16 April, 2014

Yemen: Of Fuel Prices And The Daily Demonstrations

Hardly does a day pass without some kind of public demonstration - for one reason or another - taking place in Sanaa. Some times only a handful demonstrate; and some times thousands participate. Almost, always - the demonstrators walk down streets shouting or chanting; and always traffic gives way to the demonstrators. A few days ago, several hundred, very angry people demonstrated along the streets of the city; this was against the government's intention to lift fuel subsidies. As usual, the demonstration was started by a few people and as it moved along the streets, participants increased. All were very angry at the goverment for the planned increase in fuel prices. And those watching the demonstrations along the sides of the streets, were just as angry. With most Yemenis being as poor as they are, always, any talk of increasing fuel prices is never accepted.

28 March, 2014

The Indian Barkas from Hadhramout

A remote suburb amidst the metropolitan city of Hyderabad in Southern India lies a community whose residents boost of their ancestral lineage, tracing it back to Hadhramout in Yemen. What makes the place even more special is that the community still retains its rich Hadhrami culture and continues to intrigue outsiders.

19 February, 2014

The Hadhrami Influence Around The Indian Ocean - Part 2

The history of Islam, especially in the whole Indian Ocean littoral, and the entire Islamization process of the eastern frontiers for at least last one Millennium, is inseparably mixed with the Arabs from Hadhramout of Yemen. Hadrami Arabs - Sayyids, scholars, Sufis, traders, commoners – created a trans-cultural space of Islamic acumen as they traversed and settled in the trans-oceanic world that stretched from Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa to Timor at the limit of the Malay Archipelago. In fact, they played the major role in the spread and evolution of Islamic culture, religious ethos and social formation in all these regions. Consequently, studies on Hadhrami Arabs, patterns of their migration, the depth and breadth of their influence across the Indian Ocean littoral has nowadays become a major sub-section of Indian Ocean studies, and there have been a number of rigorous academic works on Hadramis and Hadrami Diaspora in various Indian Ocean regions.