Business for Peace Award
1654, Section: Culture


Tourists were reliable buyers of qamarias. With the decline of the tourism sector, qamaria makers say they have seen their industry and sales decline as well.

Age-old Qamaria industry struggles to keep its place in modern Yemen

Published on 15 April 2014 by Mohammed Al-Khayat in Culture

Mohammed Mokhtar is the owner of a workshop that makes and installs qamarias. He used to wake up early and get to work making the the distinctive windows that adorn many Yemeni homes.

Theater as change agent

Published on 11 March 2014 by Mohammed Al-Khayat in Culture

Theater is a cornerstone of culture and has enjoyed great popularity throughout history and around the world.

For generations now, Yemeni singers have been leaving the homeland to find fame and appreciation abroad.  One motivating factor is finances. Singers can do well in the Gulf, where they say they can perform at a party everyday.

This article has photo galleryFollowing a long-lasting trend, Yemeni singers continue their exodus

Published on 6 March 2014 by Ali Abulohoom in Culture

Singers heading to Gulf, where they say they are more appreciated and better-paid

“Most of the time, we are involved directly in the implementation [of these projects], with technical staff on the ground,” according to FAO representative Salah Al-Hajj Hassan.

This article has photo galleryFAO representative speaks to the Yemen Times

Published on 25 February 2014 by Ali Saeed in Culture

Nearly half the population of the country, about 10.5 million Yemenis, are food insecure—and that number is rising, according the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Stigma surrounds adoption of abandoned children

Published on 20 February 2014 by Amal Al-Yarisi in Culture

On her way to work one day, Najat Bahakim and her sister heard a faint cry. As they approached the direction of the noise, they found themselves near a garbage dump on Al-Qaesia Street in Sana’a. Instead of a kitten, as Bahakim expected, she found an abandoned newborn lying in the dump.

Sabreen Abdu had to marry her sweetheart secretly because his family did not approve of her profession. When they found out, the couple was forced to divorce.

This article has photo galleryFemale dancers challenge conservative attitudes, long for pre-unity openness

Published on 18 February 2014 by Amal Al-Yarisi in Culture

“As a folk dancer, I find myself ostracized by my neighbors and by society in general,” said Fathia Al-Amrani, a traditional dancer affiliated with the National Folk Music and Dance Troupe.

Performers say the increased popularity of TV has affected their own popularity. Many of their fans prefer to listen to Al-Madeeh on TV in their comfort of their own mafraj. Above: Bakeel and his sister perform at Bab Al-Yemen.

The sounds of tradition

Published on 28 January 2014 by Ali Abulohoom in Culture

‘Al-Madeeh’ singing troupes hang on in Yemen

Having earned a reputation as a premier spot to display local artists’ work, the Art House, in the heart of Sana’a’s Old City, is now struggling to attract visitors. Artists now search for alternative venues to sell their pieces.

This article has photo gallerySana’a’s Art House: Full of talents, devoid of tourists

Published on 16 January 2014 by Ali Abulohoom in Culture

Works of art neatly cover the walls, from the entrance all the way upstairs to the roof. The three-storey Art House lies at the heart of Old Sana'a and is filled with works by both professional and amateur artists.

Abdulla Ali points to his ceiling‭, ‬which is on the verge of collapse‭. ‬He says his family has received no help with repairs for their Old City home‭. ‬

This article has photo galleryThe struggle to preserve Sana'a's architectural heritage

Published on 17 December 2013 by Amal Al-Yarisi in Culture

Hassiba Ali Al-Mansur sits in the salon of her five-story house in Sana’a’s Old City. The housewife has a lot on her mind as she looks around and takes stock of her surroundings.  The woman and her daughter, who share the house, have gathered all of their furniture in the room where Al-Mansur now sits. This includes their bedding.

Historically wedding expenses have always fallen on the grooms and their families in Yemen. But bleak economic prospects for many young males is allowing space for females to contribute finacially to the institution.

Breaking with tradition

Published on 26 November 2013 by Amal Al-Yarisi in Culture

When Yemeni women financially contribute to wedding expenses