Category Archives: Member News

New Post on Zabid Project

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One of the major archeological projects conducted in Yemen was the Royal Ontario Museum expedition in the 1980s under the directorship of Ed Keall.  Dr. Keall has provided an update on the project and this is now online on the AIYS website.

Below is the outline:

Formal Start of the Project in 1982 >
Study of Zabid’s urban form >
Traditional brick houses of Zabid >
Zabid Citadel Excavations >
al-Asha’ir mosque probe
>
Ceramic Typology >
The Mosques of Zabid >
Commemorative Monuments in Islamic Tihamah >
Spate Irrigation and Water Delivery Systems >
Megalithic site of al-Midamman >
Rock paintings of al-Mastur >
Bibliography

الإعلان عن إطلاق موقع يمن ابديت اون لين

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الإعلان عن إطلاق موقع  يمن ابديت اون لين

ينشر موقع يمن ابديت اون لاين البحوث والدراسات اليمنية بما في ذلك المقالات المهنية بلغتين العربية والانجليزي و مراجعات الكتب والتقارير التي يصدرها باحثو وزملاء المعهد الأمريكي للدراسات اليمنية. تتم الإضافات والتحديثات على مدار العام بعد تقديمها والموافقة على نشرها من قبل المحررين. وان كانت المقالات اقل من الف كلمة فسيتم نشرها كنص في الإنترنت. بينما يتم نشر المقالات والموضوعات الأطول بصيغة بي. دي. أف لأمكانية نسخها من الموقع. ويتخذ المحررون قرار الموافقة على نشرها. ان رغبتم في تقديم صور او رسومات يجب ان تكونوا اصحاب الحق في نشرها اولديكم اذناً بذل. أما بقية حقوق الطبع فهي للكاتب. التفاصيل على الموقع

Announcing Yemen Update Online

Yemen Update Online publishes research in English and Arabic in any field of Yemen Studies. This includes professional articles of any length, book reviews and AIYS fellowship reports. Items will be added throughout the calendar year as they are submitted and approved by the editors. If the article is less than 1,000 words it will be published as text online, but longer articles will be published as pdfs to be downloaded from the site. Decisions on publication are made by the editors. If you are submitting photographs or drawings, make sure that you have permission to do so.  All rights remain with the author. For details, check out the website.

Why Yemen Matters

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Yemen’s war and humanitarian crisis are in the news, but very little is known about the rich cultural heritage of the southwestern corner of Arabia throughout history. Also largely unknown are Yemen’s geographic and economic diversity or their impact on recent events. Yemen’s diversity owes much to conquest, trade, and migration between Yemen and Christian Ethiopia, Sassanian and Islamic Iran, Fatimid and Ayyubid Egypt, Ottoman Turkey, the African coast and Southeast Asia. In this panel experts on different periods of Yemeni history and its diverse contemporary contexts probe beyond current politics to share their insights and discuss potentials for future scholarly research on Yemen.

There will be a Near Eastern Studies Seminar, Why Yemen Matters: The Heritage of a Land in Crisis,at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton on Feb. 19, from 5:00-6:30 pm. This Panel Discussion presents current IAS Scholars:  Najwa Adra (IAS), Hassan Ansari (IAS), Glen Bowersock (IAS), Nathalie Peutz (New York University Abu Dhabi), Christian Robin (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris), Sabine Schmidtke (IAS), and Daniel M. Varisco (American Institute for Yemeni Studies).

The meeting will be held in the White-Levy room at IAS. This event is part of the Near Eastern Studies Workshops sponsored by Professor Sabine Schmidtke (IAS). RSVP to nitschke@ias.edu.

Nancy Um on Mocha in Chicago

“From City to Text to Image: Pieter van den Broecke and Safi ibn Vali in Seventeenth-Century Mocha”
by Nancy Um (SUNY Binghamton)

Friday, February 14
, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Neubauer Collegium
University of Chicago
5701 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL

In this talk, Nancy Um will examine two seventeenth-century images of the Red Sea port of Mocha in Yemen. The first is an etching by Adriaen Matham, which was published in the journal of the Dutch East India Company merchant Pieter van den Broecke. The other is a painting that appeared in a pilgrimage narrative written by Safi ibn Vali, a Persian scholar who was sponsored by Zib al-Nisa, the daughter of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The two images will be placed in dialogue, with a consideration of the complicated relationships that were sustained between port city spaces, travel narratives, and image genres in the seventeenth century, a time when Red Sea travel, for both trade and pilgrimage, generated considerable visual interest.

