Category Archives: Fellowships

Delores Walters on AIYS

Delores Walters in Wadi Dhabab, 1994

Delores M. Walters, Ph.D.

I first went to Yemen in the summer of 1981 on a FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowship to study spoken Arabic, having minored in Modern Standard Newspaper Arabic at NYU. My Arabic language study was in preparation for a doctoral dissertation fellowship in cultural anthropology funded by SSRC and Fulbright between 1982-84. Steven Caton, who was director of the Peace Corps in Sanaa, headed the language-training program, which included several Yemeni teachers. Peace Corps residents in Sanaa that year included American, Dutch, British and German volunteers.  Steve introduced me to Leigh Douglas who was resident director of AIYS at the time.

It was quite a shock to learn later that Leigh Douglas was one of three men, including two British citizens killed in Beirut in 1986 in retaliation for the U.S. bombing of Libya.  Leigh had taken genuine interest in my research and was particularly helpful in insuring that Lee Maher, my partner at the time, would be able to accompany me when I returned to Yemen in 1982 to begin my field research. He had made the introductions at the Yemen Center for Research & Studies (YCRS) to begin the process of obtaining residency and research clearance.  AIYS and the resident directors were chiefly responsible for connecting Americans to the Yemeni research center and were especially helpful in that regard. Once introduced, the staff and director of YCRS, Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Maqalih, (also a literary scholar and poet) were remarkably helpful, kind and attentive. Lealan Swanson became resident director of AIYS early during our stay. Occasionally, Lee filled in for Lealan when the latter was away for short periods.

Delores and Lee Maher, 1982

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AIYS Yemeni Fellowships 2017

Some of the 2017 AIYS Yemeni Fellowship Recipients

Despite the continuing crisis, AIYS has been able to offer fellowship research grants to Yemeni scholars. This year, with limited funding, a total of 15 proposals out of 47 were awarded. Seven researchers out of fifteen who received AIYS Fellowship grants for 2017 gathered on Friday May 26, 2017 in the AIYS premises. Each researcher gave a brief presentation about his/her own research. The Resident Director of AIYS welcomed the scholars and congratulated them on winning the fellowship grant, wishing them success in their studies.

The researchers belonging to different academic specialties, including history, medicine, agriculture, science and literature.

Those present included:
1- Dr. Amat Al-Maliq Al-Thawr, Professor of History at Sanaa University, whose research is aimed to study the cultural relation between Yemen and Mecca during the reign of the Al-Qasimi Imamate State. She discussed the main objective of her research, highlighted the importance of such study and explained her methodological approach. Dr. Al-Thawr suggested that the Yemeni Imams paid great attention to the relation between Yemen and Mecca so that they had the final word on the religious and cultural activities in the Holy Mecca. She stated that her research is designed to provide a detailed study about Yemen’s relations with Mecca during that period.

2- Dr. Ebtisam Shamasan, a professor at Sanaa University College of Science, will study the nutritive value of the Indian mackerel fish species. She explained her research’s objectives, methods and importance. The researcher suggested that her study is mainly intended to explore to what extent freezing may affect the nutritive value of Indian mackerel fish.

3- Arif Al-Afeef, a Master degree student at the College of Medicine, Sanaa University, gave an overview about his research on the liver disease Cirrhosis.

4- Dr. Nabilah Al-Wasi’aee talked briefly about her research topic which focuses on a poetry collection entitled “Sanaa” by Yemen’s great poet Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh. The researcher said that her study aims to shed light on one of the most distinguished poetical works by Dr. Al-Maqaleh, who is one of the most celebrated and influential figures in Arab literature and culture in the temporary history of the Arab world. Al-Wasi’aee argues that this book “Sanaa” can be described as one of Al-Maqaleh’s most impressive poetical works. “It is filled with poetical images, symbols, rhythm and metaphors,” she said.

5- Dr. Monirah Jamel, head of the Psychology Department at Sanaa University, dedicated her research to study psychological impacts upon the teenagers of Internally Displaced People (IDP). She explained the objectives of her research that aims to explore the negative impacts of displacement upon the internally displaced students.  “My research is intended to study to what extent displacement can undermine ‘self-esteem and achievement impetus’ among IDP students in the secondary schools,” Jamel said.

6- Dr. Amirah Qasim, a professor at Sanaa University’s College of Agriculture, gave a brief presentation about her research on “Livestock Food Substitution.” She gave details about her research’s objectives, approach and importance. Her research aims to study how leaves of the Prickly Pear plant can be used as a food to feed animals, mainly sheep.

7- Saleh Al-Faqeeh, a doctoral degree student in the Antiquities Department, Dhamar University, will study “Ottoman Facilities in Yemen.” The scholar gave a detailed presentation about his research that aims to document the Ottoman civil facilities in the city of Sanaa.

