Abdulsalam Al-Rubaidi

Personal details

2013- Editor in Chief and Research Analyst in the Framework of the Volkswagen Foundation funded project “Framing the Yemeni Revolution”, Yemen Polling Centre, Sana’a, in cooperation with the University of Bonn, Germany
2011-2012 Doctoral preparatory year, Sana’a University
Arabic Studies: Semitic philology, modern linguistics, narrative discourse, traditional and modern Arabic literature, literary and cultural theory
2011 Exchange program at the seminar of Oriental and Islamic studies, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
2009-2012 Full-time lecturer at Sana’a University, Department of Arabic studies, Yemen
2006-2009 M.A in Modern Arabic Literature, Sana’a University, Yemen
2005-2007 Part-time lecturer at the University of Science and Technology, Department of Arabic, Sana’a, Yemen
since 2005 Ph.D. Student at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen(FAU)
2005-2006 Diploma in higher Arabic studies, Sana’a University, Yemen – Linguistics and literary studies
2000-2004 B.A. in Arabic studies, Sana’a University, Sana’a, Yemen, and B.A in English language and literature, Yameniah University, Sana’a- Yemen

Research profile

  • Arabic Language
  • Modern Arabic Literature
  • Semiotics and discourse analysis theories
  • Quranic studies
  • Islamic Mysticism and Theology


Identity and Historical Consciousness in the Contemporary Yemeni Novel

This thesis is an analytical study of six contemporary Yemeni novels. These novels share some common background: They have been written within the last decade 2005-2015, they make ‘the past’ the background of their narrative, and they concentrate on communal or collective identities in Yemen. The choice of the six novels from the bulk of the novels produced in Yemen during the last decade is based on the premise that these novels offer a sufficient scope for analysis more than others. More specifically, each of the six chosen novels is built around several themes or motifs implicating human experiences and attitudes that have to do with the main widely debated identity issues in Yemen. These issues revolve around three main frames of identification in the country: territoriality or regionalism, religious affiliations and ethnic belonging. Though the study focuses in its four chapters on six novels, it makes, throughout its analytical line, frequent references to other Yemeni novels where necessary and relevant. Moreover, depending on previous studies in the area, an historical overview of the Yemeni novel is provided in the first chapter. The purpose of that is to help the reader to position the six novels within their historical context both as part of the novelistic production in Yemen which dates back to 1927 and as part of the cultural movement in the country and the Arab world.

The textual analysis in this thesis will be formed within two levels: on the first level of it, I will, firstly, investigate the habitus of the characters. In concrete, their individual articulations that signal to their individual identities (their image of self and their perception of world) will be brought into light. Secondly, a possible picture of a certain reflexive or collectivized identities is it regional, religious or ethnic will be drawn and discussed.

On the second level of this analysis, the fictional world in the six novels will be looked at in the light of its situatedness in the real Yemeni social settings. To achieve that, an intertextual practice will go along with the main line of the critical analysis. This concurrent intertextual investigation is required in this context as the researched literary texts are in dialogue with and positioned within an ethnographic space (Yemen) where the question of identity- self-identification through belonging and difference- is at issue especially in this far-reaching transitional period of the modern history of Yemen. By situating the novels in their historical contexts, the historical consciousness behind their creation will be brought up as it manifested itself by the act of reading.




  • “The absent text in modern Arabic poetry” – first edition, Dar al-Gaidah, Amman, Jordan, 2012.
  • “Post-2011 Yemen: Studies in Social and Political Movements” – (Eidor) Yemen Polling Center, to come out in 2017.
  • “Sufism and Islamic Theology in Yemen: Translated Essays” – Translation from English into Arabic with introduction and comments. Under Publication.

