Centre Français de Recherche de la Péninsule Arabique

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The French Research Centre of the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA) is a regional research center whose main objective is to promote studies on the Arabian Peninsula as a whole. CEFREPA is part of the “French foreign research institutes” network (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs & French National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS), with 27 institutions located in more than 30 countries.

It has two branches, one in Sana’a (Yemen), the other one in Kuwait City.


The French Center for Yemeni Studies (CFEY) was founded in 1982 in Sana’a thanks to Christian Robin’s and Rémy Audouin’s initiative. It aimed to host archaeological missions and social scientists, all working on the former Yemen Arab Republic.

It became in 2001 the French Center for Archaeology and Social Sciences in Sana’a (CEFAS), with a broader research area. The center occasionally hosted students and researchers working in neighboring countries. In 2002, the agreements between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) strengthened its scientific basis by allowing the appointment of CNRS-researchers (USR 3141).

It then became in 2013, thanks to the Ministry and the CNRS, a regional institute with a jurisdiction over every country in the Arabian Peninsula (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, the Republic of Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Sultanate of Oman).

A CEFAS-office opened in 2016 in Kowait City after an agreement between the Kuwaiti authorities and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2021, the Centre’s name :has been changed into the French Research Centre of the Arabian Peninsula (Centre français de recherche de la péninsule Arabique, CEFREPA).


The goal of the CEFREPA is to initiate, coordinate and promote the work on the Arabian Peninsula of social sciences, humanities and archaeology students and researchers, in coordination with institutions and research groups in France and Europe, and with local institutions.

Training ground for research

The mobility programme of the CEFREPA helps master students in their second year and PhD Candidates from French or European Universities to carry out their projects in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. The Center also hosted trainee students. It may help the stay of students wishing to attend intensive sessions or annual courses on Arabic language in local institutions.


The CEFREPA, thanks to partner agreements and research programms, works with academic institutions and research centers located in France, Europe, and countries of the Arabian Peninsula.

Documentation center

The CEFREPA library in Sana’a has about 9000 books, scientific journals, newspapers and periodicals, along with a map collection mainly dedicated to Yemen.

The CEFREPA owns a second library in Kuwait City, with around one thousand books, scientific journals and newpapers mostly about archaeology, ancient and modern history of the Arabian Peninsula. This library is currently being updated.

Spread of knowledge

The CEFREPA publishes works in paper and/or electronic format, in various European languages and in Arabic, most of the time with a co-publication in Middle East countries or in France. It contributes to the OpenEdition platform (http://books.openedition.org/cefas/?lang=fr).

The Center also publisched scientific journals in order to promote the work of its researchers, and took part in the renewing of knowledge about the Arabian Peninsula :

  • The journal Chroniques Yéménites (Yemenite chronicles) was published between 1993 and 2013. It was later numerized, and can be found online. (https://cy.revues.org/201).
  • Chroniques du manuscrit au Yémen (Manuscript chronicles in Yemen), first published in 2006, is dedicated to manuscript studies in Yemen. It was published by the CEFAS till 2014 and can be only found online (https://cmy.revues.org/).
  • Arabian Humanities succeeded the Yemenite Chronicles in 2013. This multilingual (French, English, Arabic) peer-reviewed journal only exists online (http://cy.revues.org/2008) with the support of the CNRS. With a strong international focus, and open to every country of the Arabian Peninsula, Arabian Humanities covers twice a year each human science, from prehistory to modern societies.

The CEFREPA organizes scientific events (such as conferences and seminars) with its local and international partners, along with conference cycles in French, English and Arabic.


Khaz al Diwan
10 Street Dasman
Kuwait City