Category Archives: Sanaa

Yemen Architecture Exhibition

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Trevor Marchand has put together an exhibition entitled “Buildings That Fill My Eye” Architectural Heritage of Yemen for the Brunei Gallery at SOAS in London.

The exhibition and its planned public talks and educational events will explore the astonishing variety of building styles and traditions that have evolved over millennia in a region of diverse terrains, extreme climates and distinctive local histories. Generations of highly skilled masons, carpenters and craftspeople have deftly employed the materials-to-hand and indigenous technologies to create urban architectural assemblages, gardens and rural landscapes that dialogue harmoniously with the natural contours and conditions of southern Arabia. In turn, the place-making practices of Yemen’s builders have played a significant role in fostering tight-knit communities with a strong sense of pride and distinct cultural identities.

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AIYS at MESA

AIYS held two well-attended panels at MESA in Boston last week.  Here are some of the photos from the panel organized by Dan Mahoney on the destruction of Yemen’s cultural heritage:

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Dr. Lamya Khalidi, Dr. Krista Lewis and Dr. Dan Mahoney at MESA

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Dr. McGuire Gibson at the heritage panel.  Dr. Gibson was the founder of AIYS in 1978.

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Dr. Lamya Khalidi, who also provided a video of Dr. al-Sayani, the current Director of the General Organization of Antiquities  and Museums in Yemen.

And here are photos from the panel organized by Dr. Marieke Brandt:

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Scenes of Yemen

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Photograph by Maarten de Wolf

I am walking through Sana’a and can’t believe my eyes.
Does this still exist – lots of men in white dresses wearing daggers?”

In 2013 the photographer Maartin de Wolf published online a superb set of photographs about Yemen, highlighting the variety of dress old and new. Amidst the current destruction of all almost aspects of daily life in Yemen, it is good to remember the beauty of Yemen and its people. Check out the photographs for yourself.

Yemen’s World Heritage in Venice

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Dr. Alessandro de Maigret (1943-2011)

Announcing an Exhibition and Conference

Yemen’s World Heritage. Archaeology, Art and Architecture
Museum of Oriental Art in Venice
October 20 – December 16, 2016

A joint initiative of:
Museums of the Veneto – Museum of Oriental Art , Veneto Institute for Cultural Heritage, Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen, Monumenta Orientalia, Rome

The Oriental Art Museum, the Veneto Institute for Cultural Heritage and the Italian Archaeological Mission in Yemen want to promote a series of events to make known in Venice’s the historic and artistic heritage of Yemen. Since March 2015 Yemen has been in a conflict in which the bombing violated numerous protected sites both nationally and internationally recognized, and destroyed museums and monuments of the rich cultural past of the country.
Recently, UNESCO reiterated its condemnation of the destruction perpetrated against the world heritage of Yemen and initiated a campaign # Unite4Heritage, the Yemeni Heritage Week: Museums United for Yemen for 2016, involving the major museums of Europe (the British Museum, Musée du Louvre, Hermitage, etc.).

From Prehistory to the present day the extreme tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has preserved unique features in the production of their material culture, whose forms are as native as the result of exchanges and synergies with Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. Historians of Greek and Roman classicism used to talk about Yemen using the nickname Arabia Felix, as a land of prosperity and wealth, not only material but also geographical and territorial. Yemen was, in fact, at the center of an important caravan and maritime trade axis: here met traders from India and the Horn of Africa with those who would later traced to the north of the Peninsula to enrich the courts of the various empires in Mediterranean with products such as incense, myrrh, spices, pearls and precious stones.
The deep bond of man with the settlement territory is expressed in through the remains of south Arabian kingdoms – the most notable of which is the Kingdom of Sheba – which were already using the house typology commonly referred as Yemen “tower house”.
With the start of Islam then, the Yemeni architecture has been enhanced with new forms and stylistic paradigms, and many temples of the pagan tradition turned into mosques. Archaeological studies conducted in Yemen have shown a slow and lasting osmosis between pre-Islamic and Islamic civilization.

The initiative promoted at the Museum of Oriental Art in Venice will go right to investigate this union, to raise awareness of an almost unknown cultural heritage in the West, whose origins are lost in the often muffled contours of myth.

The initiative also wants to highlight some Italian experiences, namely that of the Italian Archaeological Mission in the Republic of Yemen (MAIRY), began in 1980 and that of the Veneto Institute for Cultural Heritage began in 2005. Both have as their purpose the protection and enhancement of Yemeni heritage and both have been accomplished in total synergy with local counterparts, thus becoming moments of much scientific as human enrichment.

A series of seminars and meetings, by national and international experts at the Oriental Art Museum, will bring the public closer to the peculiarities of the history and culture of the country. In the room which will host the conference there will be some photo-descriptive panels on display that will illustrate some aspects of archeology, art and architecture of Yemen as  direct testimony of both the Italian Archaeological Mission and  the Veneto Institute for Cultural Heritage.

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New film on Yemeni Music

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Chers collègues et amis,

J’ai le plaisir de vous signaler la sortie récente du DVD “L’heure de Salomon”, film réalisé par Pascal Privet, et pour lequel j’ai assuré la traduction intégrale des textes chantés. Le film contient deux heures de musique, dans des cérémonies de mariage comme dans des salons de Sanaa :

https://dvd.filmsduparadoxe.com/index.php/catalogue/8-films/509-lheure-de-salomon

En espérant que ce travail permettra de conserver une partie de la mémoire de ce pays et de ce peuple martyrisés,

Bien amicalement,

Jean Lambert

AIYS Yemeni Fellowships 2016

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AIYS is pleased to announce that we were able to give out research fellowships to Yemeni scholars this year, despite the difficult situation in Yemen.  On June 21 they came to the institute to meet with Dr. Salwa Dammaj.  Those who received the fellowships are:

1.       Zeineb Suhill – Natural Disasters that affected Sana’a in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
2.      Libya Abdalla – Slaves and slavery in ancient writings of Yemen.
3.      Muhammed Abdel Wakeel Jazm – Pioneering Poets in Yemen..
4.       Aziza Tajadden – Micropropagation of Adansonia digitata by plant tissue culture techniques
5.       Fawziah al-Ammar – Adaption of survey for assessing PTSD in children and use in study of children in Sana’a.  .
6.       Thana Shuga al Deen – Assessment of heavy metal contamination in agriculture soils using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)
7.       Zainab Alansse – Phytochemical and biological activity of Euphorbia arbuscula and its stem latex.
8.   سبأ العديني Saba al Udaini –Impact of foreign interventions on the domestic crises in Yemen 2004-201

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