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Stereotypes and Political Styles: Islamists and Tribesfolk in Yemen

  • Paul Dresch (a1) and Bernard Haykel (a2)

An outbreak of fighting in May 1994 put Yemen in the world's headlines when, from one point of view, the unity of Yemen proclaimed in May four years earlier was confirmed by force. One topic which straddles that period has been Islah, an Islamist party of unusual form. The present article explores the rhetorical axes that defined Islah. Briefly put, a supposedly “fundamentalist,” even “radical,” party, was in fact more a party of the establishment center. Its public identity, however, depends on terms and arguments that are centered elsewhere than Yemen, and they misrepresent, to many Yemenis as to others, what is happening. The problem is not resolved by such standard academic moves as avoiding “stereotypes” or sticking to “local terms.” The terms at issue are widely shared among Yemenis and foreigners alike.

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Authors' note: Information in this article derives largely from residence in Yemen. Dresch thanks the British Academy for their generous support and the Centre Français d'Etudes Yéménites for their help in Sanʿaʾ Haykel thanks the Fulbright Commission and the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. Both thank the Yemeni Center for Studies and Research. The views expressed are not those of institutions.

1 The present paper was originally completed at the start of 1994, before the fighting. We have not changed the line of argument, although the account has been brought up to date. Thanks are owed to IJMES reviewers and to Michael Meeker for helpful suggestions.

2 Le Monde, 22 02 1991. Yamaniyya's office-building overlooks the Shaykh's house. It was constructed, apparently with the encouragment of President Ibrahim al-Hamdi, when the Shaykh was at odds with al-Hamdi and absent from Sanʿaʾ in the 1970s. The Shaykh is said to have referred to it more than once as “that prick.”

3 Dresch, Paul, “Tribal Relations and Political History in Upper Yemen” in Contemporary Yemen: Politics and Historical Background, ed. Pridham, B. (London: Croom Helm, 1984), 170.

4 The Yemen Arab Republic was North Yemen. The South became the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen. The two united in May 1990 as the Yemen Republic (al-jumhūriyyah al-yamaniyyah). The best summary of political history in the erstwhile North remains Peterson, John, Yemen: The Search for a Modern State (London: Croom Helm, 1982). For the South, see Halliday, Fred, Revolution and Foreign Policy: The Case of South Yemen 1967–87 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Political history in both parts of Yemen is covered in Aḥmad, Saʿīdal-Janāī, al-Ḥarakat al-waṭaniyyah alyamaniyyah (Ṣanʿāʾ: Markaz al-aml li-1-dirāsāt wa-1 nashr, 1992).

5 Monde, Le, 22 11 1991.Al-Islah's, proper title is al-Tajammucʿ al-yamani li-l-iṣlāḥ, perhaps le rassemblent yéménite pourlaréforme, cf. Lefresne, Bernard, “Les islamistes yéménites et les élections,” Maghreb-Machrek 141(July–08 1993); 2736. “Popular” or “people's” would smack too much of the Socialists. Nor, one should note, does al-Islah call itself a “party” (ḥizb), although others perceive it as such.

6 See al-Waṭan, al-ʿArabī 897 (13 05 1994);al-Sharq al-awsaṭ, 11 july, 5, 8 09 1994;al-Ḥayāt 8 September, 8 10 1994;al-Majallah 781 (4 02 1995). There is a certain irony to Saudi alarm, because the people whose statements so alarm them were trained and funded by Saudis.

7 This occurs in various noncanonical collections, usually transmitted via Abi Dharr. For a related version, see Madelung, Wilferd, “Apocalyptic Prophecies in Ḥims in the Umayyad Age,”Religious and Ethnic Movements in Medieval Islam(Hampshire, U.K.: Variorum Reprints, 1992), 177. There are those who see Yemen as a refuge from their own states and a scripturally specified field for action.

8 To determine the extent of membership of the Muslim Brothers in Yemen is difficult, but the people who formally belong to the organization and are active in Islah are very few. Nor can we find any large-scale, grass-roots organization headed by the Brothers—certainly nothing to match the interest of the foreign press.

9 For a perceptive and well-informed account of the elections, see Detalle, Renaud, “Yémen: les élections législatives du 27 avril 1993,” Maghreb-Machrek 141 (0708 1993): 326.A condensed version appears in Middle East Report 185 (1112 1993): 812. See also Carapico, Sheila, “Campaign Politics and Coalition Building: The 1993 Parliamentary Elections, ”Yemen Update: Bulletin of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies 33 (1993): 113.

