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Analysis
The Yemeni Diaspora: An analysis of its history, development, and nature

The Yemeni Diaspora: An analysis of its history, development, and nature

In this first article in a series of three pieces about different aspects of the Yemeni diaspora, Hisham Almahdi discusses the history, development and nature of the global Yemeni diaspora, and notes how its varying waves and changes have impacted all three. The second and third articles in this series - on the Yemeni diaspora in Germany and the various roles the diaspora plays, respectively - will be published in due course. There are about 6-7 million Yemenis spread across the six continents, at least according to Mohammed Al-Adil, Yemen's deputy minister of expatriates, and several other official and unofficial sources. Compared to Yemen’s total population of over 30 million, the size of the diaspora is indeed significant, although it is unclear whether the diaspora is included in the overall population count. Almost half of the diaspora (3 million Yemenis) live in Gulf countries, mostly Saudi Arabia, where Yemenis, alongside their South Asian counterparts, make up the backbone of the oil producing nations' labour force. Other estimates report that the number of Yemenis in Egypt is somewhere between 500-900 thousand, with another 58,600 and 12,000 Yemeni nationals in the US and UK respectively. This is not to mention second- and third-generation migrants who have been abroad for decades, as well as tens of thousands in countries like Djibouti, Malaysia, Turkey, and Jordan. 
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News
Saudi Arabia declares holiday after amazing win against Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Saudi Arabia declares holiday after amazing win against Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

A win at a football match during the world cup is always a moment that every country savours. But when your team is not one of the favorites and  yet is able to defeat one of the world's top football teams the sense of national elation is eccstatic. Such was the mood in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday (22 November) after their team in its debut match in the tournament in Doha which opened on Sunday, managed to defeat one of the favorites, Argentina. As Saudi media was quick to point out, this was the first time an Arab or Asian team have beaten the two-time world champions at this level, and will go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the competition. Back home, the Saudi government decided it was time to party.  At a regular meeting of the cabinet of Ministers, King Salman approved a suggestion made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to celebrate the national team’s victory with a holiday. All public and private sector employees and students at all educational stages will be given a holiday, Saudi Press Agency reported.   For Saudi Arabia this is a moment to savour. The country has been in recent years slowly but surely emerging from a period of lethargy, and a new dynamism is appearing in all sectors of society. Many problems linger, and some new ones are emerging too. But today, Saudis will focus on celebrating a football victory which very well embodies the country's new sense of confidence.

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Editor's choice
Analysis
The Yemeni Diaspora: An analysis of its history, development, and nature

The Yemeni Diaspora: An analysis of its history, development, and nature

In this first article in a series of three pieces about different aspects of the Yemeni diaspora, Hisham Almahdi discusses the history, development and nature of the global Yemeni diaspora, and notes how its varying waves and changes have impacted all three. The second and third articles in this series - on the Yemeni diaspora in Germany and the various roles the diaspora plays, respectively - will be published in due course. There are about 6-7 million Yemenis spread across the six continents, at least according to Mohammed Al-Adil, Yemen's deputy minister of expatriates, and several other official and unofficial sources. Compared to Yemen’s total population of over 30 million, the size of the diaspora is indeed significant, although it is unclear whether the diaspora is included in the overall population count. Almost half of the diaspora (3 million Yemenis) live in Gulf countries, mostly Saudi Arabia, where Yemenis, alongside their South Asian counterparts, make up the backbone of the oil producing nations' labour force. Other estimates report that the number of Yemenis in Egypt is somewhere between 500-900 thousand, with another 58,600 and 12,000 Yemeni nationals in the US and UK respectively. This is not to mention second- and third-generation migrants who have been abroad for decades, as well as tens of thousands in countries like Djibouti, Malaysia, Turkey, and Jordan. 
Editor's choice
News
Saudi Arabia declares holiday after amazing win against Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Saudi Arabia declares holiday after amazing win against Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

A win at a football match during the world cup is always a moment that every country savours. But when your team is not one of the favorites and  yet is able to defeat one of the world's top football teams the sense of national elation is eccstatic. Such was the mood in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday (22 November) after their team in its debut match in the tournament in Doha which opened on Sunday, managed to defeat one of the favorites, Argentina. As Saudi media was quick to point out, this was the first time an Arab or Asian team have beaten the two-time world champions at this level, and will go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the competition. Back home, the Saudi government decided it was time to party.  At a regular meeting of the cabinet of Ministers, King Salman approved a suggestion made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to celebrate the national team’s victory with a holiday. All public and private sector employees and students at all educational stages will be given a holiday, Saudi Press Agency reported.   For Saudi Arabia this is a moment to savour. The country has been in recent years slowly but surely emerging from a period of lethargy, and a new dynamism is appearing in all sectors of society. Many problems linger, and some new ones are emerging too. But today, Saudis will focus on celebrating a football victory which very well embodies the country's new sense of confidence.
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Monday Commentary
Monday Commentary: Let sports unite us

Monday Commentary: Let sports unite us

The 2022 FIFA World Cup opened in Doha on Sunday (20 November) with a lavish half an hour opening ceremony full of music and colour. It will be followed by weeks of football extravaganza that millions are looking forward to watching. It was a proud moment for the small Arab Gulf country which has put a lot of effort and resources towards making the event a success, writes Dennis Sammut in today's Monday Commentary on commonspace.eu. Ever since it was decided to hold the FIFA world cup in Qatar there have been those who questioned the decision. Some said the climate was too hot; others criticised the working conditions of the labour force that built the facilities; others questioned Qatar's human rights record, especially on gay rights. Some of the criticism was justified. The world cup helped put attention to such problems and that is how it should be. But frankly, a lot of the criticism of Qatar went over the top and reeked of racism. Qatar has its shortcomings, but the hundreds of thousands of people who flock there to work, and others who just visit, appreciate it for what it is: a young nation that is trying to play a positive role in the world and to offer opportunity for work and business to whoever wants to work with it. It is ofcourse easy to say that sports and politics do not mix. Since sports is an expression of human talent and human feelings politics cannot be excluded. It needs to be managed. People watching football do not need expressions of political opinions shoved down their throats. Many even find such expressions as an insult to their intelligence. But that does not mean that the occasion of a global sports event cannot be a way of transmitting a dignified message with political connotations. One such example happened yesterday when the captain of the Iranian team sent a message to his compatriots back home.
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Interview
Art-Gene Turns Nineteen: In Conversation with Tamar Melikishvili

Art-Gene Turns Nineteen: In Conversation with Tamar Melikishvili

July 2022 saw the 19th edition of what has become a staple event in the Georgian cultural calendar. Founded in 2003 by artists Tamar Melikishvili and Giorgi Baramidze, musicians Zaza Korinteli and Niaz Diasamidze, sculptor Nika Anjaparidze, and photographer Maria Lanevski, the Art-Gene music and crafts festival has played a huge role in reviving Georgia’s now thriving traditional cultural scene since its dog days of the early 2000s. Looking forward to Art-Gene’s 20th anniversary next year, commonspace.eu’s Deputy Editor Patrick Norén spoke to Tamar Melikishvili about Art-Gene’s origins, ethos, community, and future. Melikshvili told commonspace.eu that ‘if a country keeps and loves its own culture, it will become very open and interested in the culture of other countries. The world is nice because we are so different, but we also make one big picture, like a painter. When I am working on the canvas, all of these different moods and colours become one symphony, and that is what makes the picture interesting.’