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An Iraqi Heart in 1940's Yemen


Qalb al-Yaman (The Heart of Yemen) is a book published in 1947 in Baghdad by the Iraqi military advisor Muḥammad Ḥasan. This is a fascinating account of Yemen about an Iraqi Military Mission to Yemen in 1940-1943 with details on Yemen at that time under the rule of Imām Yaḥyā. It is now available for reading online and downloadable.


first page of the author's text


The text consists of 256 pages with a detailed table of contents, illustrations and a large map. The major chapters deal with Yemen’s geography and resources, history, the author’s travel experience to Yemen, the capital Ṣan‘ā’, Imām Yaḥyā, social life, major routes, local medicine, the government and soldiers, social and regional groups, women, marriage customs, festivals and greeting behavior, Yemenite Jews, the Iraqi advisors in Yemen, diplomatic relations and correspondence, Islamic sects, and his return to Iraq. There are numerous photographs, which unfortunately did not reproduce well in the publication.


photograph of Imām Yaḥyā (who did not want his image copied as noted in the bottom left)



beheading of soldier overseen by Sayf al-Islām Ibrāhīm



one of the earliest photographs of Yemeni bara‘



respective genealogies of Iraqī King Faysal and Yemeni Imām Yaḥyā

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