Music of Yemen

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Yemen is a country on the Arabian Peninsula, and the music of Yemen is primarily known abroad for a series of pan-Arab popular stars and the Yemenite Jews who became musical stars in Israel during the 20th century. In the Arab world, Yemen has long been a cultural capital.

Yemen Republic in Western Asia


Yemen , officially the Republic of Yemen, is a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Yemen is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 square kilometres. The coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south, and the Arabian Sea and Oman to the east. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands. Yemen is a member of the Arab League, United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Arabian Peninsula peninsula of Western Asia situated in southern Arabia

The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.

Yemenite Jews ethnic group

Yemenite Jews or Yemeni Jews or Teimanim are those Jews who live, or once lived, in Yemen. The term may also refer to the descendants of the Yemenite Jewish community. Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. After several waves of persecution throughout Yemen, most Yemenite Jews now live in Israel, while smaller communities live in the United States and elsewhere. Only a handful remain in Yemen. The few remaining Jews experience intense, and at times violent, anti-Semitism on a daily basis.

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Yemen's national anthem is "United Republic", written by Abdallah "al-Fadhool" Abdulwahab Noman.

UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of poetic songs of Sana'a, called al-Ghina al-San'ani, a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on November 7, 2003.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

The Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity was made by the Director-General of UNESCO starting in 2001 to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage and encourage local communities to protect them and the local people who sustain these forms of cultural expressions. Several manifestations of intangible heritage around the world were awarded the title of Masterpieces to recognize the value of the non-material component of culture, as well as entail the commitment of states to promote and safeguard the Masterpieces. Further proclamations occurred biennially.

Folk music

Dance in Sa'dah Sa'dah 05.jpg
Dance in Sa'dah

Traditional Yemenite music is usually performed in the home, in a window-lined room at the top of the house called a mafraj during a khat chew, in which the performers chew a mildly psychoactive stimulant leaf. This form of performance uses sung poetry and is called homayni ; it is a tradition that dates to the 14th century. Two of the most famous Yemenite musicians, Ahmed Fathey and Osama al Attar, are now resident in the United Arab Emirates. The urban homayni style known in the capital of Yemen, Sanaan singing, is the most well-known kind of homayni today . There is a large Yemeni-Welsh community in Cardiff and other major Welsh cities. Yemeni folk music has thus become a major part of the Welsh music scene. [ citation needed ]

Khat species of plant, chewed by humans

Khat or qat is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Khat contains the alkaloid cathinone, a stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. Among communities from the areas where the plant is native, khat chewing has a history as a social custom dating back thousands of years analogous to the use of coca leaves in South America and betel nut in Asia.

Stimulant type of psychoactive drug

Stimulants is an overarching term that covers many drugs including those that increase activity of the central nervous system and the body, drugs that are pleasurable and invigorating, or drugs that have sympathomimetic effects. Stimulants are widely used throughout the world as prescription medicines as well as without a prescription as performance-enhancing or recreational drugs. The most frequently prescribed stimulants as of 2013 were lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate, and amphetamine. It is estimated that the percentage of the population that has abused amphetamine-type stimulants and cocaine combined is between 0.8% and 2.1%.

United Arab Emirates Country in Western Asia

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates. Each emirate is governed by a ruler; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the rulers serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.

Rap music

Rap and Hip-hop Culture existed as early as 2005 but it only achieved widespread popularity in 2008 when the Hip-hop in Yemen took a leap forward and began to spread around the youth of Yemen, especially in Sana'a and Aden.

Aden Port city and temporary capital of Yemen

Aden is a port city and the temporary capital of Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea, some 170 km (110 mi) east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000 people. Aden's natural harbour lies in the crater of a dormant volcano, which now forms a peninsula joined to the mainland by a low isthmus. This harbour, Front Bay, was first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan between the 5th and 7th centuries BC. The modern harbour is on the other side of the peninsula. Aden gives its name to the Gulf of Aden.

