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Kven er kven i Midtausten? Houthiane

Already engaged in a devastating civil war in Yemen, the Houthi movement is now picking a war with the West. Who are they?

Map of Yemen
Jean Ursula


In response to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, the Houthis began attacking civilian vessels off the Yemeni coast in the Red Sea. This has disrupted global shipping and raised fears about a regional war.

Are the attacks really part of Iran’s proxy war with the West? The Houthis are engaged in a civil war in Yemen, so is this rather a testament to chaotic conditions in Yemen?

Who are the Houthis? What is their ideology, military capacity, and governing capabilities? Are they representatives of a sovereign state in the making? Are they Islamists, rebels, terrorists or freedom fighters?

A light lunch will be served.



Alexander Weissenburger, associated researcher at the Austrian Academy of Science's Institute for Social Anthropology.

Maria-Louise Clausen, senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies.

Eirik Hovden, researcher at UiB and a scholar of Yemeni and Zaydi history.

Pelle Valentin Olsen, associate professor at UiB and a cultural, social, and transnational historian of the modern Middle East.