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World The woman saving Yemen's crumbling heritage

02:51  28 november  2021
02:51  28 november  2021 Source:   bbc.com

Yemen Huthis say nearly 15,000 rebels killed since mid-June

  Yemen Huthis say nearly 15,000 rebels killed since mid-June Nearly 15,000 Yemeni Huthi fighters have been killed near the strategic city of Marib since June, sources close to the rebels said Thursday, in a rare admission of their casualties during the seven-year war. On Thursday the coalition said in a statement that nearly 27,000 rebels have been killed since last year in the battle for Marib. One of the officials on the government side said that "1,250 soldiers have been killed since June near Marib," a toll confirmed by a second government military official.AFP cannot independently verify either side's figures.The war has led to what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemen is a patriarchal and deeply conservative society, where women make up a fraction of the workforce, and most work in agriculture, the service industry or family businesses. She also takes pride in the fact that she is helping preserve Yemen ' s historical urban landscape for future generations. "Despite the different challenges and hardships, this work gives me a feeling of happiness," she says. "Despite all of what the country is going through, I'm able to do my part in maintaining the history and heritage of the country through my work."

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As a child, Harbia Al Himiary would marvel at the architecture of her home country of Yemen. In her own birthplace of Sanaa she admired from an early age the intricate stone carvings that decorated the Old City, a part of the capital inhabited for more than 2,500 years.

This ancient place inspired Harbia. Now aged 37, she's helping to rebuild it - part of a UN scheme where she is also the first female engineer in charge.

"Women do not regularly join this field of work," she says. "I wanted to be unique in my profession, and join a field where I can break gender barriers."

Yemen is a patriarchal and deeply conservative society, where women make up a fraction of the workforce, and most work in agriculture, the service industry or family businesses.

Yemen 'confident' of holding key city of Marib, FM says

  Yemen 'confident' of holding key city of Marib, FM says War-torn Yemen's government said Sunday it is confident of holding the strategic city of Marib despite sustained attacks from Iran-backed Huthi rebels which killed thousands on both sides in recent months. During that same five-month period, more than 1,200 loyalists were killed while defending areas near the strategic city, two government military officials said earlier this month. Bin Mubarak said he believed the Huthis would not take Marib."I think still they have illusions. They thought that they can make more military advancement or victories on the ground and that this will change the facts on the ground," the foreign minister told reporters.

So far, Sansour has saved 47 varieties of Palestinian heirloom seeds, including one of her favourites, the jazar ahmar purple carrot, as well as the drought-resistant J'adii watermelon, originally from the agricultural city of Jenin in the north. Battir' s terraces are rock-walled agricultural plots that have Sansour' s library renews the cycle of these seeds being grown and saved . Planted once more, heirloom crops reestablish the ancient conversation with soil and environment that allows them to keep evolving, and to stay on the dinner table for generations to come. The agro-ecological site—which includes the

Georgia’ s artisanal cheesemaking tradition was forced underground due to an oppressive Soviet-planned economy, but one woman is dedicated to bringing the ancient varieties back.

As a teenager, Harbia pushed back against this and joined a medical school, but after two weeks she left and pursued her aspirations of doing what she does today.

Parts of Yemen have a unique style of architecture, but many such buildings are under threat © Getty Images Parts of Yemen have a unique style of architecture, but many such buildings are under threat

She enrolled at university to study engineering, but didn't tell her parents until her place was confirmed. "When they were put in front of the reality that I chose a different career, they did not object," she remembers. "They saw I was happy."

Due to damage suffered during the country's ongoing war, worsening environmental degradation and the collapse of the economy, three of the 52 World Heritage Sites listed by the UN's cultural agency, Unesco, as "in danger" are in Yemen.

Yemen-raids of the Saudi Coalition against the capital SANAA

 Yemen-raids of the Saudi Coalition against the capital SANAA Arabia Saudi-Securite / Yemen: Yemen-Raids of the Saudi Coalition against the capital Sanaa Cairo, 23 November (Reuters) - The Coalition under Saudi Commanding which intervenes militarily In Yemen announced Tuesday leading aerial strikes against "legitimate" military targets of the Houthis in the capital Sanaa, located in the north of the country and controlled by the Shiite movement, reported Saudi television.

Save Beirut Heritage is working with another local NGO to bring a legal challenge against Khoury' s decision. Private actors perform vital role. In this environment, private actors seeking homes with a history have become increasingly important. Back at the Red House, Save Beirut Heritage hopes that the building reopens as a rare public space in Hamra' s crowded, highly privatized streets. "We want to find investors for the property -- that could be the municipality," Hamour tells CNN. "As there is no public space in Hamra, they could use the Red House as a library, for example.