10 The phrase islamisme tribal is from Lefresne, B., “Ressources de legitimation dans le Yemen unifiedCahiers de l'orient 2526 (1992): 129–39, 136. For journalistic associations of fundamentalism, extremism, and tribalism in Yemen, see the London Financial Times, 7 01 1994, and The Economist, 81401 1994.

11 Yemen Times, 9 05 1993,Carapico, S., “Elections and Mass Politics in Yemen,” Middle East Report 185 (1112, 1993), 3. Only in a very few cases in the south did the YSP and GPC agree locally to keep out Islah: see Detalle, “Yémen: les élections législatives,” 21. In Khamir, neither the GPC nor the YSP saw fit to oppose Shaykh ʿAbdullah (ibid.).

12 Yemen Times, 13 09 1993.

13 Carapico, , “Campaign Politics and Coalition Building,” 3.

14 Al-Ḥadath, , 14 02 1992.

15 Uṣūlī was most prominent in conversation. For examples in print, however, with the meaning of “fundamentalist,” see al-Mustaqbal, , 2 08 1992, 14 and later quotes. The usage, of course, is current in the Arabic press more generally (e.g., al-Ḥayāt, , 31 01 1993). For a rejection of the idea, as much as the term, see al-Ṣaḥwah, , 4 03 1993. Good collections of Yemeni newspapers are maintained by both the American Institute for American Studies and the Centre Français d'Etudes Yéménites in Sanʿaʾ.

16 Yemen Times, 10 June, 4 08 1992.

17 ʿAdan, 9 01 1992;al-Tajammuʿ, 1 06 1992. For suggestions as to the origin of the term islami, see Roy, Olivier, Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 232. No one calls themselves uṣūlī, the term being reserved in internal discussion for uṣūl al-fiqh. Salafī, which we shall come to later, does adhere to the self-description of certain groups. It is also used of these groups by others. See, for example, ʿAbdullah's, Shaykh disapproving reference to thaqāfah salafiyyah mutashaddidah in al-Wasaṭ, 144 (31 10 1994), 33.

18 The coincidence of style between the YSP and Western analysts surfaced in many contexts. In the immediate run-up to the 1993 elections, one heard senior GPC figures complain volubly that Western embassy staff seemed only to talk to the YSP. They spoke the same rather statist language.

19 Al-Mustaqbal, , 5 07 1992. The inscription, al-dīn li-llāh wa-l-qatl li-l-jamiʿ, plays on one of the president's slogans (originally Saʿd Zaghlul'sḥ), “Religion is God's and the homeland is everyone's.” Article 8, clause 5, of the law on political parties (Law 66, 1991) forbade parties claiming uniquely to represent Islam or accusing their rivals of apostasy.

20 Al-Mustaqbal, 13 09 1992. This long editorial piece forms part of a three-part series (also 6 September, 20 September 1992) drawing a tenuous parallel between Yemen and Somalia. The invocation of pre-Islamic history to explain supposed “backwardness” is not limited to the Socialists. See Dresch, Paul, Tribes, Government, and History in Yemen (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 6.

21 Al-Mustaqbal, , 20 09 1992. See also “The State and the Shaykhs,” al-Mustaqbal, 26 04 1992.

22 Detalle, , “Yemen: les elections législatives,” 17.

23 An organic connection between tribalism and Islamism might be expected from Gellner's, Ernestarguments (Muslim Society [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981], ch. 1). Little in Yemen corresponds to this. One cannot reduce Islah to tribes in Islamic dress, pace Roy, Olivier, L'échec de I'islampolitique (Paris: Editions Seuil, 1992), 244. But for Yemeni identifications of Islamism and tribalism, see, for example, al-yaman, Ṣawt, 26 07 1992;al-Mustaqbal, , 2 08ī, , 13 08 1992.

24 Times, Yemen, 12 02, 30 09 1992.The Union of Popular Forces (Ittiḥād al-quwwāt al-shaʿbiyyah) in the 1960s was part of the “third force” (neither republican nor royalist), often misidentified in earlier works on Yemen, for example, Halliday, Fred, Arabia without Sultans (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), 105, 112.

