Professor in race to save ancient Yemeni texts

Editor's Note: This sotry was originally featured on February 5, 2016 in UO in the News.

In addition to a terrible loss of life, ongoing strife in Yemen also threatens tens of thousands of ancient texts that provide a vital link to the history of the Islamic world, a potential loss that UO professor David Hollenberg wants to prevent.

Hollenberg, director of Arabic in the Department of Religious Studies, is founder of the Yemeni Manuscripts Digitization Initiative, a collective effort to preserve historical Arabic texts in the private libraries of Yemen. His work was profiled in a recent story on the website of Al Jazeera America.

Hollenberg wants to send digital workstations to a nongovernmental organization in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, so ancient texts can be digitized and their stories preserved. The texts are invaluable historical documents, he said.

“Collectively, they sell the story of the Yemeni people and the greater Islamic world,” he told Al Jazeera.

For the full story, see, “Saving Yemen’s heritage, ‘heart and soul of Islamic tradition.’”