At the end of the gathering, the researchers received the grant funds. As usual every researcher received 80% ($1000) of the total amount. The remaining 20% is held back and will be paid as soon as researchers get their studies accomplished and have submitted a copy of it. The researchers expressed their pleasure to get the Yemeni Researcher Fellowship, highly appreciating AIYS assistance at this critical moment. Some Yemeni Students who study abroad for master and doctoral degrees also received the fellowship. They made presentation about their researches via the Internet, so their funding was transferred to them.

Here we have to express our deep thanks to Mrs Heidi Wiederkehr of CAORC for her continuous contacts and tireless efforts she made to get the money allocated to the Sanaa AIYS office amid very difficult conditions.

Dr. Salwa Dammaj
Resident Director
American Institute for Yemeni Studies
Sanaa Yemen

AIYS Yemeni Fellowships 2016


AIYS is pleased to announce that we were able to give out research fellowships to Yemeni scholars this year, despite the difficult situation in Yemen.  On June 21 they came to the institute to meet with Dr. Salwa Dammaj.  Those who received the fellowships are:

1.       Zeineb Suhill – Natural Disasters that affected Sana’a in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
2.      Libya Abdalla – Slaves and slavery in ancient writings of Yemen.
3.      Muhammed Abdel Wakeel Jazm – Pioneering Poets in Yemen..
4.       Aziza Tajadden – Micropropagation of Adansonia digitata by plant tissue culture techniques
5.       Fawziah al-Ammar – Adaption of survey for assessing PTSD in children and use in study of children in Sana’a.  .
6.       Thana Shuga al Deen – Assessment of heavy metal contamination in agriculture soils using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF)
7.       Zainab Alansse – Phytochemical and biological activity of Euphorbia arbuscula and its stem latex.
8.   سبأ العديني Saba al Udaini –Impact of foreign interventions on the domestic crises in Yemen 2004-201



Dr. Abdulkarim al-Eryani dies


It is with sadness that we at AIYS have learned the news that Dr. Abdulkarim al-Eryani, a guiding force for the creation of AIYS and a constant friend of the institute, passed away on November 8, 2015 while undergoing medical treatment in Germany.  Born in 1935, he went on to receive a doctorate in 1968 at Yale University.  He served in many different offices in the Yemeni government during the periods of several North Yemen presidents and after the unification. I attach below a brief account of his service.  For an account in English, click here.

In honor of Dr. Al-Eryani, AIYS created a special fellowship fund last year for Yemeni scholars.  This fund is only used to support scholars in Yemen for their research in any field.  Those wishing to honor Dr. Al-Eryani’s memory can find information on this fund here.  

We send our condolences to Dr. Al-Eryani’s family and many friends.

الأحد 08 نوفمبر 2015 08:59 مساءً
(عدن الغد) خاص:

توفي الدكتور عبدالكريم الإرياني، رئيس الوزراء اليمني الأسبق.
وقالت مصادر سياسية يمنية ان الدكتور الإرياني توفي الأحد 8 نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني 2015، الذي كان يتلقى العلاج في إحدى مشافي المانيا.
ويعتبر الدكتور الارياني، واحداً من أبرز السياسيين اليمنيين المخضرمين ورجال الدولة الذين تركوا بصمات بارزة في مسيرة اليمن الجمهوري.
ـ ولد عبد الكريم في 20 فبراير 1935 في حصن إريان بمحافظة إب لعائلة امتهنت القضاء، وهو ابن أخ الرئيس الثاني للجمهورية العربية اليمنية القاضي عبد الرحمن الإرياني.
ـ حصل على الشهادة الثانوية عام 1958 من مصر، ثم أكمل دراسته الجامعية في الولايات المتحدة، فأكمل درجة البكالوريوس في الزراعة في جامعة تكساس، ثم حضر الماجستير من جامعة جورجيا والدكتوراة من جامعة ييل بكونيتيكت عام 1968.
ـ تزوج عام 1969.
ـ المناصب:
1968-1972 مدير مشروع زبيد الزراعي.
1972-1974 رئيس هيئة التخطيط المركزية.
1974-1976 وزير التنمية ورئيس هيئة التخطيط المركزية.
1976-1978 وزير التربية والتعليم ورئيس جامعة صنعاء.
1978-1980 مستشار صندوق الكويت للتنمية الاقتصادية العربية.
1980-1983 رئيس الوزراء الجمهورية العربية اليمنية.
1983-1984 رئيس المجلس الأعلى لإعادة إعمار مناطق الزلزال الذي ضرب مناطق الجبال الوسطى في اليمن.
1984-1990 نائب رئيس الوزراء ووزير الخارجية.
1990-1993 وزير الخارجية.
1993-1994 وزير التخطيط.
1994-1997 نائب رئيس الوزراء ووزير الخارجية.
وفي يونيو 1995م عين أمينًا عاماً لحزب المؤتمر الشعبي العام. وفي مايو 1997م عقب الانتخابات البرلمانية أعيد تعيينه نائباً لرئيس الوزراء ووزيرًا للخارجية.
وفي 29 أبريل 1998م وبشكل مفاجئ عين رئيسًا للوزراء للجمهورية اليمنية بالوكالة عقب استقالة الدكتور فرج بن غانم وخدم في هذا المنصب حتى 31 مارس عام 2001م.
في 7 مايو 2012م عينه الرئيس عبدربه منصور هادي مستشارا له.
وفي 18 مارس 2013 م عٌين نائباً لرئيس مؤتمر الحوار الوطني.

