Category Archives: Art

Epigraphy of pre-Islamic South Arabia

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A series of five hands-on lectures will be given by Christian Robin, a Member of the School for Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and of the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in France, in the Near Eastern Studies Workshops sponsored by Professor Sabine Schmidtke. These will provide an overview of the epigraphic documentation of pre-Islamic Arabia and existing tools, as well as presenting the state of the art on issues for which significant progress has been made in recent years through new epigraphic discoveries and the re-examination of older documents.

This will be held over five days: January 21, 23, 27, 28, 30, 2020 in Fuld Hall, room 307 of IAS.

The topics include:
• Arabs and Ḥimyarites; sha‘b and ‘ashīrat; the introduction of the horse
• territorial expansion of the kingdom of Ḥimyar; the “kingdom” of Kinda
• Judaism of Ḥimyar; the names of God, especially Raḥmānān
• reign of Abraha; the Christianity of Ḥimyar; Christian Arabs
• polytheistic god al-Lāh (comparison with al-Lāt); daughters of Īl
• tribal map and Arab-Islamic genealogies; permanence and breaks
• Arab-Muslim scholarly tradition and archaeology (writing, ritual practices, political history, chronology)
• Arabic and South Arabian languages
• long distance trade
• public finances

Knowledge of a Semitic language, ideally Arabic, is recommended.

RSVP to nitschke@ias.edu

Yemen: Inside a Crisis

 

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The Imperial War Museum (IWM) in England is having an exhibition on the crisis in Yemen until January 26, 2020. Details are at https://www.iwm.org.uk/seasons/yemen-inside-a-crisis.

Described by the UN as the “world’s worst” humanitarian crisis, the on-going conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 80% of the country’s men, women and children in desperate need of assistance; but how has this man-made crisis affected the people of Yemen?

At the forefront of a major season of programming at IWM North, Yemen: Inside a Crisis is the UK’s first exhibition to address Yemen’s on-going conflict and humanitarian crisis. Showcasing around 50 objects and photographs, many of which have been exclusively sourced from Yemen for this exhibition.

Rasulid Seminar in Bonn

mahoneyrasulidDan Mahoney opening the Rasulid Seminar in Bonn

On Friday, March 29, a seminar on Rasulid studies was held in Bonn, Germany at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg. Funding for the seminar was provided by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Kolleg. Papers were presented by Ingrid Hehmeyer, Ellen Kenney, Dan Mahoney, Magdalena Moorthy-Kloss and Dan Varisco. Preparations are underway to publish the papers.

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AIYS President Dan Varisco presented at the seminar

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Seminar dinner at Em Höttche in Bonn
(left: Ellen Kenney, Roxani Margariti, Ingrid Hehmeyer, Dan Varisco, Zacharie de Pierrepont; right: Dan Mahoney, Petra Schmidl (partially hidden), Magdalena Moorthy-Kloss, Adam Sabra)

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Dan Mahoney, Petra Schmidl, Magdalena Moorthy-Kloss,
Adam Sabra

ذكري الفنان الكبير محمدعلي ميسري

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يصادف اليوم 2 فبراير الذكرى الثالثة على رحيل الفنان الكبير محمدعلي ميسري رحمة الله عليه
وهو شاعر وملحن ومطرب ولد في مودية بمحافظة أبين في عام 1946، وتوفى في 2 فبراير 2016،
اشتغل في سلك التدريس من 1/1/1962، حتى 1/11/1978، ثم انتقل الى ادارة الثقافة ابين مديراً للمركز الثقافي مودية، واحيل للتقاعد في 2006.
كان يتمتع بصوت شجي فيه نكهة أبينية مميزة؛ والحانه تتناغم مع رقصة (الشَّرح البدوي) المعروفة.
شارك في العديد من المهرجانات المحلية والعربية والدولية أبرزها مشاركته الفنية في كوبا، كوريا، العراق، المانيا وطاجكستان.
كان رحمة الله علية رائداً للحركة الفنية في دثينة ومن كبار فناني اليمن. أسس في أواخر عام 1965، أول ندوة موسيقية في مودية، وشكل في النصف الثاني من عام 1969، فرقة فحمان الموسيقية.
كما أثرى المكتبة الموسيقية برصيد كبير من الأغاني والأعمال الفنية، منها: يا طير السحر، آبا آبا ليش هكة، فرحة النصر، يا عيد عيدوه، يا فلاحة، ياعم منصور، كيفكم ياحبايب، موسم الصيف، ليش زعلان مني، الغصن الرطيب، ياحادي العيس / شي معك لي اخبار من تلحينه وشعر عبدالله مقادح، قلبي اشتراكم من كلماته وتلحينه.
وغني يا عدن الثورة، اليمن الواحد، ما أفتهم كيف أنت، يا ذي نويتوا العيب وأحرمتوا قلب المحب، إسمك كتبته فوق جدران قلبي، هيثم عوض قال، جودوا لي بليلة، ما أحسنك ما أحسنك يا الغصن الرطيب، عناق الأحبة، سلام شف كيف صنعاء
وله الفضل في تقدم العديد من الاصوات الموجودة في الساحة الفنية.
غنى له بعض الفنانين العرب وسطا بعضهم على بعض ألحانه وأغنياته، مثل: يا عم منصور وليش زعلان مني.
المعلومات في هذه النبذة المختصرة مستلة من السيرة الذاتية التي كتبها المرحوم الأستاذ حسين محمد ناصر ومن السفر الجميل للأستاذ محمد بن ناصر العولقي: من تاريخ الأغنية في لحج وعدن وأبين.

