Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jewish bride disappears in Yemen

Update to the update: Yemeni Jewish bride: I wasn't kidnapped (Jerusalem Post)

Update: the Yemen Observer reports that the Jewish bride has converted to Islam in order to marry her Muslim neighbour. Her father disapproves and has consented to another daughter marrying a Yemeni Israeli, on condition they left Yemen as soon as possible.

Was she abducted or did she run away with the Muslim she loved? Controversy rages in the Yemeni press over the fate of Lia Saed Hamdi, a young Jewish bride who has mysteriously disappeared - along with her money and jewellery. The Jerusalem Post has both versions (with thanks: Lily):

A young Jewish woman, Lia Saed Hamdi, either fled her husband's family in Sana'a on Tuesday, or was kidnapped by a Muslim man from the family's hometown.

Hamdi, who hails from the Kharef area in the northern Amran province, was married two weeks ago to Haroun Salem, a Jew from the nearby Sa'ada province. The wedding was held in Sana'a and was attended by senior government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister for Security and Defense Affairs Rashad Muhammad al-Alimi.

Hamdi was living in her husband's family's home in Sana'a's Tourism City when she disappeared, Jewish community sources told the News Yemen newspaper.

According to the sources, Hamdi was kidnapped by a Muslim man from Kharef whom she had refused to marry. The kidnapper reportedly also stole her jewelry and some money from her new husband.

News Yemen reported that the family blamed the Tourism City security forces for failing to prevent the abduction, and even for helping to facilitate it.

"Some Yemeni Jews have recently started leaving Yemen to Israel over fears of attacks, especially after a Yemeni Jew [Moshe Yaish-Nahari] was killed in Radfan of Amran [province] last year," News Yemen noted.

Other Yemeni media, however, told a different story.

According to the Yemen Observer Web site, Hamdi was in love with the young Muslim suitor, but her family had refused his marriage proposal.

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