Publication details [#62194]

Nevola, Luca. 2016. Love, Mobile Phones and the Codification of Intimacy in Contemporary Yemen. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 9 (2) : 147–164.
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This paper examines ‘remediation’ practices of formerly qasidas (now risala) love poetry via the mobile phone among countrymen (qabaʾil) of the Yemeni highlands. Qabaʾil traditionally react to love refusal and defective marriage by airing their passion via romantic qasida poems, with cathartic function and loss rationalization. This overtly counters presiding manliness ideals and Islamic morals, yet can be publicly conveyed as it is mediated in poetry. The remediation of this discourse via the mobile phone has generated the novel poetic genre of the risala. By sending risala poems via mobile phones, the qabaʾil set up a direct contact with women and mold a discourse of affinity which can lead to future conjugal choices. The analysis of the link between the qasida, the risala and mobile phones shows how ‘new’ media can remodel ‘older’ media, and how conflicting emotions can be diffused in diverse discourses via various media.