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Tribal Mediation in Yemen

Najwa Adra’s working paper examines indigenous dispute resolution in Yemen. What makes this paper so interesting is that it includes seven (7) case studies from her extensive fieldwork between 1978 and 2005 in Yemen’s Central Highlands. These case studies, in addition to Adra’s apt description of what mediation looks like, allows the reader to leave the oh-so lofty (and somewhat tedious) realm of concepts to get a feel for what it’s like to live with and experience customary law. Another highlight is her coverage of women’s participation in dispute resolution. Although told that women play no role in tribal affairs, Adra learns that this is a myth. In fact, “women actively taking part in mixed gender mediation, again in contradiction to formally stated principles.” Read the full paper to learn how “c]ustomary law not only maintains peace among an armed population in a region of widely dispersed communities that are difficult of access, but it affirms, and the mediation process enacts, tribal values…”