This Yemeni proverb points to the wisdom of building on firm foundations so that a structure will turn out as sturdy as the land itself. In this fifth edition, our contributors look at the elements required to form a stable social backdrop that can support coexistence. From the first edition of the Arabia Felix Magazine onward, we’ve reported on Yemenis dedicated to transforming, solidifying and stabilising their country. Only future generations who look back at this work in progress will know if their society will be strong enough to hold their dreams.
This ancient Yemeni proverb points to a philosophy at the heart of coexistence: the importance of embracing diversity while maintaining a sense of unity. Perhaps few things express this more profoundly than art. The enchantment of an artwork’s beauty is born of a synergy of elements in perfect harmony. Every colour, material, or perspective has a distinctive feature that sets it apart. When an artist brings these elements together, a symphony of coexistence emerges. The result is a creation that transcends the mere sum of its components.
At the heart of any system is the common ground for individuals to relate to one another with profound mutual appreciation. While every fish might have a different shape, they all cohabit the same marine ecosystem. If one species were to take over, the system would collapse. The long-term health of any system, regardless of its size or complexity, is based on interdependence. Contributors to this edition of the Arabia Felix Magazine examine various frameworks in Yemen such as tribal and economic structures, offering action plans to build on their constructive nature and effect positive change.
What is that chant?
Who is chanting it?
They are from the
land of Bilqis, these
melody and chord
Hundreds of kingdoms and civilisations in the Arabian Peninsula, many dating back over 3,000 years, have left traces in Yemen. The echoes of these cultures are still apparent in Sheba, the land of Bilqis, a queen who was one of the world’s most famous monarchs. In the eyes of Yemeni poet Abdullah al-Baradouni, Sheba is the place where chants, melodies and chords originate. In this issue, we explore enduring Yemeni figures from the past and the way artists reimagine Arabia Felix, the ancient name for Yemen, in their work. Contributors share stories of celebration, creativity and communication with other cultures whose timeless intricacies offer inspiration for the present moment.
In Every Valley, Make Yourself a Home
Yemen is home to hundreds of valleys teeming with diversity – not just in their landscapes, but in the people who dwell in them. Diversity thrives in the ways we remember our past and how we live in the present. The invitation to make a home in every valley, in this ancient Yemeni proverb, encourages us to find something familiar in every new place we visit. In this spirit of discovery, the Arabia Felix Magazine journalists take us on journeys through time and terrain. By forging an understanding with our neighbours, we can see a part of ourselves reflected in strangers. The possibility of making a home anywhere offers a chance to feel we truly belong wherever we land.