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Social, Cultural, and Communal Histories of a Multicultural Port

A conference dedicated to the intersection of histories, cultures, and communal dynamics in Aden and its surroundings, particularly under British rule.
The city of Aden connects the two great seas; the Red Sea which is the Egyptian Sea, and the Red Indian Sea. It is surrounded by two walls; a wall of tall mountains and a wall of water. As such a regime formed there. No ship could pass from sea to sea without its permission. Its position on the world globe is like that of Mt. Gibraltar.

– Mahalal Adani, Between Aden and Yemen, 1947

Aug 28-30, 2023

Opening Night | JW3, London
Conference | Woolf Institute, Cambridge
Throughout centuries of war, peace, progress and challenges, Jews and Muslims have lived in Yemen. Aden became an important port with a difficult terrain and climate, and generations of conquest. It grew to be a strong hub under British rule, when it attracted many merchants from the region, expanding the local population to 100,000 in 1948. Among those living there in 1920 were a majority Muslims, 14% Jews, and the rest a mix of Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and others. It was a real meeting place of cultures and religions from around the region. The unique nature of this port on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula is a study in a multi-cultural society with deep indigenous roots.
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