MARIB, Yemen – Yemen’s culture and historical sites have been affected by the country’s stalemated, nearly 3-year-old war. Airstrikes have hit landmark buildings, museum and antiquities. Fighting has endangered others.
Ancient sites have been left neglected and unprotected, like the Awwam Temple in Marib, which links a front-line region in the Saudi-led war of aggression against the people of Yemen to Arabia’s pre-Islamic past, a time of spice caravans and the mysterious Queen of Sheba.
Experts fear the temple, as well as other historic and cultural wonders across Yemen beyond those acknowledged by international authorities, remains at risk as fighting rages on in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people.
Anna Paolini, the director of UNESCO’s regional office in Qatar that oversees Yemen and Gulf Arab nations says “it’s sad to see what’s happening.”