Yemen defense minister escapes attack on convoy

A large explosion hit Defense Minister Mohammed Al-Maqdishi’s convoy while it was inside a complex of buildings. (File/Reuters)
Updated 30 October 2019

Yemen defense minister escapes attack on convoy

  • Two guards were killed and four others wounded, a military source said
  • The minister was scheduled to hold a meeting with top military officials

DUBAI: Yemen’s defense minister of the internationally recognized government has survived an attack targeting the headquarters of the ministry in Marib province, Yemeni officials and local reports said Tuesday.

A large explosion hit Defense Minister Mohammed Al-Maqdishi’s convoy while it was inside a complex of buildings used as the ministry's interim headquarters in the province.

The minister was scheduled to hold a meeting with top military officials.

A police officer was killed and two others wounded, Yemen's national military website SeptemberNet said.

It was not immediately clear if blast was caused by an explosive device or a projectile fired from outside the compound.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yemen's Saudi-backed government has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since the rebels overran the capital Sanaa in 2014.


US honors head of France’s Arab World Institute

Updated 28 January 2020

US honors head of France’s Arab World Institute

  • Dr Jack Lang was recognized for promoting the Arab region and cross-cultural understanding
  • First recipient of the Global Cultural Leadership Award from the National Council on US-Arab Relations

WASHINGTON: Dr. Jack Lang, president of the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris, on Monday received the inaugural Global Cultural Leadership Award from the National Council on US-Arab Relations.

The honor was recognition for his achievements in expanding knowledge of the Arab region and promoting cross-cultural understanding. It was presented to him at the French ambassador’s residence in Washington by the council’s Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony, board Chairman John Pratt, International Advisory Board member Leo A. Daly III, and Executive Vice President Patrick Mancino.

Lang and a delegation from the institute were in Washington for the opening of the IMA exhibition “Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art.

“What Monsieur Lang and the IMA have achieved in highlighting the rich history and culture of the Arab region is considerable,” said Anthony during the award presentation ceremony. “They have done much to showcase Arab contributions to knowledge and understanding that have benefited the world’s civilizations and humankind in general.

“Under Monsieur Lang’s leadership, the IMA has effectively pushed into new territories in storytelling and technology that help further illuminate the innumerable, extraordinary and myriad impacts that Arabs have had on humanity’s endless quest for modernization and development.”

Lang was appointed IMA president by French President Francois Hollande in 2013. He was previously a National Assembly member for more than two decades, including stints as France’s minister of culture and minister of education. He was also mayor of the city of Blois from 1989 to 2000, and served as a special adviser to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The IMA, which is located on the banks of the Seine in Paris, opened in 1987 as a center dedicated to the promotion of Arab civilization, knowledge and art. It contains unique collections and hosts special touring exhibitions. These include “AlUla: Wonder of Arabia,” showcasing Saudi Arabia’s Nabataean archaeological treasure, the dates for which were recently extended after it proved to be incredibly popular.

The National Council on US-Arab Relations was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit, nongovernmental, educational organization. It is dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of the extraordinary benefits the United States has derived from its special relationships with countries in the Arab region, and vice versa. Anthony and the council are working on plans for an Arab Cultural Institute, similar to the IMA, in Washington.