Studies, Articles & Reviews

  • “The Prose Poem in Yemen: Poetics of Paradox and intertextuality”, al-hikmah Magazine, The league of Yemeni writers, 2006.
  • “Attayb Alih: the season of migration to the north: a reading of the migration to the innerself”, althawrah news paper, 2009.
  • Al- Baradoni and us“, al-adadabia, 2009.
  •  “A handful of wind is poetry: notes on a mystical poem by the Saudi poet Mohammad al-Thubaiti“, aladabia, 2009
  • “Al Hagigah wa al-shariah in the sufi interpretation of the Holy Quran: A semiotic approach”, altasawf alislami, 2010.
  • “The scholarly and spirtitual relations between Tareem and al-Baydah city”, Tareem, Al-Wasatiah Conference, December 2010.
  • “The Historicisty of the word Adab: A philological and cultural approach with especial recommendations for the modern Arabic dictionary makers”, Thawabet, Sana’a, 2011.
  • “The bitter narration: a reading in the collection of short stories by Hail Ali al- Modabi”.
  • “Archetypal pattrens in the poetry book (Like if there is a prophet behind the door) by Ahmed al- Arami: psychological notes”, al-thawrah news paper, 2012.
  • “Mohammed Said Rmamdan al- Buti: a farewell to a prominent controversial Muslim scholar”, journalistic article, al-wadi, 2013.
  • “Challenging Goliath: The Islah Party and its struggle for political Change 2006-2011”, M. A thesis by Mareike Transfield, Erlangen University, Germany,  A review, al-Masder news paper, 2013.
  • “Fitnah Discourse: An analysis of the Ulama’s Fatwas During The Yemeni Spring”.
  • Sixtieth versus Seventieth Street Practices and Counter-Practices during the Yemeni Spring 2011. Jemen Report 2014.
  • (with Werner Daum) “Religion and Mysticism in Early Islam – The Legacy of Ahmad Ibn ‘Alwan”. Yemeni British Society Journal, 2014.
  • “The concept of shabāb in Yemen. Some remarks”, in: Jemen-Report 47 (2016), pp. 122-125.
  • Skepticism among Emerging Public Intellectuals in Post-Revolution Yemen. In: Marie-Christine Heinze (ed.): Yemen and the Search for Stability. Power, Politics and Society after the Arab Spring, London: IB Tauris (published 2018).
  • (with Laurent Bonnefoy) “The Reconfiguration of Identities in the Context of the Current War in Yemen: The Contemporary Sunni Islamist Field”.  In Arabic Language in: Idhafat38-39 (2017), pp. 50-67; in French Language in: « Recomposition islamistes sunnites et polarization confessionelle dans le Yémen en guerre » in: Critique international 78 (janvier-mars 2018), pp. 85-103.
  • The Concept of Youth in Yemen: Some Remarks (Forthcoming).


  • “The philosophy of post modernism”, a chapter of: “The Rutledge Companion To Postmodernism” by Stuart Sim, published in Magalat al-Adaab al-alamiah, Damascus, Arab writers league, 2009.
  • “Postmodernism” by Mary Klages, Gaiman Magazine, 2009.
  • “Al-Amr bilmarwf wa alnhi ani al-Monkar in the Political ideology of the Zaidi imam al- Hadi ila al-Haq” by Josef Van Ess,  published in the referee Bulletin of the faculty of Arts, Sana’a, July 2010.
  • “Thoughts about America” by Edward said, al-Thagafiah and Yemen Writer League, 2010.
  • “Politics of knowledge” by Edward Said, a translation with Abdulwahab al-Magaleh, al-Bahrain Magazine, April, 2011.
  • “Women of Pilgrimage: Psychological reflections on a Sufi poem by Ibn Arabi” by Montgomery Watt, al-Bahrain Magazine, 2011.
  • “A Tale of Two Poets: Sufism In Yemen During The Ottoman Epoch” by Alexander Knysh, al-Ekleel Bulletin, 2012.
  • “Humanism in Islam between Mysticism and Literature” by Stefan Reichmuth, al-wady, 2013.

Poetic Writings

  • Poems published in Ghaiman Magazine, Al-Thawrah Newspaper, 26th Sep. Newspaper and al-Gomohwriah Newspaper, 2005-2009.
  • Poems published in Al-Kateb Al-Arabi Magazine, Cairo, 2008.

Lectures and conference contributions


  • EZIRE-Colloquium Summer Semester 2016: Lecture „Negotiating Identities in the Contemporary Yemeni Novel“ (1st June 2016)


  • Deutscher Orientalistentag/DAVO-Conference: Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, 18.-22th September 2017. Lecture within Panel 29: “Changes in the Arab World: The interplay of the local, regional and national level” (Prof. Thomas Demmelhuber/Nina Nowar, 19th September 2017): “Negotiating Identities in the Contemporary Yemeni Novel”

Invited Lectures at international Conferences


  • Lecture “Islamists in Yemen” (in Arabic). With or Without the Brothers. Paris CERI/Sciences Po. Paris, 29.-30th October 2015.


  • Lecture and Text “Concept of Youth in Yemen: Some Remarks”. Talking about my Generation: Concepts of Youth and Generation in Research on the MENA region, five years after 2011. Marburg, 30th November to 1st December 2016.
  • Lecture and Discussion “Paradoxes and Legacies of the Southern Yemeni Left”. Left-Wing Trends in the Arab World (1948-1979): Bringing the Transnational Back in. Beirut. 12-13th December 2016.


  • Lecturer. Enhancing Research on Yemen: Researching and Writing (CARPO Bonn & Gender-Development Research & Studies Center GDRSC of the University Sana’a, Jemen; supported by DAAD) Amman, 12-17th March 2018.