Much has been made of Iran’s alleged support of the Huthi regime in Yemen. Lost in the glare of the politics is a remarkable resource in Iran for anyone interested in the history of Yemen and its culture, and indeed for the whole history of Islam and the region. This is a website devoted to classical Arabic and Persian texts, including several which are relevant to Yemen. It boasts some 6,742 books and over 27,000 journal articles.
Among the texts available to read and to search online are al-Hamdānī’s Ṣifat jazīrat al-‘Arab, Nashwān ibn Sa‘īd al-Ḥimyarī’s Mulūk Ḥimyar wa-aqyāl al-Yaman, al-Burayḥī’s Ṭabaqāt ṣulaḥā’ al-Yaman, al-Janadī’s Sulūk, al-Khazrajī’s al-‘Uqūd al-lu’lu’iyya, plus many more. In addition there is an online searchable edition of al-Zabīdī’s Tāj al-‘arūs, the lexicon of lexicons.
The remarkable feature of this website is that you can search the entire collection or search within an individual text. For example, if you type اليمن into the overall search function, it will give you hundreds of hits in a variety of Arabic books and journal articles, as noted above.
If you go to a specific text, like al-Hamdānī’s geographical text, and type in a location (like ذمار), you get all the times it occurs in the text.
Or if you search in al-Khazrajī’s chronicle, you can, for example, find all the references to the Rasulid sultan al-Malik al-Muẓaffar.
You can even search non-Yemeni texts, such as the one above by al-Maqrīzī for instances where he discusses Yemen’s history.
If you go to al-Zabīdī’s lexicon, you can look up any relevant term and find wherever it is mentioned in his text.
This is an extraordinary resource, an example of how relations between Iran and the Arab World and the West (at least for Western scholars) can benefit from exchanging heritage rather than insults.
This site is well worth exploring.
Please note that you can adjust each page on the website so no letters are missing, as in some of the screen shots above.