Testimonials

  • South Shields Yemeni community makes a great social and cultural contribution to our town
  • 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
  • I Think the project is a great idea
  • 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
  • The Yemeni project is a lovely idea
  • 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
  • Everybody can benefit from the project
  • Everyone can benefit from this project, especially those who don't know much about their own Yemeni origins. The Yemeni's have brought diversity in religion, clothing and food.... and have also added colour and beauty to the town.
  • Jemeela Al-Sayyadi, South Shields - 2nd generation British Yemeni
  • This History is very Important
  • This history is very important. As far as I know I don't have any connection to any Yemeni people sadly, but have always been very interested in how the culture of South Shields has integrated with the Yemeni culture and the effects that these joint cultures have developed over the years.
  • Lesley Richardson, South Shields resident
  • A vital story for understanding current British Muslim identity
  • The story of the connection of Britain to Yemen is a vital story for understanding current British Muslim identity. They were the first settled Muslim community in Britain, and South Shields is one of the sites of the first wave of Arab and Muslim migrants.Over five generations have been integrated now and It's largely a successful story. Multiculturalism and integration both work in this small town" "The community is (or must be!) one of the most remarkable and delightful pockets of the diversity of Britain"
  • Tina Gharavi - Film Maker and Academic - Creator of Last of the Dictionary Men
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