محمد جرهوم

Yemen’s First Artist Abduljabar Noaman Dies

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Yemen’s most celebrated and accomplished painter, Abduljabar Ahmed Noaman, died on January 28, 2019 at an age of 70 years.  Born in 1949 in the Dhubhan countryside of Taiz province, he received basic  and secondary schooling in Aden. He was the first Yemeni student to be dispatched abroad to study arts at the Italian Institute for Arts in Cairo, from which he graduated in 1973 with a bachelor degree.

Noaman had proved himself to be have an original artistic talent and became a professional  and prolific painter. Throughout his artistic career over  half a century he produced hundreds of  artistic works and contributed to dozens of artistic exhibitions at regional and international levels. In his paintings and drawings he depicted Yemen’s  geography, history, civilization and culture. His models were taken from different parts of Yemen: From Hadramawt mud brick skyscrapers, to the old city of Sanaa and bunches of roses on Mount Sabir in Taiz and so on.

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Continue reading Yemen’s First Artist Abduljabar Noaman Dies

Yemeni Agates

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image courtesy of Rahman Taha

Zayd al-Faqih has published online a history of the Yemeni agate on the website al-madaniya.

Here is the start of the article:

Yemen has been known since ancient times for its agate and incense trade, as well as trade in other precious stones such as onyx and jade. However, agate has achieved broader fame as a leading precious stone amongst many other valuable gems, incense and spices, including coffee beans. Yemeni agate arrived in Europe early; mentions include in Aristotle’s writings (384 – 322 BC), which state that the finest agate and onyx were brought from Yemen. The Book of Crowns of the Kings of Ḥimyar, by Wahb ibn Munabbih (655–728 AD), states that Shaddad ibn Amr, from the people of Ād, built his palace from onyx stones. History books state that when al-Muzaffar al-Sulayhi became ruler of Yemen, he sent gifts to his Fatimid allies, including 70 swords with agate handles, 12 knives with onyx blades, 5 agate adorned garments and a large number of  precious stones. Abu al-Hassan al-Hamdani (893–945 AD) writes that the art of forming and using onyx for adorning and lining reached its peak during his time, and was used to make bottles, cases, sword handles and plates…

Continued here.

Yemeni Arts on al-Madaniya

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Despite the turmoil and suffering in Yemen, a number of Yemeni artists are continuing to write, draw, photograph and film. One of the more exciting online resources for this is the website al-madaniya, published in English and Arabic.  Current posts include an article on Muhammad Mahmud al-Zubayri, Art in prehistoric Yemen, Yemeni songs, the poets ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Muqalih and ‘Abd Allah al-Baradduni, several short stories and much more. All the articles are published in Arabic and English, so they are also suitable for anyone interested in learning Arabic.

As note in the “About” section…

al-Madaniya magazine is a platform for Yemeni art, culture and civil society. It aims to highlight and nurture Yemeni art, culture and civil society initiatives through contributions from emerging and established writers, photographers and creatives

The magazine aims to impact the way Yemenis view their own society by providing a space for its cultural, intellectual and artistic productions, and by highlighting initiatives bridging social divisions. By presenting all contributions in both Arabic and English language, the magazine allows the international reader to explore an undiscovered side to Yemen, which differs from images of Yemen created in mainstream media

al-Madaniya magazine is a project implemented by the Yemen Polling Center and made possible by the generous funding of the German Institute of Foreign Affairs.  Yemeni artist Ibi Ibrahim has been commissioned to lead the project and serve as the Editor in Chief.

Glaser Collection of South Arabian Antiquities

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One of the most important late 19th century travelers to Yemen was the Austrian Eduard Glaser, who commented on life in the Ottoman era and collected South Arabian inscriptions and antiquities. His work is archived in several places in Vienna. In the Kunsthistorische Museum there is a small collection of South Arabian art that he collected.  I visited this last week and provide several pictures of what can be seen.

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The Glaser Collection in the museum

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A project is underway to provide open access to the squeezes that Glaser made of South Arabian inscriptions.