This project aims to collate as much of the history of the South Shields Yemeni community as possible to showcase the journey of one town spanning over the course of a century.

    For a community at risk of losing its heritage, of such work can't be underestimated. However, this story which begins with British colonialism and ends with entrenched integration belongs to everybody. It is therefore not exclusively the Yemeni community and their descendants who can and should take pride in this website, but South Shields, the North East of England and the UK as a whole.

    Furthermore, this story belongs to Yemen and the international wider community as this website documents what is essentially, simply a human experience.

    If you wish to find out more relating to the project, I have included a powerpoint presentation which I feel you will find useful. To view the presentation please select the link The making of the Project

    This website does not endorse itself as a representation of the South Shields Yemeni community (or any community), but as a lens through which to explore areas of a piece of history.

    To leave feedback or offer a contribution to this site, email feedback@theyemeniproject.org.uk


    South Shields Yemeni community makes a great social and cultural contribution to our town. The first generations of merchant seamen who arrived in the 19th century were a vital part of the shipping industry that was the heart and soul of local life, and that legacy is still with us today. Our shared history is something we can all be proud of.
    People from outside the North East are often surprised to hear that South Shields was and still is home to the first settled Muslim population in the UK, as well as the first purpose-built mosque. To me it isn't a surprise; it says a lot about the successful integration of the Yemeni community and the respect and tolerance our town has for other cultures. We have always depended on visitors and traders and I think that has made us an open and welcoming community.
    The example of the Yemeni community is a fantastic demonstration of how different cultures can live together in modern Britain, with different traditions but shared goals and values. Previous generations worked and lived side by side, shared ideas, and started families together, and that process of sharing has enriched our community.

    Emma Lewell-Buck - Labour MP

    Dear Leyla, I think the project is a great idea for those who had fathers and grandfathers who came from Yemen. For me, my Grandfather was the most precious person I had in my life. He was one of the first Yemeni men to come to South Shields. He had a barbers shop and a fruit shop and was very generous with his time and money. He came from the same place as the Muckbles.

    Kenny McRitchie, South Shields - 3rd Generation Yemeni

    I think the Yemeni project is a lovely idea as I have been interested in learning more about my grandfather's native Yemen for many years. I feel the Yemeni people are amongst some of the most generous hearted in the world. It is great to share resources, especially photos and the project will help preserve a record of what has become, in South Shields a diminishing community. I am happy to support such a project!

    Michelle Hern, South Shields - 3rd generation Yemeni

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