Friends of South Yemen

Pattern strip

Mocha coffee: the Yemeni connection

During the 15th century, coffee cultivation started within Yemen to meet local needs. In 1450, Islamic Sufis of Yemen first began drinking coffee to stay awake during late night prayer. This led to the transformation of mountainsides into terraced hillsides and people inventing farming techniques to grow coffee. In her insightful article Rua'a Alameri describes how Yemen once introduced Mocha coffee to the world.

Click here to read the Al Arabiya article How Yemen once introduced the world to mocha coffee.

Original publication: 1st October 2017

Blavatnik School Community

Aleksandra Wiśniewska, Head of Mission (Yemen) at Polish Humanitarian Action, reports on a unique humanitarian project.

Click here to read her article.

20th October 2020

Yemeni roads: courage and a lot of skill required

The Drive shows what it takes to drive on some of the world's most treacherous roads.

Click here for breathtaking videos.

3rd December 2020

Liverpool’s Yemenis explore their roots

The Echo reports on how poet and activist Amina Atiq has been gathering stories that could otherwise be lost to history.

Click here to read Lisa Rand’s article.

28th November 2020

Phantoms, ruins and reflections: contemporary art from Yemen

On 17 November 2020, the European Union External Action Service organised a virtual launch of Phantoms, Ruins, and Reflections: Contemporary Art from Yemen.

The exhibition, is a compilation of contemporary artworks featuring Yemeni artists across generations. Utilizing different mediums, the exhibit seeks to challenge what it means to create artwork in and from a state of conflict.

For further information, including access to a video of the event, click here.

A 41-page exhibition catalogue can be read online or downloaded here. Read online    Download

November 2020


Yemen artists are invited to take part in FIFTEEN, an anti-war art project.

For further information click here.

November 2020

South Yemen’s mud brick heritage under threat

Recent torrential rains have devastated South Yemen’s mud brick buildings. One of the world’s largest mud brick structures, a 19th century, seven-storey Sultan’s palace in Seiyun is a risk of collapse. The building, which was turned into a museum, has fallen into disrepair after Yemen descended into civil war in 2015.

Click here for a report from the BBC about the threats to South Yemen’s mud brick heritage.

20th October 2020

Photo archive preserves Yemeni heritage

As floods wash away historic houses in Sanaa and famous mud brick architecture in the south of Yemen the work Fahd al-Durafi ensures that the country’s heritage will be preserved in pictures.

Click here to read Middle East Eye’s article about the 12 years he spent compiling a priceless archive.

4th September 2020

Emotional Reunion for Yemeni Jewish family

A Yemeni family were reunited in the UAE after enduring 15 years of separation. The family, who are Jewish, were able to reunite after authorities in the UAE facilitated the travel of family members from Yemen to the UAE. Authorities also made arrangements for other members of the family, who lived in London, to join them.

Emirates News Agency reports

The Chairman of Friends of South Yemen (FOSY), Abdul Galil Shaif Kasim said:

“Racism and facist intolerance was a horrible historical stain on Europe. It cannot and should not be allowed to raise its ugly face in Yemen. The Houthis must be compelled to make peace in Yemen and to end their intolerant anti-semitic rhetoric and racist practices against Yemeni Jews. Friends of South Yemen (FOSY) calls on the international community to take immediate steps and action to ensure that the Houthis immediately refrain from anti-semitic practices and respect the rights of the Jewish minoritiy in all territories under their control. Jews have lived in Yemen for thousands of years and have enriched our culture and way of life and must be treated equally like any other citizens. The Jewish community is our community and have every right to practice their religion and culture without oppression or racism.”

9th August 2020

Ancient artisan in Yemen made intricate stone weapons

Neolithic toolmakers in southern Arabia created intricate stone weapons designed both to be useful and to showcase their artistic skills, researchers suggest. Spearheads and arrowheads created 8000 years ago in what is now Yemen and Oman were made using fluting, a process first used in North America thousands of years earlier – but there was a difference. Researchers from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany and OSU studied projectile points from two archaeological sites: Manayzah, in Yemen, and Ad-Dahariz, in Oman. Read about their findings in Cosmos: the science of everything.

Click Ancient artisans made a projectile point to read the article on the Cosmos Magazine web site.

7th August 2020