This event is sponsored by the Interwoven project at the Neubauer Collegium. This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate should contact the Neubauer Collegium at collegium@uchicago.edu or 773.795.2329.

 

Tribal Dynamics and Nation Building in Yemen

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On February 5, 2020 Najwa Adra, a Visitor at the School for Social Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, will give a talk in the  Near Eastern Studies Seminar on “Tribal Dynamics and Nation Building in Yemen.”

The meeting will be from 4:00-6:00 pm in the West Seminar room at IAS. All are welcome.

For details, click here: https://www.hs.ias.edu/islamic-world/events

Passing of Abbas Hamdani

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Prof. Abbas Hamdani

AIYS is saddened to hear of the passing of Prof. Abbas Hamdani, who made substantial contributions to the study of the Ismaili community in Yemen, on December 23, 2019.

Below is a tribute from George Mason University:

Condolences from AVACGIS to the Family of Professor Abbas Hamdani

Dear Friends,

We are sorry to share the news that Dr. Sumaiya Hamdani’s father, Dr. Abbas Hamdani, passed away.      Dr. Sumaiya Hamdani shared that he passed in comfort, and was at home with family. Please join us in extending condolences and sympathies to Dr. Sumaiya Hamdani. Her e-mail address is shamdani@gmu.edu

In lieu of flowers, Dr. Abbas Hamdani wished for family and friends to donate to either Doctors without Borders or the United Nations Relief Works Agency.

Here is some information about Dr. Abbas Hamdani adapted from his faculty page at the Institute for Ismaili Studies:

Dr. Hamdani was Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He was born in Surat, India in 1926, received his B.A. (Hons.) and L.L.B. degrees from Bombay University in 1945 and 1947 and his Ph.D. from the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) in 1950, in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He taught Islamic History at the University of Karachi from 1951-62; at the American University in Cairo from 1962-69; and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee until his retirement in 2001.
Dr. Hamdani published widely on medieval Islamic philosophical thought.  His academic honors include a Fellowship from the Fulbright Commission and the American Research Centre in Egypt, and an award for distinction in Teaching, Service, and the promotion of Peace from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  He spoke several languages (English, Arabic, French, Urdu, Gujrati) and travelled widely, attending and speaking at conferences in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, North Africa, Australia, and Asia.  He recently donated around 300 manuscripts inherited through seven generations of his family to the Institute of Ismaili Studies, which has been catalogued in the IIS publication Arabic, Persian and Gujarati Manuscripts: The Hamdani Collection.

An obituary from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is published here.

Yemen at American Historical Association

Three members of AIYS will be presenting at the AHA annual meeting in New York City this coming Monday.

Late Breaking: Understanding the Conflict in Yemen Through History

Monday, January 6, 2020: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM

Trianon Ballroom (New York Hilton, Third Floor), NYC

Chair:
Les Campbell, National Democratic Institute
Panel:
Bernard Haykel, Princeton University
Gregory Johnsen, Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies
Asher Orkaby, Transregional Institute, Princeton University
Khlood al-Hagar, National Endowment for Democracy

Session Abstract

The ongoing civil war in Yemen is synonymous with a growing humanitarian crisis and a sectarian rivalry between Sunnis in Saudi Arabia and Shi’is in Iran. Underlying the difficult photos of starving Yemeni children and cities succumbing to widescale destruction is a conflict rooted in Yemen’s history. The modern state of Yemen, first founded in September 1962 has been reduced to a few hotel rooms in Riyadh, while northern tribesmen representing a bygone and racist social and political hierarchy have taken over the capital city of Sana’a. The “civil war” does not feature opportunistic groups searching for prominence in a fractured political structure in Yemen, but rather consists of groups representing centuries of geographic, religious, ideological, and cultural identities that constitute the very fabric of South Arabian history.

Yemen, however, does not exist in a vacuum. A local change of government in Sana’a has drawn regional and international powers into the political strife, dragging a national struggle into the international arena. The relative dearth of Yemen area specialists has presented both an opportunity and responsibility for historians and other academics to lend their expertise to governments, think tanks, and the general public audience as they struggle to make sense of current events in Yemen. Seldom do historians have an opportunity to reach audiences of thousands, let alone hundreds of thousands, eager to learn about decades and centuries of Yemeni history. Seldom do historians have an opportunity to make history themselves, by applying their historical expertise to a contemporary conflict and playing a role in bringing about a peaceful resolution.This panel features experts on Yemen’s religious, social, and political history. Each panelist will present a historical perspective on a particular aspect of the Yemen conflict and discuss how they have been able to translate their academic expertise to the policy field and to a wider public audience. The panel will also be an opportunity to demonstrate the power of Applied History and how the history classroom can be transferred to real world conflicts.

