Projects in Yemen

A number of AIYS institutional members and fellows have long-term or large-scale projects in Yemen. All such projects are facilitated by AIYS, and many of them also benefit from financial support from AIYS' program grant from the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. We present a selection of them here. The list below gives links to individual project pages that contain brief descriptions, and other project information such as AIYS-related funding and links to online resources featuring the project.


Architectural Reconstruction and Documentation

The Amiriya Project
The Amiriya Madrasa in Rada, one of Yemen's major medieval architectural monuments, has been the focus of a major multi-country reconstruction and conservation project first in the early 1980's and then from 1996 through its completion in the spring of 2005; non-Yemeni government funding for the latter phase was administered by AIYS in Sana'a. The work of that project, and the training and conservation programs associated with it, are featured on this site. For video documentary on the qudad building techniques used in the Amiriya restoration, see Video Projects, below.

The Tarim Project
The city of Tarim, in the Hadhramawt, is known for its elaborate early twentieth-century mud-brick palaces. The Tarim Palaces Documentation Project, based at Columbia University, has since 2001 been supported by funds from AIYS' State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program budget.

The Qubbat Hassan Mosque of Dhuran
This significant 17th century mosque was heavily damaged during the 1982 earthquake and subsequently abandoned. The purpose of this project, sponsored by AIYS with cooperation from the French Center for Yemeni Studies was to document the building and its surrounding features.

see also "The Zabid Project" (Archaeological Fieldwork) and "The Architecture of Mud" (Video Projects).


Archaeological and Anthropological Fieldwork

Archaeological and environmental survey in the Dhamar region
A project of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the Dhamar area survey seeks to trace the history of settlement of the region.

Archaeological Exploration of the Mahra Region
Building on earlier work on Oman, this project sponsored by the Archaeology Fund, extends its explorations of the ancient frankincense routes into Yemen.

Roots of Agriculture in Southern Arabia
A joint American-Yemeni team is conducting interdisciplinary archaeological-paleoecological research on Holocene climate change and transitions to food production in southern Yemen's Hadramawt highlands.

The Zabid Project
Zabid flourished as an international entrepĂ´t in the mediaeval period and survives today in reduced form. The Zabid project of the Canadian Archaeological Mission of the Royal Ontario Museum covers topics ranging from urban development and monumental and vernacular architecture to sponsorship of the arts and industrial production.

Excavations at Jujah-Shibam, Wadi Hadhramaut
New York University's Institute of Fine Arts sponsored these excavations, dated to the late 9th-7th centuries B.C.

Archaeological Work at the Mahram Bilqis, Ma'rib
In 1998 the American Foundation for the Study of Man, an AIYS institutional member, undertook the first of what is hoped to be many field season of excavation at the Mahram Bilqis in Marib, as part of a joint project with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI).


Video Projects

The Architecture of Mud
A joint project of preservation expert Pamela Jerome (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University) and Caterina Borelli (independent filmmaker and senior producer RAI-TV 1), this projects documents the traditional methods of construction and preservation of mudbrick masonry used in the spectacular vernacular architecture of Yemen's Hadhramawt region. Two versions of the video, one in English and one in Arabic, premiered in the fall of 1999. For ordering information click here.

Murshidat: Female Primary Health Care Workers Transforming Society in Yemen
Based on many years of research in Yemen, Dr. Delores Walters has produced a collaborative documentary, training, and advocacy video highlighting the work of female primary health care workers (murshidat).

Qudad: Re-inventing a Tradition
Caterina Borelli (independent filmmaker and senior producer RAI-TV 1), produced this documentary based on AIYS Board Member Selma Al-Radi's restoration work at the Amiriya Madrasa, Rada'. The video comes in two versions, one in English and one in Arabic; the English version was shown at the 2003 Yemen Symposium as well as at the 2004 MESA FilmFest. For ordering information click here.


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