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Isaac Hollander

Abstract

This essay contains a translation and discussion of two Jewish divorce settlements concluded in rural Yemen during the first half of this century. Drawing upon information provided by informants who were eyewitnesses to one of the settlements, I delineate — against a background of Jewish and Islamic law — patterns of behavior followed by Jews and Muslims in the field of marriage relations, drawing attention to some of the intricacies of Judeo-Muslim cultural and legal interaction in Imamic Yemen.

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Contagious conflict

The impact of American dissent on European life

Edited by Isaac Hollander

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Jews and Muslims in Lower Yemen

A Study in Protection and Restraint, 1918-1949

Isaac Hollander

This fascinating microhistory unveils networks of extended interpersonal relationships between Jewish villagers and members of their Muslim surroundings in the decades preceding their 1949 departure from Lower Yemen. In a multi-layered narrative crafted from letters and legal documents in Arabic and an accompanying supply of Judeo-Arabic narratives, the book portrays how religiously subordinated individuals strove to pursue their interests without forgoing the protection of the dominant majority. At once shedding new light on both Jewish history and on rural Yemeni-Muslim history, the work provides a rare, pre-republican (pre-1962) portrait of rural life in Lower Yemen while positioning the Jewish community in the context of hitherto little-understood social, legal, economic and political systems.