Theology and Anthropology

Years ago the anthropologist Akbar Ahmad argued for a specific “Islamic anthropology,” one that merged the principles of anthropology with those of his religious faith. An orthodox believer who accepts the Quran as the literal word of God, like the Evangelical Christian who insists the original Biblical texts were verbally inspired by God, is not free […]

The Road to Kawkaban

In the spring of 1978 my wife, Najwa Adra, and myself traveled to various locations in Yemen (the Yemen Arab Republic at the time) looking for the appropriate place to conduct our ethnographic research.  On our way to the valley where we eventually settled in, we stopped at a breathtaking mountain-top town called Kawkaban, a historic […]

Heritage be Damned

Now approaching 11 months, the ongoing war in Yemen is first and foremost a war against people, with upwards of 10,000 killed and many more wounded.  This is one of the most dire humanitarian crises on the planet, but it is barely covered in the news media.  A coalition of super rich states, able to […]

The War Nobody Wants to Know

First there was the first Gulf War, then the attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan, then the second Gulf War that took out Saddam Hussein, then the Arab Spring, then the rise of the Islamic State Caliphate.  All these events in the Middle East made the news, on top of the ongoing strife between Israel […]