This is a 2-part video series based on a paper about the history of Yemen and its relationship with Africa vs. the Middle East. The two videos together are almost an hour or you can read all the material in the paper: http://phoenicia.org/imgs/YemenAfricaArabWorld.pdf The video is nice for the music and pictures, though!

This examines such things as ancient language which is still spoken in parts of Africa, how geography affected trade, how the Horn of Africa is a large part of eastern Africa AND Yemen, and how ancient Yemen had established colonies in Africa.

Yemen has long been the most African part of …. Asia, or… the Asiatic part of Africa! Undoubtedly, Yemen linked India with Egypt, East Africa with Assyria, Persia with Sudan, Rome with China, all ways – land, desert and sea – involved. But whenever a certain expansion of the many, various and diversified Yemenite peoples, tribes and states took place in the past, it was manifested in Africa. This is probably due to physical delimitations, the Oman coastal strip being too limited a place for expansion, the Hedjaz coastal strip being an uninviting place, the greatest part of the peninsula being desert (Rub’ al Khali), and other lands being simply … too far! What is closest to Yemen is either the high seas or Africa…

I’ve been reading a travel/history book about Yemen from 1894 that mentioned a city called Muza:

The formation of these maritime plains is such that it may be safely surmised that a very considerable portion, at least of what is now desert, was at one time covered by sea. So fast, indeed, has been the silting action, that more than one former port now lies inland. An example of this, Sir R. L. Playfair, in his excellent ‘History of the Yemen,’ mentions the town of Muza, once a flourishing seaport, now over twenty miles inland.

I’m so glad I found this video and watched part two! When I Googled Muza to find more information about it once being a seaport, I couldn’t really found anything. But here it is, mentioned as a port in Part 2 of this video:

What makes a striking impression is the explicit reference of the author of the Periplus of the Red Sea to the fact that the entire vast area of Azania, according to an ancient law, belonged to the (Yemenite) ruler (‘tyrannos’) of Mofar, and that the earliest state formation that was developed here was due to Yemenites of the Mofar and Muza region. Because of this, the texts states the rights accorded to the merchants of Muza by the Yemenite king (‘basileus’). More than just political control and commercial presence, the text (precisely in paragraph 16) testifies to high level Yemenite colonial practices: “Furthermore, they (Yemenites from Muza and Mofar) send here (Azania, East Africa coast) merchant fleet manned by Yemenite captains and sailors, who thanks to their mixed marriages with indigenous women, as well as to their familiarization with the entire area, know very well the local dialect and the traditions”.

Sailors were reaching again the civilized world only at Muza. This is the most important port of call at the eastern shore of the Red Sea. Mentioned already for its extensive trade with Avalites (Assab) at the opposite coast of Eritrea (in paragraph 7), Muza is presented within its entire Yemenite environment in paragraphs 21 – 25 of the text of Periplus of the Red Sea. Muza is identified with the famous al Mokha of the Islamic times.

I hope this is the start of finding more information on Muza. I want to know more about it!

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