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Accepted Paper:

“We are all suffering equally now”: Perceptions of equality and experiences of inequality in war-torn Yemen.  
Marina de Regt (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Aisha Aljaedy (The American University in Cairo)

Paper short abstract:

This paper is about the various ways in which people of mixed Yemeni-African descent in Yemen (the so-called Muwalladin) perceive and experience the war, and the ways in which they negotiate their identities in a context of increased polarization, marginalization and discrimination.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper we present the findings of a qualitative study carried out in 2021 among Yemenis of African descent in Yemen, with particular attention for the social, economic and security challenges they face. As a result of migratory processes between Yemen and the Horn of Africa part of the Yemeni population is of mixed African-Yemeni descent. These Muwalladin, as they are called, have been the target of discriminatory practices for decades because they were, and still are, not considered to be “pure Yemenis”. This has affected, amongst other things, their citizenship rights, their access to education and the labour market, and their social integration. Since the start of the civil war in Yemen, stigmatization and discrimination on the basis of one’s family background has increased. The Houthis, who are occupying a large part of former North Yemen, claim power on the basis of a perceived honorary lineage. How has this affected Muwalladin? What are the regional differences, for example between the North and the South? Which role do gender, age, and social class play in the racial discrimination of Muwalladin? While many of the respondents stated that all Yemenis are suffering equally as a result of the war, our findings show that social inequalities are still persisting and that Muwalladin respond in different ways to the newly encountered challenges.

Panel P088a
Resisting Marginalization in Times of Crisis: The Politics of Gender, Race, Religion and Age in the MENA region and beyond I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -