On Monday, October 21, AIYS President Dan Varisco gave a talk at the School for Historical Studies of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, on the maps in the early 8th/14th century Rasulid tax document entitled Irtifā‘ al-dawla al-Mu’ayyadiyya. The talk was introduced by Dr. Sabine Schmidtke of IAS and in attendance were guests Dr. Muhammad Gerhoum, Amb. Amatalalim Alsoswa and Prof. Peter Golden of Rutgers University, as well as members of the School for Historical Studies.
left to right: Dr. Sabine Schmidtke, Dr. Muhammad Gerhoum and Amb. Amatalalim Alsoswa
In 1789 an Indian pilgrim stopped in Hodeidah and Mocha on his return to India. He provides a very brief account of Yemen, including a storm that almost sunk the ship he was on near Socotra. The full text is available here. I attach below the relevant sections.
A revised version of my 2018 monograph on agriculture in al-Mutawakkilite Yemen is now available at the OEAW website. This corrects a number of errors in the original version. If you downloaded the original, please replace it with the updated version. It is available through open access here.
Last year a memorial issue on the 25th anniversary of the passing of the major scholar of Yemen, R. B. Serjeant, was published. Serjeant, who held the Adams Chair of Arabic at Cambridge, had personal experience in Yemen and made a variety of contributions to Yemeni Studies.
A copy of this issue is available here:
Chroniques du manuscrit au Yémen
Numéro spécial 2, 2018
Robert Bertram Serjeant (1915-1933).
Edité par Anne Regourd
Table des matières
Anne Regourd (CNRS, UMR 7192). Vingt-cinq ans après : Hommage à Robert Bertram Serjeant (1915-1993). L’homme et ses archives
Aline Brodin (Cataloguing archivist, Special Collections, University of Edinburgh). An overview of the Robert Bertram Serjeant Collections at the University of Edinburgh Main Library
Ronald Lewcock (UNESCO consultant on architecture in the Yemen). Three Medieval Mosques in the Yemen: architecture, art, and sources
Plates and photographs
Philippe Provençal (Natural History Museum of Denmark). La question des noms d’espèces de poissons en arabe : la liste de Robert Bertram Serjeant
Mikhail Rodionov (Peter-the-Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, St. Petersburg State University, Russia). Ibāḍīs in the written-oral tradition of modern Ḥaḍramawt
G. Rex Smith (University of Leeds). Two literary mixed Arabic texts from the Yemen
Abbas Ali Muhammad al-Sosowah
Almadaniya has published an article on the Yemeni linguist, Dr. Abbas Ali Mohammad al-Sosowah and his work on Yemeni dialects. Check out the full article here.
Al-Sosowah’s Approach to Yemeni Dialects
Professor al-Sosowah, as far as we know, has studied and researched Yemeni dialects more than any other Yemeni academic. His work in this field started with his Master’s thesis on ‘The Dialect of Dhamar: A Descriptive Phonological Study’. He then published two specialized books on Yemeni dialects after getting his doctorate. The first, Studies in Yemeni Dialects (Dar Ubadi, Sana’a, 2007), is divided into three sections. Each section discusses a phenomenon of the dialects, or a certain field (like the morphological level), and each section includes a number of topics in that field. The second book is titled Qad in Yemeni Dialects – Research in Structures, Grammar, and Lexical Borrowing (Dar Ubadi, Sana’a, 2012), and is divided into six sections that are similar to the sections that were presented in his first book.
For information on his works, click here.
For this Youtube video of a talk by Dr. Al-Sosowah, click here.
Parts of this book are available online.
Dr Salwa Dammaj, Dr Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh, Ahmed al-Gabali, Abdulbari Taher, left to right.
A cultural event was organized and held at the Yemen Center for Studies and Researches (YCSR) in Sanaa on Wednesday 17 July 2019 to celebrate the publication of Qāmūs al-‘urf al-qabīlī fī al-Yaman [The Lexicon of Tribal Norms in Yemen]. The author is Ahmed al-Gabali, the Head of the Sociology Department at the Center. The book was published by AIYS as part of a recent series to publish annually a book on Yemen’s cultural heritage in Yemen by a Yemeni author. It was really a wonderful moment to celebrate a publication of an important cultural work at this extremely gloomy time.