See more of Save Yemen ' s Heritage on Facebook. Please take into consideration that we can only accept 60 participants and that if you sign up, you’re expected to attend. Images of Yemen : Reuters/Khaled Abdullah. هل تعلم أن أسوأ تفشي لوباء الكوليرا في العالم يمكن الوقاية منه تماما؟ .تنظم يمن الابداع هاكاثون لمدة يوم واحد لتفشي مرض الكوليرا في اليمن ما هو الهاكاثون؟

This includes Harbia's beloved Old City of Sanaa and its Great Mosque, built in the 7th Century and famed for being the first outside the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The historic town of Zabid and the walled Old City of Shibam are also classified as being in danger, pitting Harbia and her team in a race against time.

Unesco's Cash for Work project has already led to the rehabilitation of 162 buildings in Sanaa, Shibam and Zabid, as well as in the second city of Aden.

Initially, Unesco's aims were to survey damage to 8,000 buildings of historical importance. They achieved that. Now, that number has grown to 16,000.

Another of the project's goals is to provide long-term income opportunities for some 4,000 young people. According to the UN, more than two-thirds of Yemen's 29 million-strong population are under the age of 30, but as of 2019 a quarter of young people were unemployed.

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Yemen is crumbling . As a matter of urgency, there must be free movement of goods into and across the country.” Fighting between Iran-allied Houthi forces and pro-government militias has raged since March when the Houthis advanced towards the port of Aden. Yemen is “ crumbling ” under a deepening humanitarian crisis after months of civil war, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday. Peter Maurer, the head of the Geneva-based humanitarian organisation, also called for all parties to negotiate a peace deal at the end of a three-day visit to the country on

The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen is an intervention launched by Saudi Arabia on 26 March 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries from West Asia and North Africa

The buildings have been bombed during the six-year Saudi-led air campaign against the rebel Houthi movement - which forced Yemen's government out of Sanaa - and left to decay.

When Harbia travelled six hours from Sanaa to Zabid, for example, she found houses which had served as meeting places for the community in a state of disrepair - walls had fallen down, once brightly painted ceilings had crumbled, and some of the structures were close to toppling.

One of her greatest challenges, she says, was sourcing the materials needed to restore these buildings to their former glory.

The work was slow and painstaking. The architecture had to be recreated with historical accuracy, ceilings reconstructed, and rotten beams replaced with materials imported from Saudi Arabia - a three-month process in itself. All while she had to ensure the structure didn't collapse on people still living inside.

There are also security concerns that come with rebuilding a country in the midst of a conflict.

Local co-ordinators have to negotiate between different factions to make sure Harbia and her teams can safely access sites.

Battle for Marib: Why is it crucial in Yemen war?

  Battle for Marib: Why is it crucial in Yemen war? Intense fighting for the Yemeni city of Marib has killed thousands of combatants and forced large numbers of people to flee their homes for makeshift desert camps. The northern city is a key front between the Yemeni government -- supported by a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition -- and the Iran-backed Huthi rebel fighters. Here are four important points about the battle for the strategic and oil-rich province, which is considered pivotal in Yemen's seven-year civil war.- Why Marib? -The city is the last northern bastion of the internationally-recognised government, which was driven from the capital Sanaa by the Huthis in 2014.

Even preparatory work is dangerous. 3D scans have to be made in order to properly assess building damage. Harbia sometimes uses drones for this, but the war means permits are needed to fly them. With the use of such technology increasingly associated with combatants, operating a drone, even for innocuous reasons, is risky for Harbia and her team.

There is also a drought of trained labourers, especially those who specialise in historical building methods.

"Young people are not maintaining these traditional building skills. They view them as non-suitable career fields," says Harbia.

Instead of waiting, she is training them herself. She manages a team of 24 and to date she has also helped train 211 engineers, carpenters and specialists - about half of whom are female.

"I was surprised at the number of women who wanted to enrol in these training opportunities, fields which are traditionally regarded as male only," says Harbia, who wears an abaya and niqab - clothing worn by Muslim women in Yemen to cover up completely apart from their eyes, which is a social norm. "I live in a conservative society, and there's an expectation that no woman would want to be in this role."

She also takes pride in the fact that she is helping preserve Yemen's historical urban landscape for future generations.

"Despite the different challenges and hardships, this work gives me a feeling of happiness," she says. "Despite all of what the country is going through, I'm able to do my part in maintaining the history and heritage of the country through my work."

Jack Needham is a freelance journalist writing on culture and technology.

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