Jewish Yemeni bride: I wasn't kidnapped

Footage shows Lia Hamdi with "new Muslim husband"; local Jews claim she was nabbed.

Yemeni Jews protest 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Yemeni Jews protest 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Footage of a young Jewish Yemeni woman who disappeared two weeks after her marriage to a Jewish man was aired by Channel 2 on Monday, showing her with her purportedly new Muslim husband. A burqa-clad Lia Saed Hamdi maintained that she didn't get kidnapped, and her apparently new husband told the cameras that she had told him she was pressured into marrying the Jewish man. Hamdi, who hails from the Kharef area in the northern Amran province, was married in June 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 earlier this month. 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. Members of the Yemeni Jewish community protested against what they insist was a kidnapping outside government offices in Sana'a on Monday. Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report