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 important recent historians of the Ḥaḍramawt is ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Mallāḥī (1936-2014). An article on his life work can be found on al-‘Arabī. Among his publications are the following:
1- كتاب بادية المشقاص .
2- الحضارم في مومباسا ودار السلام (عن الهوية الحضرمية)
3- ملامح من التداخل المعرفي بين ربابنة حضرموت وعمان .
4- تقويم باكريت النجمي (عن الفلك) .
5- البلدة بين المفهوم الفلكي والمفهوم الشعبي .
6- روزنامات الربان بامعيبد .
7- الوجيز في تاريخ الشحر .
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
من معالم عدن:
مطعم بالو: يقع في كريتر بالقرب من الميدان في بداية الشارع المؤدي إلى مسجد حسين الأهدل بحافة حسين ، وهو متخصص ببيع الكباب.
فتح الحاج محمد بالو المطعم في عام 1926، بعد قدومه إلى عدن مع كثيرين من الهند وقد كان بائعاً على الرصيف للكباب في الهند، ومنحته السلطة المحلية رخصة دكانه الصغير بالقرب من مقهى «زكو»، وبعد وفاته شغل المطعم ولده ياسين، وعجينة الكباب تُحظر في بيت صاحب المطعم التي تحتفظ بسر خلطة كباب بالو المميز.
والأن يدير الشيف نجيب ياسين محمد بالو المطعم الذي أشتهر واصبح من معالم عدن التاريخية وعلى العدنيين الطيبين ومحبي عدن تكريم هذا المطعم بما هو أهل له هو ومكتبة الحاج عبادي.
من فاسبوك محمد جرهوم
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
Qalb al-Yaman (The Heart of Yemen) is a book published in 1947 in Baghdad by the Iraqi military advisor Muḥammad Ḥasan. This is a fascinating account of Yemen about an Iraqi Military Mission to Yemen in 1940-1943 with details on Yemen at that time under the rule of Imām Yaḥyā. It is now available for reading online and downloadable.
first page of the author’s text
The text consists of 256 pages with a detailed table of contents, illustrations and a large map. The major chapters deal with Yemen’s geography and resources, history, the author’s travel experience to Yemen, the capital Ṣan‘ā’, Imām Yaḥyā, social life, major routes, local medicine, the government and soldiers, social and regional groups, women, marriage customs, festivals and greeting behavior, Yemenite Jews, the Iraqi advisors in Yemen, diplomatic relations and correspondence, Islamic sects, and his return to Iraq. There are numerous photographs, which unfortunately did not reproduce well in the publication.
photograph of Imām Yaḥyā (who did not want his image copied as noted in the bottom left)
beheading of soldier overseen by Sayf al-Islām Ibrāhīm
one of the earliest photographs of Yemeni bara‘
respective genealogies of Iraqī King Faysal and Yemeni Imām Yaḥyā
On Saturday, February 24, The Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. hosted a seminar on “Culture at Risk: Yemen’s Heritage under Threat”. This was jointly sponsored by the Sackler Gallery, CAORC and the Antiquities Coalition. The speakers included several AIYS members, including AIYS President Dan Varisco, Noha Sadek and Krista Lewis. Also speaking was Zaydoon Zaid of the American Foundation for the Study of Man and Gerald Feierstein, of The Middle East Institute and a former US Ambassador to Yemen. Information about the event is posted online and a video will be available in the future.
Below are some of the photographs of the event.
[Photographs provided by Cory Grace of the Smithsonian.]
Given all the negative news about Yemen, here is a refreshing example of the Yemeni dance tradition from Youtube. This is a wedding dance from the region of al-Ḥadā’ in the Dhamār region.
المرحومة الدكتورة رؤفة حسن ( ممسكة بالعود) والى يسارها الاستاذه إيمان العاقل وطفلتين اخريتين مع الاستاذ بابا عبدالرحمن مطهر ( امد الله في عمره) ايام من الزمن الجميل من صفحة الاستاذ محمد حسين العمري حفظه الله