Arabs in Exile
by Halliday, Fred
Arab migration is not just a feature of recent instabilities in the Middle East. The Lebanese and Syrians have a long established history of migration to Africa, North and South America as well as Europe, while North African Arabs have long established links to France. The Yemeni community in Britain is one of the most established and yet least known of all migrant groupings. Yemenis began settling in British ports at the beginning of the 20th century, and after World War II they became part of the immigrant labour force in Britain’s industrial cities. Numbering around 15,000 the Yemenis were the first community from an Islamic country to settle in Britain. More than any other migrant group they have maintained close social and political links with their homelands. Fred Halliday’s full length study is based on research over 20 years in both Britain and Yemen. It portrays the political and economic background to the Yemeni migration and the ways in which changes in Yemen have affected the community in Britain. There are historical and social accounts of the sailor communities in Cardiff, South Shields and Liverpool and of industrial workers in Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester. Particular attention is paid to the political organizations of the Yemeni community and to the changing identities by which the Yemenis have been known. The study concludes with a discussion of how the community has evolved since 1962 when restrictions were placed on colonial immigration, and of its relationship to the broader flow of Asian and Islamic immigration.