A manuscript copy of al-Hamdani’s Sifat jazirat al-‘Arab is available online at King Saud University. I wonder how many copies are still in Yemen and in danger of being destroyed by the current conflict.
صناعة محلية %100
الخُبَر … جمع خُبْرَة وهي لفظة مستعملة عند حرفيي حَضْرموت، وهي عبارةٌ عن زنِبيلٍ مصنوعٍ من السَعَف يستخدم لحفظ التمور في النخيل قبل قطعه. وتسمى عملية وضع التمر إذا بدت عليه علامات النضج في الخُبْرَة بعملية القَنَامة. وتتميز الخُبْرَة بشكلها الجميل الذي يشبه إلى حدٍ كبيرِ شكل الخُف أو قارب الصيد فهي تتكون من جناحين متجافيين, طرفها الأول مفتوح وطرفها الآخر بيضاوي الشكل، وتقسَّم الخُبَر حسب حجمها إلى خمسة أنواع رئيسيةٍ … العُقدة وهو أكبرها حجماً، يأتي بعده كبير الحُوطة، فكبير سيئون، ثم الرُّبع الشافي وأخيراً الربع الصغير. وتعد صناعة الخُبَر من الصناعات الخُوصية التي تحتاج إلى خبرةٍ في إعدادها، فهناك خطواتٌ عمليةٌ خاصةٌ تحتاج إلى فنٍ وإتقان.
courtesy of Dr. Mohammaed Jarhoom
Here is my personal blog post on MENA Tidningen regarding the UNESCO meeting I attended a few days ago in Paris. AIYS was well represented at the meeting. I gave an introductory talk on Yemen’s history and culture the first day, followed by presentations on Yemen’s intangible and movable cultural heritage by AIYS associate and anthropologist Najwa Adra, ethnomusicologists Jean Lambert and Scheherazade Hassan, Anne Regourd (University of Copenhagen), Leila Aliaquil (jewelry expert), Alessandra Avanzini (University of Pisa) and St. John Simpson (British Museum). Speaking on Yemen’s archaeology were Iris Gerlach (DAI), Alexander Sedov (National Museum of Oriental Art, Russia), Sabina Antonini (Association Monumenta Orientalia), Michel Mouton (CEFAS), Zayd Zaydoon (AFSM) and Jean-François Breton. Yemen’s architecture and built heritage were discussed by Renzo Ravagnan and Massimo Khairallah (Instituto Veneto del Restauro), Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj (GIZ), Marylene Barret (Conservator) and Cristina Iamandi (architect and urban planner).
The meeting was opened and closed by H.E. Ambassador Ahmed Sayyad, Ambassador of Yemen to UNESCO. It was fortunate that Mohanad Ahmed Al Syani (Chairman of GOAMM) and Nagi Saleh (Chairman of GOPHCY) were able to make the arduous journey from war-torn Yemen to Paris and brief the delegates on the current damage to Yemen’s heritage and future needs for restoration.
I am just back from a UNESCO conference in Paris on saving Yemen’s cultural heritage. I will post soon on that, but here is a piece I published not long ago in Anthropology News.
Here is a selection of photographs of the Ashrafiyya Mosque in Taiz. Let us hope it will remain beautiful, as it has for seven centuries.
Youtube hosts a vintage newsreel about the historic signing of the agreement in 1956 between Imam Ahmad, King Saud and Egypt’s Nasser. How politics changes over the decades…
It has been over six months since the tragic murder of Dr. Muhammad Abd al-Malik al-Mutawakkil. I recently came across a BBC documentary on the rise of the Huthis from April that includes Dr. al-Mutawakkil. This is available on Youtube. All of us who knew Muhammad and his passion for the peaceful development of Yemen continue to mourn his passing.
بريشة الفنان الفرنسي
Link courtesy of Dr. Mohamed Jarhoum
The blood-soaked political battle to take control of Yemen goes beyond dead bodies, the wounded, the displaced and destruction of the infrastructure. Yemen’s rich and irreplaceable Islamic heritage is also under attack. In the Hadramawt, al-Qaeda has razed one of the many shrines, most under waqf control. The pictures here are of the tomb of al-Habib Hamad bin Salih bin Shaykh Abu Bakr bin Salim in the area of Sha’b al-Nur in the directorate of al-Shihr in the province of Hadramawt. What other important cultural and religious landmarks will also be destroyed as the madness continues?
My thanks to Dr. Mohamed Jarhoum for identifying the shrine, the photos of which were posted on the Internet.