Professor Volk Researches Yemeni Women in San Francisco's Tenderloin

Monday, September 28, 2015
HOODLINE (SAN FRANCISCO) -- By contrast, Alma’s mother’s generation of Yemeni women exist in a swirl of often debilitating challenges, as Lucia Volk, San Francisco State University professor and cultural anthropologist, wrote in an article on the subject, “Feelings of Isolation and Distress Among Yemeni Women in San Francisco’s Tenderloin," six years ago. In the paper, Volk interviewed 15 Yemeni women in the Tenderloin about their health and well-being. (In the paper, the Yemeni consul then estimated that 1,000 Yemenis lived in the Tenderloin, though a knowledgeable source puts it at 50-plus, living in a few buildings in the neighborhood.) “A consistent theme is a strong sense of social isolation, both from the mainstream culture and other Muslims, including other Yemenis,” Volk wrote. The women’s inability to speak English and their Yemeni clothing were barriers that set them apart.