An elite group of senior Yemeni researchers and authors attended and contributed to the event including Yemen’s great poet Dr Abdulaziz al-Maqaleh, President of the YCSR. The event commenced with brief speech by the author and researcher Mohammed al-Shaybani in which he welcomed the audience. Then, the sponsor of the function Dr Abdulaziz delivered his opening remarks in which he voiced thanks and appreciation for the author, Ahmed al-Gabali, for his great efforts and hard work to get the lexicon accomplished. Dr al-Maqaleh also expressed thanks for AIYS for contributing toward printing the lexicon and getting it published.
Hear Dr. Maqaleh’s remarks
After that the Resident Director of AIYS, Dr Salwa Dammaj, delivered a speech, expressing thanks for the audience and deeply appreciating the attendance of Dr Al-Maqaleh and his extraordinary role and contribution to the Yemeni culture and literature. She said:
“It is very difficult for me, who grew up on al-Maqaleh’s poetry and his prominent humanitarian and cultural active role in the Yemeni national arena, to talk about him. I’m like my generation and several Yemeni generations who have been influenced by Dr al-Maqaleh’s literature. We are grateful for this great man who devoted his life to develop Yemeni culture, establish cultural institutions and encourage young authors and support them. His extraordinary poetical works and pioneering role will remain an outstanding landmark in the modern history of Yemeni culture and literature.
The rich Yemeni culture with its unique diversity expressively denotes the deep and great civilized heritage of our people and country. Today we are here to celebrate a noteworthy and valuable book aimed to shed light on a significant side of our cultural heritage and illustrate some of its components. I am referring to the issue of tribal norms in Yemen. Perhaps, it should be quite difficult today to talk about the Yemeni culture and its uniqueness, while Yemen has been enduring the current dilemma, suffering from misery and a humanitarian crisis. But, the opposite is true; culture is the key factor that can help over some of the country’s misery and it is a prerequisite to cope with political challenges and short-sighted visions, as we move forward to a better future.”
Afterwards the much-respected researcher and political activist, Abdulbari Taher, made a significant comment on the importance of the ‘Lexicon’, describing the book as a pioneering work which will fill an important gap in the Yemeni literature and library. The chief researcher at the (CYSR). Qadiri Ahmed Haider, delivered a speech on behalf of the author’s friends; he highly praised the tireless efforts and hard work made by Mr al-Gabali over the years to see the Lexicon accomplished. “It is a remarkable and pioneering work, self-driven and plausible adventure that al-Jabili deserves to be congratulated for”, noted Haider.
Finally, the author expressed his pleasure for having his Lexicon published, voicing deep thanks and appreciation for AIYS for printing his book and getting it published. Mr al-Gabali talked about his work on the book over the years, describing his research methodology that involved him in field survey in different Yemeni regions to collect and verify the tribal norms and vocabularies of the Lexicon. He reiterated his thanks for Dr Al-Maqaleh’s support and encouragement. By the end of the session, Mr al-Gabali signed copies of the book, launching the distribution of copies of the Lexicon in three volumes.
AIYS is please to announce that the annual book award will be named the “Abdulaziz al-Maqaleh Book Award for Yemen’s Cultural Heritage” in honor of Dr. Maqaleh’s contributions to Yemen’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Dr.Salwa A. Dammaj
I. B. Tauris has just published Violent Radical Movements in the Arab World: The Ideology and Politics of Non-State Actors, edited by the late Peter Sluglett and Victor Kattan. This includes an article by Dan Varisco on “When the State becomes a Non-State: Yemen in the Huthi/Ali Abdullah Salih Alliance.” It also contains an introduction to the lifetime work of the historian Peter Sluglett.
Abstract of Book:
Violent non-state actors have become almost endemic to political movements in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. This book examines why they play such a key role and the different ways in which they have developed. Placing them in the context of the region, separate chapters cover the organizations that are currently active, including: The Muslim Brotherhood, The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hamas, Hizbullah, the PKK, al-Shabab and the Huthis.
The book shows that while these groups are a new phenomenon, they also relate to other key factors including the ‘unfinished business’ of the colonial and postcolonial eras and tacit encouragement of the Wahhabi/Salafi/jihadi da’wa by some regional powers. Their diversity means violent non-state actors elude simple classification, ranging from ‘national’ and ‘transnational’ to religious and political movements. However, by examining their origins, their supporters and their motivations, this book helps explain their ubiquity in the region.
