Al-Ahmar Family

Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar

Religious or Ethnic Group

Al-Ahmar Family

The Bayt al-Ahmar is a prominent shaikhly family that provides the paramount shaykhs of the Hashid tribal confederation, the third largest such tribal grouping of Yemen.

The late Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar served as speaker of the Yemeni parliament from 1993 to his death in 2007. A founder of the al-Islah party, Sheikh Abdullah was one of the pillars of the Salih regime alongside General Ali Muhsin. After his death, his son Sadiq succeeded him as Hashid Sheikh. His son, Hamid, is a prominent businessman and leading member of the al-Islah party, becoming one of the leading figures of opposition against President Salih especially during the 2011 youth uprising. Other sons have been members of the General People's Congress party, and even part of President Salih's personal security. Their direct confrontation with President Salih in 2011, which escalated into an open battle in the outskirts of Sana'a, and the takeover of their tribal stronghold by the Houthis in early 2014, have left the family in search of legitimacy and a political role in post-revolutionary Yemen.

Thanos Petouris, SOAS, University of London