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Lecture: Monuments of Faith and Power

15th September 2017, London

With the advent of Islam, Yemen became an important centre of Islamic learning and architecture. Since the 7th century, succeeding dynasties constructed mosques, madrasas (educational institutions) and mausoleums whose architecture drew on the country’s ancient heritage and on new elements which reveal the impact of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean trade as well as ties with regional powers such as Egypt and India. This lecture will examine the style and iconography of Yemen’s religious architecture in order to show the diversity of designs, techniques and materials that reflect the country’s diverse geography and its rich history. Moreover, it will show the distinctive elements that render this architecture unique in the Islamic World. This lecture, hosted by Gingko and BMI Al Jaber Foundation, was given by independent Islamic art scholar, Noha Sadek, and it dwelt on the topic of ‘Yemen’s Religious Architecture’.

About the lecturer: Noha Sadek is an independent scholar of Islamic art based in Paris. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto (1990) with a thesis on Rasulid architectural patronage. She directed the American Institute for Yemeni Studies in Sanʿaʾ, Yemen (1995-97). Her on-going research focuses on the art and architecture of Yemen on which she has published in English and French, and has edited two works in Arabic: North American Contributions to the Archaeology of Yemen (2002) and Studies on Medieval Yemen (2003). She is co-editor of the forthcoming book Taizz: Capital of Yemen (13th-15th Century) with Eric Vallet (Sorbonne University).

Architectural Heritage of Yemen