Contents of Book:
Preface, Victor Kattan
Foreword: Peter Sluglett and the Study of the Modern Middle East, Toby Dodge
1. Introduction: Violent Non-State Actors in the Arab World: some General Considerations, Peter Sluglett
2. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Violence: Porous Boundaries and Context, Khalid Hroub
3. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: Ideology vs. Context , Hassan A. Barari
4. Between Religion, Warfare and Politics: the Case of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria , Mohamed-Ali Adraoui
5. The 2007 Hamas-Fatah Conflict in Gaza and the Israeli-American Demands , Victor Kattan
6. Hizbullah and the Lebanese State: Indispensable, Unpredictable – Destabilizing? , Peter Sluglett
7. When the State becomes a Non-State: Yemen in the Huthi/Ali Abdullah Salih Alliance, Daniel Martin Varisco
8. Violent Non-State Actors in Somalia: al-Shabab and the Pirates, Afyare A. Elmi and Ruqaya Mohamed
9. “Being in Time”: Kurdish Movement and Quests of Universal, Hamit Borzolan
Afterword, Abdullah Baabood
2019 AIYS Fellows
(top row, left to right) Mansure Jubbara (Ṣa‘da University), Shadad Al-Ali, Director of GOAM in Dhamar, Ahmad al-Shawafi, Walid Al-Murisi, Dr Efterkar Almekhlafi, Dr Halah Jabbori, Dr. Salwa Dammaj;
(bottom row), Mohammed Jazem, Salah al-Kowmani (Dhamār University), (far right) Khalid al-Dhafari (Ibb University).
A seminar was held on Thursday, June 2019 in the AIYS premises for the 2019 AIYS Fellowships. Eleven Yemeni researchers out of 72 applicants received the 2019 Fellowship award. AIYS is the only international institute currently providing fellowships to Yemeni scholars in Yemen. If you would like to contribute to a special fund only used for fellowships to Yemeni scholars, click here.
The 2019 Yemeni scholars’ research included a variety of specializations including the sciences, agriculture, social domain, history, Arabic inscriptions, antiquities, and law. Four awarded researches aimed to study topics in Yemen’s history and antiquities. One research topic is concerned with the war’s devastating impacts upon education and pupils in the northern region of Sa‘da. Another research intended to verify some old Yemeni Kufic inscriptions. Scientific researches are focusing on water shortages in Yemen and exploring possible solutions, endemics disease outbreaks and how to contain risks.
The following awarded researchers provided brief presentations about their researches.
1. Dr. Eftekar Almekhlafi, her research titled: Selling Children: a Study of Law and Fiqh.
2. Dr. Maher al-Maqtari, his research titled: The Possibility of Planting Barley and Grain Plants with Saline Water Irrigation in Yemen.
Dr Maher Maktari
3. Khalid al-Dhafari, his research titled : Edited Edition of the Herbal al-Mu’tamid fi al-adwiya al-mufrida by the Rasulid Sultan al-Malik al-Muẓaffar Yūsuf.
Khalad al-Dhafari (Ibb University)
4. Salah al-Kawmani, his research titled: Kufic inscriptions in Dhamar, Yemen.
5. Dr. Mansur Jubbara, his research titled: The Effect of the War on the Psychological Needs of Students at Ṣa‘da University.
6. Dr. Hala Jabbori, her research titled: The Overall Legacy Left by Cemeteries and Their Impact on Groundwater Quality.
7. Walid al-Murisi, his research titled: Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-Transmitted Helminth and Schistosoma mansoni among School Children in Al-Nādira District, Ibb Governorate, Yemen.
8. Ahmed al-Shawafi, his research titled: Assessment of Heavy Metals Contamination in Groundwater and Using Natural Zeolite to Remove Them in Banī al-Ḥarith District, Ṣan‘ā’.
9. Muhammad Jazem: Study and Analysis of a Manuscript about Irrigation Rights in Wadi Dhahr.
10. Saeed Baniwas, a researcher from Hadramout, provided a presentation about his research through Skype. His research is entitled: Ecological and Biological Study of the Varroa destructor Mite on Honey bees in Doan Valley, Hadhramout Governorate.
At the end of the seminar the researchers were paid 80% of the total amount of the fellowship grant, while the remain 20% was held back until the researchers get their studies finished.
Dr Efterkar Almekhlafi, Dr Salwa Dammaj
Dr. Salwa Dammaj, Resident Director
The Washington Post has published an article about a new Yemeni cookbook written by Amjaad Al-Hussain. The article posts a recipe for “Yemeni cornbread” (kubana). Another online recipe is available here. The book is available here in hardcover, softcover or digital. All proceeds from the digital version will be donated for food for families facing famine in Yemen. The author also has a twitter account.