Santa Fe World Affairs Symposium on Yemen

Topic:  Out of Arabia: Yemen and the New Arab Revolt

Location:  St John’s College, 1160 Camino Cruz Blanca

Yemen, clinging to the foot of the Arabian Peninsula, is all too easy to overlook.  Yet its population is over 24 million comparable to that of Syria, and it continues to play a pivotal role in the ongoing history of the area.  Yemen’s ancient capital Sana’a, which pre-dates the Christian Era, is famous for its elegantly towering townhouses, and the port of Aden was a crucial fueling station on the sea route to India in the days of the British Raj.  During the Cold, War Yemen split in two:  half Marxist, half not.  Yemen is the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden, and now it is home for the Las Cruces, NM-born radical Islamist preacher Al Awlaki, who uses a captivatingly hip vocabulary to recruit young men from Western countries.  Recently there have been daily demonstrations in the center of Sana’a and on March 21, three Yemeni Generals threw their support to the demonstrators.  Their purpose is to dislodge President Saleh who has clung to office for four decades.  What’s next?  What more do we need to know about this underappreciated country today from several of America’s top experts?  How does Yemen fit into today’s highly volatile Arab world?  And what’s that world going to look like when the dust settles?


This symposium features Edmund Hull, U.S. Ambassador to Yemen (2001-2004) and author of the forthcoming book “High Value Target: Countering Al Qaeda in Yemen” (Potomac Books, April 2011);  David Newton, US Ambassador to Yemen (1994-7) and currently adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute; Susan Wyatt, author of “Arabian Nights and Daze: Living in Yemen with the Foreign Service;” American photographer Peggy Crawford author of  “An American in Yemen: Travel Notes of a Photographer”;  Dr. Mohamed Ali, head of the Arabic and Arabic studies program, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of New Mexico; and Michael Morgan, author of “Lost History: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers, and Artists” (invited).


Please send checks to World Affairs Forum, PO Box 31965, Santa Fe. NM, 87594.  Santa Fe World Affairs Forum members – $45;  Nonmembers -$55.  The fee includes lunch.  Checks should be made out to The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum.  To make sure we know you’ll be attending please e-mail the Forum at   To help keep our records straight note on your check that it is for the April 8 symposium.   Your check guarantees you a place, but it is non-refundable after Friday, April 1, if you cannot attend.  The program will be held in the Junior Commons room at St. John’s College.


The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  For additional information on this program please e-mail or call 505-550-6392.