Yemeni cultural minister calls for protection of ancient archaeological sites 

A armed Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees, supporting forces loyal to Yemen's fugitive President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, stands overlooking the great Dam of Marib, east of the capital Sanaa, during ongoing clashes with Houthis, on September 28, 2015. (File/AFP)
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Updated 04 October 2020

Yemeni cultural minister calls for protection of ancient archaeological sites 

  • Yemen played a critical role in the rise of empires and economies in the region
  • Marib Dam - claimed by some as the world’s oldest dam - is one of the oldest sites in the country under threat of the war

Yemen’s Minister of Culture, Marwan Dammaj, stressed the importance of taking necessary measures to prevent attacks on ancient archaeological sites in the war-torn country. 
Dammaj’s comments came after inspecting a number of historical sites in the Al-Wadi and Al-Jouba districts of Marid province along with the Director of Culture and Tourism, state news agency Saba New reported on Friday. 
The minister discussed the effects of the war on these sites that are considered national treasures, including the looting and smuggling of artefacts.
Dammaj said the ministry was working on establishing a cultural center that included equipping a museum that would ensure the protection and preservation of artefacts.
In Yemen, the cultural losses have gone largely unnoticed by the international community but are felt by archaeologists globally. Although the country has been far less studied than other archaeological sites around the world, it played a critical role in the rise of empires and economies in the region, according to researchers.
In 1200 B.C.E., the kingdom of Saba in what is now central Yemen controlled the export of frankincense, which was used in temples from the far east to Rome. The vast wealth of Saba funded engineering marvels, among them was the Marib Dam – claimed by some as the world’s oldest dam.

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 37 min 32 sec ago

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.