The hip hop major outbreak in Yemen is often associated to the influence of Hajaj Abdulqawi Masaed (also graphed as Hagage Masaed or best known as "AJ"), an American-Yemeni rapper producing music since 1997. Although he had grown in the United States, AJ has successfully reached Yemeni audience by addressing to local issues and incorporating traditional musical language into his hits. This versatility was also one of the reasons he drew international recognition, since he entered in the Yemeni music scene, he has been partnering up with several Yemeni artists, such as Hussein Muhib, Fuad Al-Kibisi, Fuad Al-Sharjabi, Ibrahim Al-Taefi, Abdurahman Al-Akhfash and others, and helping new ones to develop their talents. He has also played a major role on propagating the understanding of rap as a means of change. [1]
One contributing factor to the development of the music is also the creation of Yemen Music House in 2007 [2] that has been providing assets to the development of a contemporary music scene. [3] In 2009, took place the first Yemeni Rap public festival, co-sponsored by the French and German foreign-missions. [4] Due to the importance of this event, AJ draws a comparison between it and the fall of the Berlin wall. [5]

Hip hop subculture including music, dance and graffiti

Hip hop or hip-hop, is a culture and art movement that began in the Bronx in New York City during the early 1970s. The origin of the word is often disputed. It is also argued as to whether hip hop started in the South or West Bronx. While the term hip hop is often used to refer exclusively to hip hop music, hip hop is characterized by nine elements, of which only four elements are considered essential to understand hip hop musically. The main elements of hip hop consist of four main pillars. Afrika Bambaataa of the hip hop collective Zulu Nation outlined the pillars of hip hop culture, coining the terms: "rapping", a rhythmic vocal rhyming style (orality); DJing, which is making music with record players and DJ mixers ; b-boying/b-girling/breakdancing (movement/dance); and graffiti. Other elements of hip hop subculture and arts movements beyond the main four are: hip hop culture and historical knowledge of the movement (intellectual/philosophical); beatboxing, a percussive vocal style; street entrepreneurship; hip hop language; and hip hop fashion and style, among others. The fifth element, although debated, is commonly considered either street knowledge, hip hop fashion, or beatboxing.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

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History of Yemen aspect of history

Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia meaning "fortunate Arabia" or "Happy Arabia". Yemenis had developed the South Arabian alphabet by the 12th to 8th centuries BCE, which explains why most historians date all of the ancient Yemeni kingdoms to that era.

Foreign relations of Yemen

The foreign relations of Yemen are the relationships and policies that Yemen maintains with other countries. It is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Yemen participates in the nonaligned movement. The Republic of Yemen accepted responsibility for all treaties and debts of its predecessors, the YAR and the PDRY. Additionally, Yemen has acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has stressed the need to render the Middle East region free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

The Sabaeans or Sabeans were an ancient people speaking Sabaean, an Old South Arabian language, and living in the southern Arabian Peninsula.

Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din Imam of yemen

Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din became Imam of the Zaydis in 1904 after the death of his father, Muhammad Al-Mansur, and Imam of Yemen in 1918. His name and title in full was "His majesty Amir al-Mumenin al-Mutawakkil 'Ala Allah Rab ul-Alamin Imam Yahya bin al-Mansur Bi'llah Muhammad Hamidaddin, Imam and Commander of the Faithful".

The music of Oman has been strongly affected by the country's coastal location, with Omani sailors interacting with, and bringing back music from, Egypt, Tanzania and elsewhere. More recently, a Portuguese occupation has left its own marks, while geographic neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran have also had a profound influence. In contrast to other Arab countries, Omani traditional music has a strong emphasis on rhythm.

Abraha, also known as Abraha al-Ashram, was an Aksumite army general, then the viceroy of southern Arabia for the Kingdom of Aksum, and later declared himself an independent King of Himyar. Abraha ruled much of present-day Arabia and Yemen from at least 531–547 CE to 555–565 CE.

Arabic hip hop is hip hop music and culture originating in the Arabic-speaking world. It is performed in Arabic, English, French, Berber languages (Tamazight), and local Arabic dialects. Like most artists of the genre, the artists from the Arab world are highly influenced by American culture.

The culture of Yemen has an ancient history, influenced by Islam. Due to its unique geographic location, Yemen has acquired a very distinctive culture from its neighbors; historically and culturally.