25 Al-Nūr, Ṣafar 1413 (08 1992), 18.

26 The Economist, 8–14 01 1994, 50. The YSP's depiction of extreme Islamists plainly had an effect. See the interview with Mubarak, Husni in al-Sharq al-awsaṭ, 5 09 1994, where the extraordinary claim is made that extremist “camps” may exist in Yemen without anyone knowing.

27 Al-Mustaqbal, , 1 03 1992, parallel interviews with Jarullah ʿUmar and ʿAbdullah al-Ahmar. The fatwa story was also current in the Baʿthist press, see, for example, al-Hadaf al-arabī, 28 05 1992. A considerable stir was caused by Shaykh ʿAbdullah's later statement that perhaps not all the killings were due to YSP infighting (al-Ummah, 31 09 1992;al-Mustaqbal, 3 10 1992). The argument between Islah and the YSP omits an obvious tertium quid.

28 Yemen Times, 10 06 1992. A similar line was followed after the revelations of links with Egyptian extremists eighteen months later: “‘The crisis has played a part in disfiguring Yemen's international reputation …,’ said Shaykh Ahmar” (Financial Times, 7 01 1994).

29 For accusations on this score by ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Jifri and a denial by Zindani, see al-Majallah 753 (23 07 1994).ʿAbdullah, Shaykh won the curious distinction of a quote in Time (4 07 1994): “Our slain soldiers will go to heaven, and their dead soldiers will go to hell.”

30 ʿAbd al-Wahhab al-Daylami became minister of justice and ʿAbduh ʿAli Qubati became minister of education (Yasin ʿAbd al-ʿAziz Qubati is currently head of the Brothers in Yemen). Sundry lesser portfolios went to members of Islah (al-Ḥayāt, 8 10 1994), attracting the cynical suggestion from Yemenis that Islah had been given posts that economic forces would make unpopular.

31 “Unicity” (tawḥīd) and scientific inimitability—demonstrating how the findings of science are compatible with, even predicted by, scripture—are ʿAbd al-Majid's forte. Unlike the case with most ulema, it is hard to find a clear biography of him or even a list of publications.

32 Times, Yemen, 10 06 1992. For mention of an older Islah, see Times, Yemen, 19 02 1992, interview with ʿAbdullah al-Baradduni. One of the odder features of the story is that Zindani reportedly fell out with the Brothers as much as with the government. On the history of the Brothers in Yemen, see also al-Balagh, , 30 06 1992, interview with Ibrahim Muhammad al-Wazir. Zindani's enthusiasms continued after the demise of the YSP. See, for instance, his praise for “the Sudani experiment” in al-Ḥayāt, 16 10 1994.

33 Al-Thawrī, 26 07 1992.

34 Al-Hadaf al-ʿarabī, 3 08 1992;al-yaman, Ṣawt, 26 07 1992.

35 Maʿāhidʿilmiyyah; more literally “scientific institutes”, but the phrase is used with such sarcasm by Islah's opponents that an alternative translation seems fairer.

36 See, for example, Ṣawt al-yaman, 26 07 1992;al-Waḥdah, 3 06 1992;al-shaʿb, Sudā, 28 07 1992;al-Hadaf al-ʿarabī, 30 May, 3 08 1992.

37 ʿAdan, , 9 01 1992.

38 Ibid. Some Sudanese activists did show up to encourage the troops in 1994. See al-Sharq al-awṣat, 15 05 1994. This part of the article has been omitted from the useful collection of reprints, al-Ḥarb al-yamaniyyah: khafāyā wa-lghāz (Jiddah: al-Sharq al-awṣat, 1994).

39 Gueyras, (Le Monde, 22 02 1991) mentions le tout puissant prince Sultan. Certainly, Prince Sultan and the king himself were centrally involved in questions concerning Yemen. However, Saudi actions in Yemen rarely suggest an integrated policy.

40 Yemen Times, 29 07 1992.

41 Al-Mustaqbal, 1 03 1992.

42 Ibid., 20 August 1992.

43 Yemen Times, 1 07 1992, interview with Sayyid Aḥmad al-Shami. It goes almost without saying that “Wahhabi” is not used in self-description.

