Message from the Chairman

Dear Members,

It is good to end the year with news of real progress in the peace negotiations in Stockholm arranged by Martin Griffiths, the UN Peace Envoy and his team with a lot of international support, not least from the UK. The agreements (details are HERE) exceeded the admittedly low expectations but the key to success will lie in implementation. The UK is expected to put forward to the UN Security Council a draft resolution that will reinforce the agreement. The most significant part was on Hodeida and if implemented it will be a big step toward easing fears of famine and allow the flow of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Yemen. The next round of discussions will be in January.

The British–Yemeni Society provided briefing to Lord Luce and others in the debate on Yemen in the House of Lords on 15 November (see: Yemen — Question for Short Debate for a transcript of what was said). Members may also like to see the briefings and activities of the Yemen Safe Passage Group, including a recent letter to the Foreign Secretary on the situation in Yemen.

Our next lecture will be on 22 January by Dr Marieke Brandt from the Austrian Academy of Science on "The History of the Huthi Conflict".  She is the author of Tribes and Politics in Yemen:  A History of the Houthi Conflict (Hurst/OUP 2017). We have asked her to focus on explaining who are the Houthis and what do they want. This will take place in the Khalili Lectur Theatre at SOAS, University of London at 5.30pm.

This will be followed in February or March by Joseph Higgins from Southampton University, who was given the B-YS Research Grant in 2017 on the Federation of South Arabia. On 11 April, Professor Robert Bewley from the School of Archaeology at Oxford University will speak on "Endangered Archaeology (with special reference to Yemen)" in a joint event with the MBI al Jaber Foundation and the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia. We are also planning to revive the B-YS Annual Yemen Lecture in 2019 and a fundraising event next June and hope to arrange at least one event outside London. Details will follow.

We recently donated £2,500 to the Ras Morbat Clinic to help it purchase a Phacoemulsifier which is an amazing tool for cataract operations. Thank you for all the donations to the fund.

Would you please note the details for making a donation to the British–Yemeni Society charitable Fund :
Royal Bank of Scotland (48 Haymarket)
Sort Code: 16-01-23
Account Number: 14555021.
Alternatively, please send cheques payable to British–Yemeni Society to the Hon Treasurer, John Huggins, 44 Constitution Hill, Norwich, NR3 4BT, UK.

To lighten the load on Audrey Allfree we have made some new appointments that will take effect from 1 January 2019:
Dr Robert Wilson OBE will be the Membership Secretary (e-mail:
Boris Kilgarriff will undertake secretarial duties for the committee (e-mail:
Ibrahim Zanta will be responsible for events and publicising our activities on Mailchimp (e-mail:
Audrey Allfree will retain overall responsibility and her secretary address as