The French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences (CEFAS), renamed the French Research Center for the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA) in early 2021, is a research center with a regional vocation, which aims to support research carried out on the entire Arabian Peninsula. It is part of the network of French research institutes abroad (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs & CNRS), which is made up of 27 institutions present in more than 30 countries.
It has two branches, one in Sanaa (Yemen), the other in Kuwait City.


The French Center for Yemeni Studies (CFEY) was founded in 1982 in Sanaa on the initiative of Christian Robin and Rémy Audouin. Its purpose was to host archaeological missions and social science researchers working on the territory of the former Yemen Arab Republic.

Renamed the French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences of Sanaa (CEFAS) in 2001, its area of expertise has expanded, occasionally welcoming students and researchers also working in neighboring countries. In 2002, the agreements established between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) strengthened its scientific base by allowing the assignment of personnel from this institution and the creation of a mixed unit Services and Research (USR 3141).

In 2013, at the initiative of its supervisory bodies, CEFAS became a regional institute with jurisdiction over all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Republic of Yemen, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman).

In 2016, an agreement between the Kuwaiti authorities and the MEAE enabled the opening of a Kuwait City branch.

In 2021, CEFAS becomes the French Center for Research in the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA)

CEFREPA aims to initiate, coordinate and support the work of researchers and students in the human and social sciences as well as in archeology throughout the Arabian Peninsula, in coordination with institutions and research teams in France and Europe, and the institutions of countries of competence.
A place of research training
Through a mobility aid program, CEFREPA provides support to students enrolled in a Masters 2 or PhD in a French or European university, to enable them to carry out research projects in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. It also welcomes student interns. CEFREPA can possibly facilitate the stay of students wishing to follow intensive sessions or annual Arabic language courses given by local institutions.
A place of cooperation
CEFREPA collaborates, in the form of partnerships and research programs, with university institutions and research centers, both in France and in Europe and in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
A documentary resource center
In Sanaa, CEFREPA had a library of nearly 9,000 volumes, collections of scientific journals, collections of daily newspapers and periodicals, as well as a map library focusing mainly on Yemen. Since the Center in Yemen was put on standby, this documentary fund, which is kept in boxes, is no longer accessible.
CEFREPA also has a library in Kuwait City containing a thousand books, reviews and newspapers mainly on the archeology and ancient and recent history of the Arabian Peninsula. This collection is being enriched.
A knowledge dissemination center
CEFREPA publishes works in paper and/or electronic format in European languages ​​and Arabic, most often in co-edition in Middle Eastern countries or in France. He works on the OpenEdition platform
CEFREPA also publishes journals in order to promote the work carried out there and participate in the renewal of knowledge in its fields of competence:
The journal Chroniques Yéménites was published between 1993 and 2013. Now fully digitized, it is available online (
Created in 2006, Chronicles of the manuscript in Yemen is a journal devoted to the study of manuscripts from Yemen. Until 2014 it was published by CEFREPA and distributed exclusively online (
Arabian Humanities succeeded, in 2013, the Yemeni Chronicles. This multilingual peer-reviewed journal (French, English and Arabic) is published exclusively online ( with the support of the CNRS InSHS. Resolutely turned towards the international and open to the entire Arabian Peninsula, it covers, on a biannual basis, all fields of human sciences ranging from prehistory to present-day societies.CEFREPA organizes scientific events (conferences, study days, seminars) with its local and international partners, as well as series of conferences in French, English and Arabic.