44 Early in the development of Western oil exploration in Yemen, a loan was held up for fear that Yemen was “Shiʿi” and thus somehow like Iran. The history and sociology of the two countries are, obviously, entirely different. The last time connections between Yemeni and Iranian shiʿism were important was early in the 13th century A.D., before the rise of ithnaʿasharism in Iran. Al-Haqq's newspaper, al-Ummah, includes many articles on Iran. The party's style, however, is far removed from the populist Shiʿism one finds in Khomeini's writings. Despite this, there was reportedly misinformed talk in the Gulf states during 1994 of a “Shiʿite sandwich”–Yemen and Iran!

45 Al-Haqq's, Barāmij siyāsiyyah (no place, no date; but Sanʿaʿ, 1992), article 3.

46 Muʾtamar al-waḥdah wa-l-salām: al-qarārāt wa-l-tawṣiyyā (Sanʿaʿ: Maṭābiʿ Ṣanʿāʿ al-ḥadīthah, offset, 1993), 45.

47 Such terms as “classical” and “traditional” require locating carefully. For a preliminary sketch of the issues in this case, see Haykel, B., “Al-Shawkānī and the Jurisprudential Unity of Yemen”, Revue du monde musulman el de la méditerranée 67, 1 (1993), 5365.

48 Al-Wasaṭ, 143 (24 October), and 144 (31 October 1994). This two-part article presents a very full account of Shaykh ʿAbdullah's view of his own position in Yemen.

49 For an example of such rhetoric in print, see al-Muntadā, 13, Shaʿban/Ramadān 1413 A.H. (1992): “there is no way except that of Islam and sponsoring the virtuous propagandists” (al-duʿāt al-mukhlisīn). Again, “democracy is a human, idolatrous system which turns the masses into worshipped gods without God. This is accomplished when the people are given the right to make laws, which denudes God of His sovereignty” (al-Muntadā, 10 Jumādi al-Awwal 1413 A.H. [1992]).

50 In practical terms, this Salafi grouping can be followed through their control of certain bookshops (e.g., al-Quds on the Sanʿaʾ ring-road) and mosques (Jamiʿ ʿAbdullah Masʿud, for instance, off Hayil Saʿid Street in Sanʿaʾ). Some of their concerns overlap with those of people in Islah. Their literature, however, cites authors whom Islah usually avoid: Ibn Baz, Muḥammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, and Shaykh ʿUthaymin.

51 Al-lṣlāḥ 38 (23 05 1992), 6. This is an organ of Tajammuʿ al-lṣlāḥ, published in Taʿizz. The main lṣlāḥi newspaper is al-Ṣḥwah, published in Sanʿaʿ. The invocation of Nejd and the bedu involves some irony: Taʿizz is in a thoroughly nontribal part of Yemen and has often been contrasted by Yemeni authors with the supposed “bedu” farther north (Dresch, , Tribes, Government, and History, 1215).

52 Al-Muntadā 6, (Muḥarram 1413 A.H.), 7. For the whole exchange, see al-lṣlāḥ 37, 38, 39 (14 05, 23 05, 1 06 1992), al-Muntadā 6 (Muḥarram 1413 A.H.) and 7 (Ṣafar 1413 A.H. [1992]). The reference to Bani Hashim (the Prophet's clan) is a dig at Hizb al-Haqq.

53 Yemen Times, 8 07 1992, interview with Fares al-Saqqaf, then deputy director of information for Islah and editor-in-chief of al-Nahdah.

54 Al-Muntadā 7, Ṣafar 1413 A.H. (1992), 18.

55 For comment on the electoral pact from the Baʿthist viewpoint, see al-Hadaf al-ʿarabī, 28 05 1992. The agreement had also included one of the Nasserist parties, al-Tanẓīm al-waḥdawī al-shaʿbī al-nāṣirī (see al-Waḥdawī, 3 06 1992).

56 For a subtle statement of this reality in a Libyan context, see Davis, J., Libyan Politics: Tribe and Revolution (London: I. B. Tauris, 1987).

57 Reference was made throughout the period to Jamaʿat al-jihad, Jamʿiyyat al-jihad, al-Jihad alislami, and even al-Jihad al-islamiyyah. Whether these were supposed to be the same was never clear. After the 1994 fighting, al-Fadli (supposedly part of it) and Zindani contradicted one another as to whether there was any such thing. See al-Wasaṭ 131 (1 08 1994).

