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1Arabian Humanities in its eleventh issue reasserts the relevance of comparative studies on the Arabian Peninsula with a focus on the construction of urban images. The ten articles and documents presented here all give a sense of the evolving knowledge and debates that structure social sciences focusing on the seven countries of this sub-region. They highlight the dynamism of a field that is at once interdisciplinary, cross-regional and international, and that has also developed at a remarkable speed.

2Only thirty years ago, academics focusing on the area were but a handful. One can now claim that the research community, affiliated to universities in the Peninsula as well as outside of it, has reached a certain critical mass, generating constructive scientific confrontations and reassessments. As this special issue edited by Laure Assaf and Clémence Montagne shows, urban studies have become an area of investigation that is extremely lively. Such vitality is not only drawn from outside but also fed by local researchers and institutions that intend to bring new light to the transformation of societies they live in, and to their own identities and pasts. With that in mind, Arabian Humanities, with the generous support of the CNRS, is seeking to reach new audiences through the systematic translation of abstracts into Arabic and the publication of more contributions in that language. This should help enhance the visibility and transparency of our activities at a time when the role of researchers appears somewhat contested and increasingly fragile.

3With Yemen at war for the last five years, the scope of our peer-reviewed journal has evolved, developing a focus on the other societies of the Peninsula. Yet, Yemen as an object of study has never been abandoned by our contributors. New means of approaching it, be it through literature, history or other disciplines, are emerging, with the backing of our benevolent anonymous reviewers. Publications are favoring novel methods and the editorial team of Arabian Humanities is keen on taking part in discussions that structure innovative ways of approaching Yemen. Such a reflection is not only relevant to that country but may also bear meaning for other societies in which the capacity to carry out research safely and openly is being severely constrained, be it due to insecurity or by states themselves. By continuing to cover Yemen as a society, a culture and a history that exist beyond the war, and through the development of our collective knowledge of these, Arabian Humanities aims to preserve its role as a space for scientific freedom, independence and reflexivity.

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Laurent Bonnefoy, « Editorial », Arabian Humanities [En ligne], 11 | 2019, mis en ligne le 19 novembre 2019, consulté le 29 janvier 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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Laurent Bonnefoy

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Ce document est mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International.

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