعة كتب بحوث أكاديمية باللغة العربية للباحثين اليمنيين في اليمن. إننا ندرك الوضع الصعب الذي يواجه الباحثين اليمنين في الوقت الراهن ونريد تقديم المساعدة لنشر بحوثهم. الباحثين اليمنين الذين لديهم مسودة كتاب أو دراسة في مجال العلوم الإنسانية, الآداب أو العلوم الاجتماعية جاهزة للطباعة والنشر ويريدون نشرها عليهم تقديم مخطوط الكتاب او الدراسة في ملف ورود أوب يدي أف (Word or pdf) وتعبئة استمارة تقديم الطلب الموجودة أدناه. سيتم منح الأفضلية للكتب التي تركز على الموروث التاريخي والثقافي اليمني. وسيتم تقييم ومراجعة الطلبات من قبل لجنة النشر المكونة من أعضاء المعهد الأميركي للدراسات اليمنية. الموعد النهائي لتقديم الطلبات خلال هذه لدورة هو 31 يوليو. المعهد الأميركي للدراسات اليمنية سوف يقدم تمويل الطباعة والنشر في اليمن.
الوظيفة الأكاديمية للباحث:
الدرجة الأكاديمية الأعلى: (مكان الحصول عليها, المجال والتاريخ)
مجال الدراسة المراد نشرها:
عنون مخطوط الكتاب:
نبذة مختصرة عن الكتاب ( لا تتجاوز 250 كلمة)
يرجي تقديم نسخة في ملف aiyspublishing من مخطوط الكتاب مع هذه الاستمارة الي: firstname.lastname@example.org.
سيتم مراجعة وتقييم المخطوط من قبل اللجنة لكن لن يتم توزيعها الى أي شخص آخر وسيبقى المخطوط خاصا غير معلن لأحد.
The BBC is presenting a series on Neanderthals with a paleoanthropologist of Yemeni descent.
The paleoanthropologist, who by her own account studies “really, really old humans,” is now the proud presenter and producer of BBC2’s Neanderthals: Meet Your Ancestors, a show that travels the world to help redefine, rebrand and reintroduce the archaic humans who lived in Eurasia roughly 250,000 to 400,000 years.
For the complete story, click here.
For images of Ella’s trips, click here.