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
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