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Inside the Middle East
September 16, 2010
Posted: 1149 GMT

CNN correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom sent us the following photos of the CNN team at work in Yemen. Along with producer Gena Somra and photo-journalist Farhad Shadravan, Mohammed filed this report on the city of Shibam, aka "the Manhattan of the desert" where stories-high and centuries old mud skyscrapers create an urban skyline in a remote walled city. The site is one of Yemen's treasures, but since a 2009 attack on tourists, visitors have stopped coming and the residents of Shibam are finding it hard to get by. 

CNN crew shooting footage outside of Shibam (Dane Kenny/CNN)

CNN crew shooting outside doorway of a Shibam building (Dane Kenny/CNN)

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Filed under: Culture •General •Yemen


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September 15, 2010
Posted: 2158 GMT

Here a report from our Abu Dhabi based reporter Mohammed Jamjoom who reports from Tarim in Yemen's spiritual heartland. Steeped in history, the town is believed to have more descendants of the Prophet Mohammed than anywhere else in the world. Its also the ancestral home of Osama Bin Laden's father. Tucked away in self-isolation from the watchful eye of the world, people come from all over the world to study an extremely conservative approach to the Islamic faith, but caution their conservatism should not be mistaken for extremism. Students say on the contrary, the draw of Tarim, is its purity of study, and the peaceful simplicity of life.

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Filed under: Culture •General •Islam •Religion •Video •Yemen


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January 8, 2010
Posted: 648 GMT

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) - A terror suspect in the attempted bombing of a U.S. jetliner was radicalized in Britain, but did meet with a radical Muslim Cleric in Yemen, a top government official said Thursday.

Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab has now been charged on six counts by a U.S. Grand Jury
Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab has now been charged on six counts by a U.S. Grand Jury

The meeting between Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab and cleric Anwar al-Awlaki took place in Shabwa, about 290 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of the capital, Sanaa, according to Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Rashad Al-Alemi.
No other details about the encounter were immediately available.

U.S. intelligence officials have been evaluating whether al-Awlaki played a role in the botched attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan on Christmas Day.

The attempt to ignite explosives hidden in AbdulMutallab's underwear failed to bring down the plane.

A federal grand jury indicted AbdulMutallab Wednesday on six counts, including an attempt to murder the other 289 people aboard.

If convicted, the 23-year-old Nigerian national faces a sentence of life in prison. Read full article

Filed under: Christmas •CNN Coverage •U.S. •Yemen


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August 28, 2009
Posted: 944 GMT

From CNN Correspondent Paula Newton,
Special to In The Field Blog on CNN.com

Looking back at my first impression of Nujood Ali and her incredible act of defiance, I was very naive.

Nujood Ali rebelled against culture, religion and government.
Nujood Ali rebelled against culture, religion and government.

Like Nujood herself, I thought the mere act of demanding a divorce and getting one would ‘fix’ her life and allow her to return and remain in the embrace of her family.

The complexity of Nujood’s life is quite daunting to fathom now. At the age of 10, she defied her husband, his family and crucially, her own family to divorce her husband and return to the innocent life she so missed.

But after following Nujood’s story for more than a year now, it is far from a simple portrait of victory and triumph.

The key to Nujood’s life now is that she lives very much like an outcast in her community. The fame and the media attention have made her a choice topic for gossiping neighbors.

The fact is, some in Yemen see nothing wrong with marrying off a 10-year-old girl. And so what she did, and the notoriety that followed, was seen by some as a threat to how things are and how they should stay.

While we in the Western media celebrated Nujood’s courage, some in her own extended family questioned her rebellious act.

Nujood has said that her father, her brothers and her uncles have all expressed their displeasure at having her story exposed and publicized.

So where does all this leave Nujood now? I’m not quite sure. CNN producer Schams Elwazer has followed Nujood’s story now for months.

In repeated calls to concerned human rights campaigners, lawyers, the judge involved in the case and government officials there has been precious little clarity about Nujood’s future.

Apparently, there is some type of a scholarship fund set up for education, but Nujood’s school attendance has been sporadic in part because, her attorney says, her family has not supported her education whole-heartedly.

