The Republic of Yemen is a country located in the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. With more than 23 million people, it is the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula in terms of both population and size. Through the Middle East Coexistence House (MECH) and the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (CNCR) at the Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy (BSPPP), Rutgers has a relationship with the Yemeni civil society organization Partners for Democratic Change – Yemen (PDC-Y). The PDC-Y Director Dr. Nadwa al-Dawsari (a former Humphrey Fellow at the BSPPP) has visited Rutgers on several occasions and addressed students on the subject of tribal conflict resolution in Yemen, and laid the groundwork for an online exchange between Yemeni and Rutgers students.
Rutgers has a history of engagement with Yemeni themes, medieval and modern. Yemen remains a rich source for linguistic research. In addition to Arabic, the official language, Yemen is home to a number of endangered Semitic languages that are spoken in the extreme north and eastern parts of the country, including Razihi (spoken in the Jabal Razih), Mahri (spoken in the Mahra Governorate), and Soqotri (spoken on the island of Soqotra). Recently, Charles G. Haberl received a grant from the American Institute of Yemeni Studies to perform fieldwork on Mahri.
Yemen is also home to the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies (YCMES), located in the capital of Sanaa. Several Rutgers students and faculty have traveled to Yemen on their own initiative and participated in YCMES’ summer Arabic program.