Train military “protectors” [Archives:2008/1133/Community]

February 28 2008

By: Axel du Moulin
[email protected]

As a regular reader, I greatly appreciate the availability of the Yemen Times online.

The article, “Tourism forum calls for preserving archeological sites,” reminds me of the only unpleasant experience during my 30-day stay in Yemen. This unpleasant experience happened on a visit to the archeological sites in Marib last April to the palace, the temple and the old dam.

The driver and myself were accompanied in Marib by a vehicle with three police or military officials for protection. At all three sites, I was given only about five minutes to take pictures. Despite my telling them that I didn't come here just to take some pictures, I was ordered to leave the sites. Both the driver and myself felt very unsafe and in danger.

As someone who esteems and respects the culture and people of Yemen and who likes not to just take pictures, but who wants to take in the atmosphere of the places, this behavior was very annoying.

I felt very safe in Yemen throughout my time and without this “protection,” I also would've felt safe in Marib. So, in conclusion, it's an indispensable requirement to train such personnel or withdraw them completely from contact with visitors.