It’s clear Nujood and her family believed being famous would earn them a fortune. It hasn’t. Some have said to me that Nujood has been victimized twice by her family.

First, Nujood was forced into an early marriage she did not want and later into a publicity frenzy that her family believed would make them thousands of dollars.

Whatever the truth, Nujood has been hurt and very little in her life has changed for the better.

This has been a difficult but important story to tell for all these months. Verifying the facts of what happened to Nujood has been daunting but it has been insightful.

At its core, though, this is a real and gritty story about what it means to rebel against cultures, religion and government.

Nujood is very confused and angry and is far from living out the childhood all young girls deserve.

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Filed under: Human Rights •Yemen


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June 16, 2009
Posted: 629 GMT

(CNN) - Three women who were seized along with six other foreign workers in Yemen have been killed, Yemeni government officials said Monday.

South Korean officials discuss the kidnappings Monday. A South Korean woman reportedly was killed.
South Korean officials discuss the kidnappings Monday. A South Korean woman reportedly was killed.

"It is with profound sorrow that the Yemeni government reports finding three bodies," according to a statement from Mohammed Albasha, a spokesman for Yemen's Embassy in the United States.

The statement said the dead were identified as a South Korean teacher and two German nurses in training, all in their 20s. They were found in the Noshour Valley in Safrah district in the province of Saada.

The women were abducted Sunday along with five other Germans, including three children, and a Briton, according to Yemen's state-run SABA news agency. Earlier, the Yemen Post said seven of the nine hostages were killed, citing the country's interior ministry.

But SABA reported later Monday the remaining six were believed to be alive, and security forces were searching for them... Read full story

Filed under: Yemen


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May 22, 2009
Posted: 858 GMT

Yemen denies reports of deadly clashes
(CNN) - Yemen's state-run news agency denied reports that clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators left three people dead and 25 others injured in the southern port town of Aden.

Ex-inmate recalls days of abuse at Abu Ghraib
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Abu Ahmed says he was there: An Iraqi held prisoner at Abu Ghraib by the American military when inmates were abused.

Tycoon, ex-cop guilty of pop star's murder
CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) - An Egyptian business tycoon and a former police officer have been found guilty of the July slaying of rising Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim.

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Filed under: CNN Coverage •Egypt •Iraq •Yemen


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April 29, 2009
Posted: 815 GMT

Yemeni troops free oil tanker; 11 pirates arrested
(CNN) - A Yemeni oil tanker hijacked in the Gulf of Aden was freed Monday and 11 Somali pirates were arrested, Yemen's official news agency said.

Iraqi leader: U.S. raid that killed 2 breached accord
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is accusing U.S. troops of violating the security agreement between the two countries after a raid in Wasit province Sunday that left two people dead, Iraqi State TV reported.

Attacks on Christians in Iraq leave 3 dead
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Two attacks on Christian families in the city of Kirkuk on Sunday evening left three people dead and two others wounded, police said.

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Filed under: CNN Coverage •Iraq •Yemen


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February 12, 2009
Posted: 1853 GMT
Nujood Ali, the first Yemeni child bride to fight for and obtain a divorce.
Nujood Ali, the first Yemeni child bride to fight for and obtain a divorce.

Yemen's parliament has just passed a law setting a minimum marriage age of 17 following months of controversy and international publicity over the issue of child brides.

You may remember Paula Newton's report on Inside the Middle East introducing us to  10-year-old Nujood Ali, the first Yemeni child bride to seek and obtain a divorce.

Nujood's impoverished parents married her to a man three times her age. When she told her parents that her husband beat her and forced her to have sex and that she wanted out of the marriage, they refused to help. Nujood then made her own way to the courthouse to seek a divorce.

Within days of that court appearance, Nujood's story and the plight of child brides in Yemen made international headlines.  Publicity surrounding her case prompted calls to raise the country's legal age, and opened the door for several more child brides to come forward, including 9-year-old Arwa and 13-year-old Reem.

See Paula's blog entry from July 15, 2008

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Filed under: Yemen


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