Yemen: An Application to Preserve Yemeni Heritage Threatened by War and Oblivion

Yemen has been torn apart by conflict between Houthi rebels and government forces for nearly eight years. Heritage conservation has faded into the background and the awareness of the 30 million Yemenis of their culture is riddled with pitfalls. A situation that the application “The Memories of Yemen” hopes to remedy.

In addition to the serious humanitarian and political crisis plaguing Yemen, there is another problem: the disappearance of its millennia-old historical heritage. For UNESCO, the deterioration of Yemeni culture is undermining “identity and dignity” of its population, but also of its ability to rebuild the future.

Abdul Wase, a Liverpool student of Yemeni descent, hopes to preserve the culture of his homeland through “The Memories of Yemen”. This app hopes to help Yemenis, especially those with dementia, to reconnect with their heritage through artifacts, stories, songs and images brought together by members of their community. It is inspired by another application, “My House of Memories”, which the National Museums of Liverpool (National Museums Liverpool) developed to boost the memory of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“My grandmother has been suffering from dementia for a long time”Abdul Wase said in a statement. “I thought I had an app version [“My House of Memories”] Bilingual with Yemeni music, pictures of Yemeni traditional and cultural objects would be a great way to educate people about both senile dementia and Yemen.”

An intergenerational project

The “Memories of Yemen” application, available for free on iOS and Android, thus contains objects with themes such as cooking, leisure, rural life, clothing and jewelry. There are depictions of a jambiya, a dagger traditionally worn for ceremonial purposes, or a taboon, a clay oven used in Yemen to bake fresh bread.

For Carol Rogers, director of the “House of Memories” program, this bilingual application is a true intergenerational project. †Memories of Yemen wants to try to maintain the connection between people and their loved ones. It’s in Arabic and English and it’s a great project, positioned so that young people in the Yemeni community can help us connect with their elders.”she said.

Liverpool’s National Museums are not ruling out the possibility of creating other apps such as “Memories of Yemen” to help senile Britons from other ethnic communities. This is the mission of the “House of Memories” program, according to Carol Rogers. “This is a first in the UK, which can be adapted to other communities. It is integral to our work at House of Memories to be present in the neighborhoods of our city and to be powerfully connected within the communities”

(ETX Daily Up)

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