British Pathé and Reuters have created an online collection of 216 films, mostly black-and-white, on Yemen. These are short films, generally news reels, that provide a visual history of Yemen in much of the 20th century, both north and south.
Here is an example from 1964 of a Yemeni village…
There is a new edition of the Italian traveler’s El Yèmen, based on his travels to Ottoman Yemen in 1977-1978. Mohamed Shaaban writes about this book on Qantara.
The original edition from 1884 is available at archive.org.
One of the most impressive Yemeni sites for the culture and history of Aden and southern Yemen is alamree.net. You can literally spend hours exploring this rich site. As you can see in the above image from the main page, there is information on Aden itself, coffee and mountains in Yāfi‘ the Aden zoo and the mosque of al-‘Aydarūs. There is also a treasure trove of images and photographs on Aden, some of which are very old. More photographs and videos are also available on the Facebook site of Hussain Alamree.
Tawāhī in the 1960s
Ma‘alā sūq, 1920
Local dance in Shaykh ‘Uthmān, 1947
Yemeni novelists and playwrites Nadiah al-Kokabany, Wagdi al-Ahdal, Ali al-Moqri and Samir Abdul-Fatah
by Sara Forcella
Over the past two centuries, Yemen has been the scene of an important literary flowering. Despite the never-ending struggle of play-writers against the socio-political difficulties of the country, the emergence of the Modern Yemeni Theatre doubtless represents an example both of an innovative and high value literary production. Continuously facing social, political and cultural problems, Yemeni authors and players have always shown a great capability of keeping up with the times. Their works talk about doubts, questions, passions and issues of the modern man, going beyond the “local” dimension and constantly dialoguing with their Western counter-parts.
According to Saʿīd ʿAwlaqī (Sabʿūna ʿāmān min al-masraḥ fī-al-Yaman [Seventy Years of Yemen Theatre], 1983), the first information available about the early Yemeni dramas dates back to 1904 when the Indian acting company of Jamlat Shah came to Aden. The company went on stage with a mostly musical performance involving all its members, namely actors, dancers, musicians and circus animals. However, it was not until 1910 that the first Yemeni theatrical company was established in Aden, consisting of students that acted out a western play, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in Arabic. As al-Mubarak (Arabic Drama, A Critical Introduction, 1986) wrote, these first companies adopted the western model of playwriting once they came in direct contact with it during the 19th century, both in Greater Syria (the ancient region including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestine territories till the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918) and Egypt. Western models melded with previous forms of Arabic art performances, spanning the traditional shadow play, storytelling and poetry recitation.
Continue reading Modern Yemeni Theatre: A Brief History
Congratulations to Flagg Miller on the Arabic translation of his ethnographic study of cassette poetry. The English original is available here.
Elisabeth Wojnarski has posted a trove of old photographs, some of historical figures, from various parts of Yemen in a Facebook album. It is well worth checking it out.
Here are a few of the pictures…
Yemen’s most celebrated and accomplished painter, Abduljabar Ahmed Noaman, died on January 28, 2019 at an age of 70 years. Born in 1949 in the Dhubhan countryside of Taiz province, he received basic and secondary schooling in Aden. He was the first Yemeni student to be dispatched abroad to study arts at the Italian Institute for Arts in Cairo, from which he graduated in 1973 with a bachelor degree.
Noaman had proved himself to be have an original artistic talent and became a professional and prolific painter. Throughout his artistic career over half a century he produced hundreds of artistic works and contributed to dozens of artistic exhibitions at regional and international levels. In his paintings and drawings he depicted Yemen’s geography, history, civilization and culture. His models were taken from different parts of Yemen: From Hadramawt mud brick skyscrapers, to the old city of Sanaa and bunches of roses on Mount Sabir in Taiz and so on.
Continue reading Yemen’s First Artist Abduljabar Noaman Dies
A report on the geology of the Aden Protectorate, issued by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1963, is available online as a Google Book. Although dated, it still contains valuable data on the geology of the area at the time. Below is the abstract of the report.