58 See Lefresne, , “Ressources de légitimation,” 132–33.

59 Feud in the sense given the word by anthropologists was rare north of Sanʿaʿ (Dresch, Tribes, Government, and History, 114). It is less rare now, a development many tribesmen blame on the entanglement of tribes with state politics.

60 See al-Ummah, 23 07 1992, and al-Mustaqbal, 26 07 1992.

61 Al-Waḥdah, 24 06 1992.

62 Suhar is a tribe whose territory lies around Saʿdah itself. A zāmil (pi. zawāmil) is an extempore verse delivered, typically, at a tribal meeting as one marches to greet another group. For a brilliant technical analysis, see Caton, Steven, Peaks of Yemen I Summon: Poetry as Cultural Practice in a North Yemeni Tribe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). For a collection of such verse, see al-Ḥārithī, Ṣāliḥ, al-Zāmil fi l-ḥarb wa-l-munāsabāt (Damascus: Maṭbaʿat al-kātib al-ʿarabī, 1990).

63 Qad tasāmaʿnā law ʿadal murshidīn-nā min mashāyikh wa-ʿulamā I wa-ʿarafnā kulla-mā yalzam ʿalay-nā wa-qadd allāh aʿlāmā / wa-l-qabīlī sārat aʿmāl-hu thiqālah I wa-ʿdhirūn-nā yā ḍuyūf lā ghawaynā kull man ʿuwiḍ ramā / wa-qad hī balwā ʿalay-kum wa-ʿalay-nā man ḥaḍar takallamā / man daʿā li-l-khayrwa-ḥnā fī ẓilāl-hu. The transcriptions are from field notes.

64 Salām yursal fī 1-idhāʿah marsūl ilā ṣabit jamāʿah / wa-li-l-ḥajar dhī bayna-kum wa-jimlat al-ḥiḍār / ad-dīn alzama-nā at-tabāʿah Iā tufarriqū-nā bi-l-ishāʿah / kam nās qaraḍ qaṣda-hum yughayyirū al afkār.

65 Marhabā yā ḍiyāf man jāʾ bilādī wa-bn al-aḥmar bi-salām I balagh ar-raʿ īs taḥiyyah min rijāli tuṣal-hā mithla l-ghamām / huw zaʿ īm ash-shaʿb wa-hnā la-h raʿiyyah / man tawaẓẓaf fī liwaʾṣaʿdah ḥarāmī mā tamassak bi-n-niẓām / ghayr yisht (ah) ū yaḥlakū hādhi l-mawāṭin mithl law ʿ ād al-imām /tarjaʾ ath-thawrah wa-ḥarb al-jāhiliyyah.

66 From field notes, 1992.

67 A clear listing is proposed quite often by tribesmen: the sayyids supposedly make a performance of wudūʾ, washing the feet repeatedly not only over the ankles but right up to knees; qabāʾil pay attention to washing their private parts, but the face and hands are done perfunctorily; the “Wahhabis,” they claim, “sometimes don't even take their socks off; it's like zawāj taḥlīl” a purely formal marriage allowing one y one's divorced wife—in short, chicanery.

68 A1-Waḥdah, 24 06 1992.

69 lām mithla n-n ūr sāʿidla-h fī s-samāʾbariq wa-raʿid I min awldd al-j ū muʿ wa-shaykh-nā ibn imqlt / tashmal bakīl wa-takhuṣṣ ḥaṣhid / wa-hum ka-l-jasad wa-r-rūḥ wāḥid / zaʿim-hā al-aḥmar wa-shāhayifi-jānib-hu yanāl as-sīt.

70 Al-Waḥdah, 8 July 1992, 29 July 1992.

71 Ikhlāṣ is a play on Iṣlāḥ. In dictionary terms, it might mean something as grand as “salvation,” but here the meaning was the “solve-the-lot party” or, in British terms, the “sod-it-all party.”

72 Al-Sharq al-awsat, 25 01 1993.

73 The points which follow are drawn from Muʾtamar al-waḥdah wa-l-salām: al-qarārāt wa-l-ṣiyyāt. For further discussion, see Lefresne, “Les islamistes yéménites,” 2930.

74 Ahamm al-thagharāt fi mashrūʿ dustūr dawlat al-waḥah (no place, no date but San ʿaʾ 1991), 3. One might note that sundry Brothers supported Islah although the latter's acceptance of pluralist forms was clear from the outset.

