History of Printing and Journalism in Aden, Arabia


History of Printing and Journalism in Aden, Arabia is a five-page typescript report written by A.Y. Khan in 1940. It tells the story of the slow development of printing and publishing in Aden (in present-day Yemen) from the 1850s, when prisoners from British India were ordered to establish and operate a press in the then-British colony, until 1940. By that year printing had been placed on a sound commercial basis and a weekly Arabic newspaper, Fatat al-Jazirah (Youth of the Peninsula), had been founded. Khan stresses the role played by printer Ibrahim Rasem, who is described as “a well educated intelligent young Turk” who “infused new life in the art of printing in Aden” after the failure of numerous print shops. From 1932, his press won business from the government of Aden as well as published books and eventually the newspaper. Khan also highlights the importance of journalist and intellectual Muhammad ‘Ali Luqman (1898−1966), who founded a journal, Shamsan Aden, in 1932, and went on to establish Fatat al-Jazirah, which published its first issue on January 1, 1940. A note indicates that Khan’s study was an enclosure to a dispatch from the American consul in Aden, sent to Washington in July 1944, on the subject of “Transmitting Printed Material for the Library of Congress.” According to penciled notes, the Library of Congress received the report on January 30, 1945. It was routed to “Mr. Clapp,” i.e., Verner Clapp (1901−72), an administrator with an interest in international affairs. During and after World War II, the State Department assisted the Library of Congress in acquiring foreign publications. This cooperation was a precursor of the Library’s more ambitious international acquisitions program, which was established in 1962 and continues to the present.

Last updated: September 22, 2015