Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Windows on the Cultural Heritage of Yemen Symposium

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Windows on the Cultural Heritage of Yemen Symposium

Article excerpt

Diplomatie Doings

Yemen's extraordinarily long and richly diverse cultural heritage was spotlighted in a two-day symposium Sept. 5 and 6, hosted by the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The most comprehensive presentation ever in the United States, the symposium brought together world-renowned scholars of Near Eastern archeology and architecture; traditional musicians; experts on Yemeni costumes, textiles and jewelry; and photographers from Yemen, France, Germany, Canada and the United States.

The symposium certainly realized its goal of introducing Yemen and its rich culture to the American public and, most importantly, providing a better understanding of its people. The overflow, standing-room-only audience testified to the tremendous interest in this little-known nation. Yemen's Ambassador to the U.S. Abdulwahab A. Al-Hajjri and other sponsors of the symposium were overwhelmed by its popularity.

A highlight of the symposium was the speech by Dr. Abdulkarim Al Iryani, senior adviser to Yemen's President AIi Abdullah Salih and one of the founders of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, on "Islam and Cultural Heritage." Ricardo Eichmann, director of the Orient Department of the German Archeological Institute in Berlin, spoke on the Queen of Sheba; ethnomusicologist Dr. …

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