Daniel Martin Varisco
President, American Institute for Yemeni Studies

Scholar Rescue Fund


Around the world, scholars have long suffered harassment, torture and persecution as a result of their work. In the worst cases, scholars pay with their lives for their dedication to scholarship and freedom of thought. The Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent nonprofit, has participated in the rescue of persecuted scholars since its founding in 1919. In 2002, IIE launched the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) as a formalized response to this ongoing international dilemma.

The Scholar Rescue Fund provides fellowships for established scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These fellowships permit professors, researchers and public intellectuals to find temporary refuge at universities, colleges and research centers anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues and the community. During the fellowship, conditions in a scholar’s home country may improve, permitting safe return to help rebuild universities and societies afflicted by fear, conflict and repression. If safe return is not possible, the scholar may use the fellowship period to identify a longer-term opportunity.

Eligibility Criteria

Professors, researchers, and public intellectuals from any country, academic field, or discipline may qualify. Applications are reviewed for academic qualifications, the quality/potential of the applicant’s work, and the severity of the threats that the applicant faces. Preference is given to scholars who:

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Yemen Emergency Student Support Fund

Greetings from AMIDEAST! We are pleased to announce the Yemen Emergency Student Support Fund (YESSF), an initiative established to assist Yemeni students currently enrolled at accredited U.S. institutions and who are facing financial hardships due to the Yemen crisis.

We respectfully ask that you join us in supporting these students through one or both of the following methods:

·         DONATE through AMIDEAST to support Yemeni students impacted by the crisis. Your donations are fully tax deductible.

·         PUBLICIZE the program to help us reach Yemeni students in need. Applications for student nominees must be submitted by university representatives by 4 P.M. EDT Friday, June 5, 2015.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email or phone at 202-776-9613.


Debbie Scibek | International Education Officer
Phone: 202-776-9613 | Skype: amideast.sanaa
Email: | Web:
Facebook: AMIDEASTYemen | Twitter: @EdUSAYemen

Scholarship Available for Yemeni Students


The LSE Middle East Centre Emirates Scholarship offers financial support for students from Arab states studying for a Master’s degree at LSE and who intend to focus their studies on the Middle East. The programme is funded by the Emirates Foundation.

The scholarship has a value of £30,000 which will cover full tuition fees with the remainder available to support living expenses in London.

Three scholarships will be offered each year. The scholars will also be affiliated to the Middle East Centre for the duration of their degree and will be encouraged to participate in the Centre’s research activities.


The scholarship will cover the tuition fees for any one year full-time Master’s programme at LSE (taught or research).

Applicants must be from the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.

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Workshop for Young Leaders

Here is a training program that young Yemenis (ages 20-32) can apply to from the Swedish Institute.  For details on the program and its application procedure, go to


Below is the announcement for the program

The Swedish Institute’s Young Leaders Visitors Programme (YLVP) is an intercultural leadership programme that aims to lay a foundation for dialogue and knowledge sharing among young leaders from the Middle East, North Africa and Sweden.

The YLVP is designed to provide the participants with new skills, broadened networks and innovative tools to strengthen their work to drive social change in their respective contexts. The participants are visionaries who are in a position to make a difference. They are young, open-minded leaders in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank-Gaza*, Yemen and Sweden who are actively working for democracy and human rights within the spheres of society, culture, politics and media.

During and after the programme the participants will be part of an active network that will boost creativity and support their personal and professional development, while also laying the platform for a more connected future. Since the launch of the YLVP in 2008, the programme alumni network has grown to comprise 200 young leaders.

Who can apply to YLVP?

To apply to Young Leaders Visitors Programme you have to:

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South Arabian antiquities fellowship

Wendell Phillips (right)

The Freer and Sackler Galleries are pleased to announce a new curatorial fellowship for fall, 2014

The Ancient Art Curatorial Fellowship at the Freer and Sackler Galleries is intended to promote collection-based research and curatorial training in one of two focused areas of ancient art. The incumbent will work with the Freer|Sackler curator of Islamic art and other staff as necessary and participate in the museums’ activities as requested. Fellowship duties will include exhibition-related work with the relevant collection, carried out in consultation and collaboration with Freer|Sackler staff.

Depending on the scholarly background and interest of the successful applicant, the fellowship will be awarded in one of two collections areas: ancient art of South Arabia or the art of the Sogdians. This is a one-year fellowship, with the possibility of renewal.

Please visit the fellowship webpage for more information and application instructions.
The application deadline is May 15, with notification in early June and a start date in the fall.

Nancy Micklewright
Head, Scholarly Programs and Publications
Washington, DC