The description is submitted to:


Session R4434 (The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Yemen and Current Preservation Efforts), 2016
The few stories that have circulated in the media on the destruction of cultural heritage in the war in Yemen have focused on the damage to tangible heritage such as archaeological sites and museums. This paper discusses the destruction of manuscript codices that have resulted from the conflict, most of which were destroyed by the GCC’s saturation bombing of cities and towns in the Yemeni highlands. I explain the role of manuscript codices for the communities of the Yemeni highland, document the destruction of several major collections, discuss the work of NGO’s on the ground in Yemen attempting to address this situation, and the challenges they face, and outline concrete steps that should be taken to preserve the sources that remain extant, some of which I have attempted to initiate as Director of the Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative. I also discuss similar efforts to preserve manuscripts in other war-torn regions in the Islamic world.