CCAS was saddened by the news that H.E. Abdulkarim Al-Eryani, a member of the CCAS Board of Advisors and longtime friend of the Center, passed away on November 8, 2015. Dr. Al-Eryani was the Prime Minister of Yemen from 1980 to 1983 and again from 1998 to 2001 and served on the preparatory committee to the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) of Yemen. Dr. Al-Eryani received his PhD in Biochemical Genetics from Yale University in 1968 and was appointed Head of Sana’a University in 1976. In addition to being elected as Prime Minister twice, and with more than a decade between the elections, Dr. Al-Eryani’s served during his long and distinguished political career as Yemen’s Minister of Development, Minister of Education, Vice Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. More recently, he served as a political advisor to the Yemeni President. In 2007, he was elected Secretary General of the Arab Association for Democracy, a nongovernmental organization with membership from 17 Arab countries.
In his obituary, The New York Times referred to Dr. Al-Eryani as “a father figure and a voice of reason in Yemen” who was “equally at home quoting pre-Islamic poetry or frequenting jazz clubs in New York” and credits him not only with uniting North and South Yemen in 1990 but also with helping to bring about peaceful change in the government of Yemen during the Arab Spring. Yemeni diplomat and former ambassador to Spain, Mustapha Noman, called Dr. Al-Eryani “the last statesman Yemen had, and will have, for another generation.”
CCAS is grateful to Dr. Al-Eryani for his many years of friendship and service. We know that Dr. Al-Eryani will be sorely missed by many around the world, and we extend our deepest heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.