This project will attempt to address the shortcomings of past historical work on the Ottoman Empire’s expansive ambitions to its tribal regions in both Yemen and Albania during the last fifty years. By suggesting it is the mechanisms and specific interrelationships that take place between empire and local populations that need to be scrutinized in questions of identity and nation formation, I hope to situate the Ottoman experience firmly within the parameters of European history. The comparison of Yemen and Albania will demonstrate the great flexibility necessary for all states to address its constituents’ specific needs around how they express their identity. This study will expose that, in spite of the assumed isolation of Yemen and Albania, a variety of processes take place which lead to new forms of self-identification. Eventually, these transformations lead to new representations of local identity and are articulated in ways both unique to the areas under study and, in interesting ways, similar to each other and to other parts of the world.