Advisory Board

We, at the Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage and the Arts, are proud to have an Advisory Board that is exceptionally diverse, with a female majority and a quarter Ph.D. holders. Names are arranged alphabetically.

 
 
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Abdulrahman Al-Ghabri

Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Ghabri is a professional photographer, theater director, actor, lute player, and singer. He studied Journalism in Syria and Yemen, obtained a degree in cinematography from Lebanon, and a photography degree from Iraq. He had over seventy-five solo photography exhibits around the world and is the recipient of several distinguished photography awards. Mr. Al-Ghabri is a certified expert in photo restoration and maintenance and belongs to several journalist syndications locally and regionally.

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Amnah Al-Nasiri

Dr. Amnah Al-Nasiri is an academic, art critic, and visual artist. She holds a PhD in Philosophy, Aesthetics and Art Theory and has been lecturing at Sana’a University since 2004. As an art critic, she has been extensively published in various art magazines and was the former Editor-in-Chief of “Tashkil” art newspaper. As an artist, she uses mixed media and had over 17 solo exhibits around the world. She is a member of the Yemeni Artist Syndicate and The International Association of Art (IAA/AIAP). Dr. Al-Nasiri was one of the founding members of the “Sana’a Atelier” and the founding member of “Kawn Atelier”. Her art was featured in three books: Times for the Sorrows of Sheba (with Ahmed Al-Awadhi, 2004), Maqamat al-lun (2004), and Progression of the Old and New (with Dr. Omar AbdulAziz, 2003).

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Arwa Othman

Ms. Arwa Othman is the first female to serve as Minister of Culture (2014). She is a writer and researcher at the Yemeni Center for Studies and Research and the founder director of the House of Folklore, in Ta’izz city. She documented 1000 Yemeni folk tale stories in a three-part anthology. She has many articles published on Yemen’s heritage but focuses on the female question in folk tales. Ms. Othman is a published novelist and short story writer.

 
 
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Don Picard

Mr. Don Picard is a Washington-based attorney with four decades of experience representing and advising clients all over the world, including Yemen. His work has taken him to East Africa, the Caspian Sea, and the former Soviet Union. Mr. Picard held senior positions at several major Washington, DC firms before founding Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP in 2009. Before entering the private sector, he served in the State Department Foreign Service, with posts in Southeast and East Asia.

 
 
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Faisal Saeed Farea

Mr. Faisal Saeed Farea is a well-known Yemeni economist and intellectual who contributed vastly to Yemen's public life. He also promotes the protection of Yemen's cultural heritage. He contributed to the establishment of the "Yemeni Economists Association" after the unity of Yemen (1990), and was a member of several boards of mixed companies such as the Yemeni Cinema Company, the Yemeni Kuwait Real Estate Development Company, and the Yemeni Printing and Publishing Company. He managed many companies and factories in Yemen, such as Al-Tadhamoniah company for the manufacture of soft drinks (Canada Dry Sanaa), and Dirham Industry (Sinalco). He is currently the Secretary-General of the late Haj Ha'el Saeed Anam Prize for Science and Literature, a national prize that encourages scientific research in Yemen, and is the executive director of Al-Saeed Foundation for Science and Culture, one of the most significant cultural institutions in the Republic of Yemen. Farea holds a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science and in 1978, he completed a postgraduate diploma in Economic Development from the University of Manchester, UK.

 
 
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Jean Lambert

Dr. Jean Lambert is an anthropologist and an ethnomusicologist focusing on the history of Arab Music in Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula, and Lebanon. He studies ritual practices, performances, mythical representations of music, musical systems, associations between language and music, and the formation of contemporary identities vis a vie Music. Dr. Lambert documented Arabic oral literature (poetry, tales, legends) of Yemen, Palestine, and Lebanon. Between 2009 to 2014, he was the Director of the Center for Research in EthnoMusicology, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense. From 2003 to 2008, he was the Director of the French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences in Sanaa, Yemen. Dr. Lambert wrote three books on Yemeni music among other publications and created more than thirty CDs of traditional Music from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and North Africa. Currently, he is an Assistant professor in the Musée de l’Homme (National Museum of Natural History, Laboratoire d’Eco-Anthropologie) and an associate researcher in the CREM-LESC.

 
 
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Jordan Elgrably

Mr. Jordan Elgrably is a widely-anthologized journalist and writer who co-founded the first cultural arts center in Los Angeles for the Middle East and North Africa— the Levantine Cultural Center in 2001. He was also active in the Southern California Palestinian-Israeli dialogue movement for many years, with Open Tent Middle East Coalition and other intersectional efforts. As a producer he worked on several editions of the Dalai Lama's World Festival of Sacred Music, collaborated with several universities (UCLA, USC, LMU, CSUN, UCI et al) and museums, and presented hundreds of festivals, concerts, conferences, comedy shows, literary events and arts workshops across the Southland.

