Soqotra, the largest island of Yemen’s Soqotra Archipelago, is one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. A UNESCO natural World Heritage Site, the island is home not only to birds, reptiles, and plants found nowhere else on earth, but also to a rich cultural history and the endangered Soqotri language. Within the span of a decade this archipelago went from being among the most marginalized regions of Yemen to being promoted for its outstanding global value. Discussing the 21st-century environmental conservation, development, and heritage projects in Soqotra that affected this change, as well as the islanders’ deep-rooted connections to the UAE, this talk examines how everyday Soqotrans came to assemble, defend, and mobilize their cultural and linguistic heritage in transformative ways.
Nathalie Peutz, Program Head of Arab Crossroads Studies, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, NYUAD; Author of "Islands of Heritage: Conservation and Transformation in Yemen"(Stanford University Press, 2018)
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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