Passing of Merilyn Phillips Hodgson

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Merilyn Phillips Hodgson
(photograph from AFSM website)

Dear friends,
It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the passing of Merilyn Phillips Hodgson on Sunday, December 29, 2019 at her home in Falls Church, Virginia.
Merilyn’s passion for Yemen and its people began after taking over the leadership of the American Foundation for the Study of Man following the death of her brother, Wendell Phillips.
Through her commitment to the archaeology and cultural heritage of Yemen, she introduced great opportunities for scholars to participate and work in one of the most famous archaeological sites in Yemen at Awam Temple/ Mahram Bilqis.  We at the American Foundation for the Study of Man will honor her legacy and continue exploring, working and supporting Yemen and its culture.
Those of us that have had the privilege of enjoying her company will miss her greatly.  May she rest in peace and may your memories of spending time with her bring a smile.

On behalf of the American Foundation of the Study of Man,
Zaydoon Zaid
________________________________
Dr.-Ing. Zaydoon Zaid
Director and Vice-president
American Foundation For the Study of Man
Falls Church, VA 22042
703 241 3780
703 303 9640 (cell)

Welcome Tarek and Waleed

AIYS is pleased to announce that Tarek al-Wazir and Waleed Mahdi have been elected as Directors-at-Large to the AIYS Board of Directors. We welcome their insights for our work in promoting scholarship on Yemen, especially by our colleagues in Yemen.

Below are the statements that both made while standing for election:

Tarek
Tarek al-Wazir

Since 1999 I have been affiliated with the Yemen Heritage & Research Center (YHRC) in Tysons Corner, Virginia and currently serve as its local director and liaison to the main center in Sana’a, Yemen. My interest in Yemen naturally springs from it being my motherland and Sana’a my birth place. I have helped organize seminars for YHRC about Yemen in Washington, DC, two panels at previous MESA conferences, co-sponsored another at the University of Exeter, assisted scholars in their research locally
and their field visits to Yemen, attended and participated in numerous round-tables, workshops, panels, seminars about Yemen in the U.S. and Europe, co-sponsored art and folkloric exhibits at local schools, established cordial relationships between YHRC and AIYS and the French Center in Sana’a. I have also responded to think tank queries and arranged Yemeni history and information sessions. I hope that there will be a real opening for some peace in Yemen before the end of this year, so that crucial field work cannbe resumed. This should be a focus of AIYS. I urge AIYS to channel scholarship on Yemen to promote its unique varied identities and cultures and within Yemen to seek out intellectuals from different
backgrounds to cover the rich tapestry of the land.

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Waleed Mahdi

My name is Waleed F. Mahdi. I am assistant professor in the University of Oklahoma, with join affiliation in the Department of International and Area Studies and the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. My research, which lies at the intersection of area studies and ethnic studies, explores issues of identity and agency in US-Arab cultural politics and Arab American studies. I am currently focusing on Yemen as part of my contribution to a three-year, multi-institutional research collaboration that examines the 2011 Arab revolutionary public spheres. In addition to publishing, my contribution will result in an online archive that exhibits the role of Yemeni cultural producers in reflecting and affecting the process of transformation at the time. Recently, I have initiated a new line of inquiry for a book project that examines Yemeni and Yemeni American critiques of the US deployment of technology in the Yemeni conflict (e.g., drones, radar systems, weapons, and mid-air fueling) or in policing Yemeni American communities (e.g., DNA tests, Muslim ban algorithms, and surveillance tools).

I am interested in serving as an AIYS Director-at-Large and helping with the institute’s growth through several proposals. First, there is a great potential for the AIYS to be more visible in academia beyond the MESA conference, especially in increasing networking among colleagues across the US and Europe to co-sponsor events, workshops, or symposia of relevance to Yemeni studies. Second, there is a possibility for the AIYS to develop collaborations with other academic organizations (e.g., the American Studies Association, Arab American Studies Association, and Association for Middle East Women’s Studies, etc.) by sponsoring thematic panels of interest to AIYS’s community. Third, I hope the AIYS will explore ways to ensure timely collection of membership dues and increase funding to support research through identifying relevant grants and reaching out to potential donors. As a Yemeni American academic with experience in Yemeni higher education system, I am interested in continuing AIYS’s mission as a consortium for learning in the capacity of my elected position.