75 Muʾtamar al-waḥdah wa-l-salām: al-qarārāt wa-l-tawṣiyyāt.

76 Al-Mithāq al-waṭanī (no place, no date of publication; ]ḤSanʿaʾ, 19821983]), 28.

77 For the divisions of al-ʿUsaymat, see Dresch, Tribes, Government, and History, 77, 211.

78 A minor twist was given by Sadiq standing as an independent, although he was himself the formal head of a separate organization, al-Ḥizb al-jumhūri or “Republican Party.” See Detalle, ,“ Yémen: les élections législatives,” 17.

79 The printed resolutions show YSP influence in the use of such terms as ʿashāʾ iriyyah (tribalism), which one rarely heard in the north, and even referred to Huth as a mudīriyyah. In the north, a local administrative division was called a nāḥiyah and run by a mudir (formerly an ʿāmil). In the south, it was a mudīriyyah, run not by a mudir but by a maʿmūr. The southern usage has been spreading. In 1992, however, the choice of terms was still distinctive.

80 This document, with others, we hope will be published separately. The reference to black-faced youths we presume must be to members of the YSP delegation. There may also be a play on al-Aswad al-ʿAnsi, the false prophet.

81 For a sketch of these movements, see Dresch, Paul, “Tribalism and Democracy” (formal lecture at the Centre Français d'Éitudes Yéménites, 30 09 1992), Chroniques yéménites 2 (1994), 6594. Tribal meetings flourished until the 1994 fighting. All proved ready to work with the others, but none with Islah or the GPC.

82 The date 26 September is the anniversary of the attack on Imam al-Badr's palace in Sanʿaʾ in 1962, the start of the north's revolution; 14 October is the anniversary of the south's revolution, commemorating the beginning of fighting against the British in Radfan in 1963.

83 Lā l-ḥukm fardī kayfraʾ ī as-shaʿb yā ahl al-muʾtamarḥ I min al-ḥadā jīnā nushārik-kum wa-nabnī mā banayt I qad shall sebtember wa-qad dhā laqqam uktuber ḥajar / qallad-kum allāh shayʾ miʾat masʾū l min usrah wa-bayt.

84 Law/ al-ḥadā zanjar wa-bayyan lī min al-wāqiʿ khabar I mā bish ʿalā dunyd khāliṣ illā l-mʾat allī ʿanayt / kunnā ʿalā al-maẓhar wa-lākinn bānat aflām aṣ-ṣuwar / mā ḥnā waṣiyah li-l-usur mithla saʿ ū diyyah wa-l-kuwayt.

85 Sanḥān, sawfa naḥkum ḥattā ākhirnafas. A more sympathetic critic, Muhammad al-Fusayil, claimed the president was poorly served by his advisers (Yemen Times, 23 09 1992). Even he, however, drew attention to many points on which the GPC had been criticized more generally.

86 For discussion of the Ḥikmah Yamāniyyah Benevolent Association, see al-Muntadā 9, al-ākhir, rabiʿ 1413 A.H. (10 1992).

87 Yemen Times, 10 06 1992.

88 Al-Iṣlāḥ, 24 08 1992; al-Hadaf al-ʿarabī, 30 08 1992. The very existence within Yemen of some of these named groups has to be in doubt.

89 Al-Sharq al-awsaṭ, 1 01 1993.

90 For the sequence of events see, for example, al-Ḥayāt, 35, 8 January and al-Sharq al-awsaṭ, 7, 8 01 1993.

91 Al-Sharq al-awsaṭ, 19 01 1993. This article is distinguished by a mention of Sanʿaʾ presumed status as a hijrah or protected place–not, one would think, a reference familiar to most of the paper's readership.

92 Financial Times, 7 01 1994.

93 Al-Wasaṭ, 131 (1 08 1994), 19. The interview also touches on the number of mujahidin who fought with al-Fadli on the Aden front—about 160. The mountains had brought forth something of a mouse.

94 Al-Sharq al-awṣat, 5, 9 09; al-Ḥayāt, 4809 1994.

95 Agence France Presse, 25 01 1995.

96 Diplomatic acquaintances spoke late in the summer of 1994 of an Egyptian “disinformation campaign,” which leaves open the question of what Egypt's leaders thought. One of the authors had the chance to meet notables from the Gulf whom one had assumed to be well briefed. The other met Saudis in the same position. Rather alarmingly, neither group seemed well informed on Yemen.

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