Bread and Henna: My time with the women of a Yemeni mountain town: British Yemeni Society and Caabu Book Launch with Ianthe Mary Maclagan

18 May 2023 18:30 - 20:30

Caabu and the British Yemeni Society (BYS) invites you to a hybrid book launch (both in person and online) with Ianthe Mary Maclagan: Bread and Henna: My time with the women of a Yemeni mountain town, on Thursday 18 May at 6:30pm.

The event will take place at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE, and is £5 for Caabu and BYS members and £8 for non-members. You can join as a Caabu member here.

You can reserve a spot here. Refreshments will be provided for those attending in person.

To register for this book launch online, click here.

Copies of Bread and Henna: My time with the women of a Yemeni mountain town will be available to purchase on the evening, but can be purchased here. Books by Caabu speakers can be purchased here through Caabu's affiliate page on Caabu receives 10% of any purchase made as does an independent book shop.

When: Thursday 28 May 2023, 18:30 (BST, UK time).

Where: Boardroom at the Arab British Centre (where Caabu is based), 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Directions can be found here. Book your ticket here.

If you're joining us virtually, you can sign up for the discussion here.

Ianthe Mary Maclagan Bread and Henna Caabu BYS Yemen

The event will also be live-streamed on Caabu's Youtube channel which you can also subscribe to. Previous Caabu briefings and discussions can also be watched here and a recording of this event will be posted here afterwards also. Previous Caabu briefings can be watched in this playlist here. Videos on Palestine can be watched in this playlist here.

Caabu has created an affiliate page on Bookshop. This means, that with any purchase through this site, 10% of the sale price will be sent to us and another 10% will go to support local bookshops. We think this is a great way to support Caabu's work and independent bookshops across the country. More details about it can be found here.

  • Buy other books from previous online Caabu briefings here and from physical events we've hosted here.
  • Other books written by Caabu speakers, including others written by James Fergusson, can be found here.
  • Titles written by Caabu board members and patrons can be found here, as can others written by those who have spoken at Caabu events here.

We hope you enjoy reading any of these titles, and supporting Caabu in the process.

You can sign up for the discussion here using your email address. Please note that sign up is a two part process. Once you have signed up with your email address, this will then be approved, and details will then be emailed to you ahead of the event. Please do check your inbox (including Junk and Clutter folders) for this email with the link to join the event on the day. 

Please register below AHEAD of time to join this online briefing. This makes it much more helpful to us:

Bread and Henna Caabu BYS Ianthe Mary Maclagan

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You can watch previous online Caabu briefings on our Youtube channel which you can also subscribe to. 


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About the book:

My time with the women of a Yemeni mountain town

  • Details the author’s encounters with the women of a small town in the Yemeni mountains between 1981-83
  • Offers a unique and moving insight into a country now largely renowned only for war and humanitarian disaster
  • Combines the findings of anthropological fieldwork with the personal knowledge gained from immersing yourself in an entirely different culture

“As a window into women’s lives it must be unparallelled. A ready-made classic.”

– Tim Mackintosh-Smith

An engaging travel narrative, Bread and Henna provides an intimate portrait of Yemeni life through insights into the cuisine, practices, and traditions of an ordinary town. After a gruelling road journey, the anthropologist couple are initially taken in by a family who provide support and hospitality – but charge extortionate rent. In turn, the couple set up on their own, struggling with isolation and practicalities as the author begins to integrate herself into a new community, forming connections with the women living nearby along the way. This memoir will enthrall lovers of travel writing, people interested in the workings of different societies and the lives of women, and those who have travelled to Yemen – or have yearned to do so.

About the speaker:

Ianthe Mary Maclagan was born in 1952. In 1981, she spent eighteen months living in the small Yemeni town of Safaqayn in Jebel Hufash. Her experiences formed a key component of her social anthropology fieldwork, completed as part of her PhD from the University of London. In the years that followed, Ianthe made several trips to Yemen before the outbreak of war made further travel impossible. She is also the author of Food and Gender in a Yemeni Highland Community in Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, eds. Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, 1993. I. B. Tauris.

Caabu is a not-for-profit cross-party organisation whose mission is to work for a British Middle East policy that promotes conflict resolution, human rights and civil society in the Arab world through informed debate and mutual understanding. Caabu is one of the most active NGOs working on the Middle East in British parliament since its establishment in 1967. From then on Caabu has assumed an active advocacy, educational and media role.

Keep up to date with Caabu's work by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Please sign up as a Caabu member or make a donation to support our work.