Zafar, Yemen human settlement

Ẓafār or Dhafar Ðafār is an ancient Himyarite site situated in Yemen, some 130 km south-south-east of today's capital, Sana'a, and c. 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) southeast of Yarim. Given mention in several ancient texts, there is little doubt about the pronunciation of the name. Despite the opinion of local patriots in Oman, this site in the Yemen is far older than its namesake there. It lies in the Yemenite highlands at some 2800 m. Zafar was the capital of the Himyarites, which at its peak ruled most of the Arabian Peninsula. The Himyar are not a tribe, but rather a tribal confederacy. For 250 years the confederacy and its allies combined territory extended past Riyadh to the north and the Euphrates to the north-east. Zafar was the Himyarite capital in Southern Arabia prior to the Aksumite conquest.

Qusai Kheder, known by the stage names Qusai and Qusai aka Don Legend the Kamelion, is a Saudi Arabian hip hop artist, singer/songwriter, record producer, rapper, television personality and DJ. He is the first professional Saudi hip hop artist.

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar Yemeni general

Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar, sometimes spelled "Muhsin", is the Vice President of Yemen. He is a general of the Yemeni army and was the commander of the northwestern military district and the 1st Armoured Division. He played a leading role in the creation of the General People's Congress. Mohsen has a good relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf.

Omar Offendum is a Syrian American hip-hop artist, designer, poet and peace activist. He was born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Washington, DC, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He tours the world performing internationally at music festivals, lecturing at major academic institutions and fundraising for humanitarian relief organizations. Most recently Offendum has been involved in creating several critically acclaimed songs about the popular democratic uprisings throughout the Middle East & North Africa. He is also working on several new collaborative projects while touring to promote his solo work.

Yemen Hip Hop is a Yemeni music style and cultural movement related to rap and hip hop culture. It has influences from American hip hop and also from traditional music from the region. It is usually considered to have emerged from mid-2000s and reached its consolidation by 2009 when the first public concert was held in the French Cultural Institute. Although it's got a variety of themes, there was an intense production of political songs by the Yemeni Revolution.

Hagage "AJ" Masaed or Hajaj Abdulqawi Masaed is an American-Yemeni rapper born in Ohio, considered to be the precursor of Yemen Hip Hop music.

Yemeni Crisis (2011–present) began with the 2011–12 revolution against President Ali Abdullah Saleh

The Yemeni Crisis began with the 2011–12 revolution against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had led Yemen for more than three decades. After Saleh left office in early 2012 as part of a mediated agreement between the Yemeni government and opposition groups, the government led by Saleh's former vice president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, struggled to unite the fractious political landscape of the country and fend off threats both from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Houthi militants that had been waging a protracted insurgency in the north for years. In 2014, Houthi fighters swept into the capital of Sana'a and forced Hadi to negotiate a "unity government" with other political factions. The rebels continued to apply pressure on the weakened government until, after his presidential palace and private residence came under attack from the militant group, Hadi resigned along with his ministers in January 2015. The following month, the Houthis declared themselves in control of the government, dissolving Parliament and installing an interim Revolutionary Committee led by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a cousin of Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. However, Hadi escaped to Aden, where he declared that he remains Yemen's legitimate president, proclaimed the country's temporary capital, and called on loyal government officials and members of the military to rally to him. On 27 March 2015, BBC reported that Hadi had "fled rebel forces in the city of Aden" and subsequently "arrived in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh" as "Saudi authorities began air strikes in Yemen". Civil War subsequently erupted between Hadi's government and the Houthis. Since 2017 the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) has also fought against the government.

Aftermath of the Houthi takeover in Yemen

The aftermath of the Houthi takeover in Yemen refers to developments following the Houthis' takeover of the Yemeni capital of Sana'a and dissolution of the government, which eventually led to a civil war and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

A-WA israeli music band

A-WA is an Israeli band made up of the three sisters Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim. Their single "Habib Galbi" became a world hit, with its Yemenite traditional music mixed with hip-hop and electronic music.

References

Notes
  1. Haddash, Nadia. "'RAP, HIP-HOP, BREAKING AND YEMENI YOUTH'". Yemen Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  2. Al-Wesabi, Sadeq. "'MUSIC TO BE AN "INTEGRAL PART OF YEMEN'S DEVELOPMENT"'" . Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  3. "'Yemen: Between tradition and modernity'". Next Music Station. AlJazeera. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  4. "'Hip Hop Diplomacy: Yemen'". Hip Hop Diplomacy. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  5. "'Yemeni-American Musician Tackles Hate With Hip-Hop'". NPR Music. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
Sources