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1This first edition of Arabian Humanities marks the end of the Chroniques Yéménites, created by the French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences in Sana’a (then the CFEY, the French Centre for Yemeni Studies) after twenty years of activity. However, it is first and foremost a rebirth. Not forgetting its origins, the journal of the CEFAS had to demonstrate its ambition by hosting works focusing on the whole Arabian Peninsula by researchers from all around the world, speaking English, French or Arabic. We are grateful to the fifty researchers from Europe, the United States and the Arabian Peninsula who supported our project to renovate the journal by agreeing to join the Editorial and Scientific Boards of Arabian Humanities: thanks to their enthusiasm and encouragement, they really contributed to the realization of this new editorial project.
2This issue has to be thought of as a program. We regret of course that it does not comprise an article in Arabic in line with our new ambition, and we find ourselves having to express our faith in the linguistic and humanistic richness that this journal intends to promote.
3Meanwhile, the Arabian Humanities team is pleased to present an elegant issue coordinated by Blandine Destremau, Stephanie Latte Abdallah and Marina de Regt on "Gender Transformations in the Arabian Peninsula", consisting of eleven articles based on original field research. This is a continuation of the three papers from the conference presented in Cairo in 2011, entitled "Gender and mobility in Yemen and the Horn of Africa", which were published in the last issue of the Chroniques Yéménites (No. 17) and which address the issue of migration on both sides of the Red Sea . This focus on transformations shows we still have much to learn. From the Yemeni island of Socotra to Bahrain, via Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, this issue allows us to see the changes in gender relations as societies change.
4Regarding the free contributions, presented in chronological order, movement, and mobility even more so, feature prominently. Philippe Pétriat explores the position of Hadrami merchants in Jeddah in the mid-nineteenth century. He shows that this community from a region nowadays part of Yemen owed its strong cohesion to the need to defend its own interests against those of external actors (European and Ottoman), rather than relating to their home valley.
5The reader will also find a small feature based on research presented at a CEFAS in-house seminar and a conference held in Barcelona in 2010, and which is in stark contrast with these findings from more contemporary periods, with three articles that explore the question of “transnational Yemen”. In their respective articles, Juliette Honvault and Anahi Alviso-Marino question the limits of the intellectual, cultural or artistic exchanges that have gone on beyond Yemen's borders, while Marine Poirier re-explores the nationalist discourse and the relationship between the General People's Party of former President ‛Alī ‛Abd Allāh Ṣāliḥ and the outside world.
6Finally, there is an anthropological and linguistic study carried out by Frédéric Lagrange on the cartoon "Frīj", very popular in the UAE, which combines themes of gender, mobility and relations with foreigners. In the TV series in question, four old Emirati women seeking emancipation, two of which are of foreign origin (African and Iranian), invite the researcher to analyze how national identity is put into question when "faced with the multiple influences of globalization and referents of Arab popular culture". This article concludes, not before pointing out the humor of the series, the first issue of Arabian Humanities, thus conferring it an overall coherence, while also emphasizing what drives the whole editorial team of this new journal.
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Juliette Honvault, « Editorial », Arabian Humanities [En ligne], 1 | 2013, mis en ligne le 06 mars 2013, consulté le 30 août 2014. URL : http://cy.revues.org/2107Haut de page
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