 
 
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Khadija al-Salami

Ms. Khadija Al-Salami is Yemen's first female film-maker and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. She made over 27 documentaries, many of which focus on women. Her debut fiction film; I am Nojoom, age 10 and Divorced (2014) received several international film festival awards and won the top prize at the Dubai Film Festival. With Charles Hoots, she wrote The Tears of Sheba (2003) about her experiences growing up in Yemen and being a child bride. She also co-authored the book, "Nada, la rose de matin." Till 2012, she was the Press Counselor and Director of the Communication and Cultural Center at the Embassy of Yemen in Paris. Ms. Al-Salami is the recipient of numerous awards including the Prince Claus Award, and the Knight of the Order of Arts & Letters awarded by the French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand. She was selected by the Mosaic Foundation in Washington D.C. to receive the Medal of Honor rank of Knight (Chevalier) awarded by the French President Jacques Chirac.

 
 
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Marjorie Ransom

Ms. Marjorie Ransom is a former US diplomat who served twice in Yemen, first in 1966 and then in 1975. During her time as a diplomat in several Arab countries, she collected Middle Eastern silver jewelry, textiles, and costumes. From 2004-2009, with support from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS), she researched Yemen and then wrote the book, Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Yemeni Regional Jewelry (2014). In 2002 she co-curated the exhibit, "Silver Speaks: Traditional Jewelry of the Middle East." After several showings, she donated the exhibition to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Ms. Ransom received her BA from Trinity University in Washington, DC, and her Master's degree in History and a Certificate in Middle East Studies from Columbia. She is currently working on a second volume on Yemeni Silversmiths and textiles.

 
 
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Michele Lamprakos

Dr. Michele Lamprakos is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, University of Maryland-College Park.  Trained as an architect and architectural historian, she specializes in the early modern/modern Arab-Islamic world and critical heritage studies.  She is the author of Building a World Heritage City: Sanaa Yemen, the first book on urban heritage to be recognized by the Society of Architectural Historians’ Spiro Kostof Book Award (Honorable Mention, 2018).  Her research has been supported by the National Humanities Center, the Graham Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, and other organizations.  Dr. Lamprakos lectures widely and has organized international symposia, including “Heritage and the Arab Spring” (Freer Gallery of Art, 2014, with Nancy Um) which explored the role of cultural heritage in a new and shifting Middle East.  She has served as Technical Reviewer for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and as Desk Reviewer for UNESCO.

 
 
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Noha Sadek

Dr. Noha Sadek is an independent Islamic Art historian based in Paris and a research associate with the Centre Français d'Archéologie et de Sciences Sociales (CEFAS). She has a Ph.D. in the Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto in 1990. Dr. Sadek worked as a curatorial researcher at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (1990-92) and at the Arthur Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington, D.C. (1992-94). She taught Islamic art history courses at the American University and Saint Joseph University in Beirut (2004-2007) and directed the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS) in Sanaa, Yemen (1995-97). Her work focuses on art and architecture in Yemen where worked as an art historian and epigrapher with the Canadian Archaeological Mission of the Royal Ontario Museum in Zabid (1982-1991), a Ph.D. candidate (1985-86), and a postdoctoral historian of painted mosques throughout Yemen (1993-2002). She is a team member of the World Monuments Fund project The restoration of the National Museum and of the Qubbat al-Husayniyya in the historic city of Ta'izz.

 
 
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Salma Samar Damluji

Dr. Salma Samar Damluji is an architect who graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and the Royal College of Art in London. She worked with Fathy in 1975-6 and in the 1980s. In 2008, she established with colleagues in Yemen “The Daw‘an Mud Brick Architecture Foundation” in Mukalla, Hadramaut and has been working there on earth construction and rehabilitation projects. Her publications include Hassan Fathy Earth & Utopia (2018) The Architecture of Yemen (2007) and Al Diwan Al Amiri, Doha (2011), and has curated a number of exhibitions in London, Paris and Madrid. She was elected Member of the Académie d’Architecture (2017), received the Académie d'Architecture Restoration Award in 2015 and The Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2012. Dr. Damluji is Professor of the Binladin Chair for Architecture in the Islamic World, at the American University in Beirut since 2013.

 
 
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Sheila Carapicco

Dr. Sheila Carapico is Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at the University of Richmond, Virginia. She conducted extensive field research throughout North Yemen in the late nineteen seventies and early eighties, co-authoring a book entitled Yemeni Agriculture and Economic Change (1981) and completing her Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Binghamton. As a Fulbright scholar, she published Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia (1998) and dozens of articles and book chapters on Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula, and the region. Dr. Carapico is a contributing editor to Middle East Report (MER) and a former president of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS). Her most recent single-authored academic book is Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice, and Representation (2013). She recently curated a collection of MER articles into a book entitled Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf (2016).