الأربعاء 04 أكتوبر-تشرين الأول 2023
Marib Rising..An Oasis in the Yemen Conflict ; BBC
الثلاثاء 02 إبريل-نيسان 2019 الساعة 08 مساءً / BBC
Marib, which was the center of an ancient civilization thousands years ago, now is back and booming in a country torn apart by war, according to
a television report on BBC .
The report by its diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams from Marib described the city as an oasis in the Yemen conflict.
Transcript of The Report
Paul Adams : In a country torn apart by war, one city somehow thrives. Thousands of years ago it was the center of an ancient civilization. Now Marib is back, and booming.
How was that even possible?
Marib rising ,an oasis in the Yemen conflict?
In the market, every one is from somewhere else. For four years they’ve come here from every corner of this fractured country. Some fled fighting ,others found life under the Houthis rebels unbearable. And so in their tens of thousands ,they came to Marib to escape.
Munir: My town’s in a very bad conditions, not secure or safe. They’re cutting off electricity ,water and gas. But it’s the opposite here, thank God. (SPEAKING Arabic)
So the situation in most of the country and not very far away is still catastrophic .But here in Marib it’s just one of those little pockets where life seems to go on as it should. The food is affordable, there’s security ,and people seem relatively content.
There were 40.000 people in Marib before the war ,now the city is home for 1,500,000 .
A backwater ignored by governments for decades is doing its best to keep pace. Business is brisk. This workshop is churning out doors and windows .
Mohammed Abdul Latif: B
efore it was only desert . There were no buildings here at all. If they can end this fight with the Houthis ,then hopefully we can make it as good as it used to be”, said.
And he doesn’t mean four years ago ,he means 4000.
On the edge of Marib ,the temple of Awam .A place of pilgrimage ,centuries before Islam. Part of a kingdom Yemenis associate with Bilqis, the queen of Sheba.
So this used to be the center of a great civilization that existed thousands of years ago before it disappeared under the sand. There’s so much more to excavate here and it’d be great to think that when the war is over someone would come and finish the job.
Marib has escaped most of the fighting , there’s a Saudi military base nearby. The nearest clashes are in the mountains to the west , and it sits on one of Yemen’s key roads bringing in goods from the outside world. But it’s still a struggle . Marib is racing to keep up ,building roads and homes as fast as it can.
Governor of Marib Sheikh Sultan al-Arada : It’s not our choice. We have to expand the city and welcome the people,despite not having enough infrastructure.
Paul Adams : Yemen’s information minister has flown in to see the work for himself. Most of the country’s internationally-recognized government lives abroad.
Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani :We regard Marib as the main address for the government. No one can believe how much the city has changed in the last four years.
Paul Adams : So you say that Marib is like a temporary capital of Yemen?
Governor of Marib Sheikh Sultan al-Arada :I don’t claim this, but circumstances have made it seem like it.
Paul Adams : All around the city tens of thousands of displaced people are waiting out the war in camps on the edge of town.
Marib can only absorb so many. The hope is that when the fighting ends ,these people will go home. But if the fighting doesn’t end , and some of them have been here for years.
Ahmed al-Dabbah : If we cannot take back our cities from the Houthis ,then Marib will be our home. We will not leave.
Paul Adams : Can Marib continue to welcome so many new arrivals?
At the university, classes are spilling over into makeshift rooms. There were 1,000 thousands students before the war, now they are 5,000.
Azza was born here.
University Student Azza Abdullah Bleam : The war has changed everything. The schools , the universities and the hospitals are crowded for a lot of people.And the street so crowded.
Paul Adams : What are your plans for the future?
Azza Abdullah :I think my dream is very very high because I want to be minister of human rights. But the situation in Yemen doesn’t help me because I want to study politics outside of Yemen. And I have a chance to study outside but because of war, I can’t.
Paul Adams : Do you feel trapped?
Azza Abdullah : We hope to move but the situation deos not help us”, she said.
Paul Adams : Marib owes its success and its challenges to the war.
It’s a sanctuary, but also a prison. There’s nowhere else to go. Only when the war ends can this ancient city truly rise again