A Festival of Yemen, showcasing the best of Yemeni traditions and culture, took place in the House of Commons on Wednesday hosted by Keith as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Yemen.
The Festival, which was attended by over 150 people, took place just two days after the launch of the National Dialogue in Yemen aimed at drafting a national constitution in the lead up to full democratic elections in February 2014.
Speakers at the event included the Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP, Minister at the Department for International Development, Alistair Burt MP, Foreign Minister with responsibility for the Middle East, Yemen’s UK Ambassador, Abdulla Ali Al-Radhi and Sharon Wardle, the Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Sana’a.
Attendees were treated to a range of Yemeni produce and traditions, spices and aromatics. There were performances by musicians and stalls exhibiting traditional leather work, wood carving, pottery, basketwork, copper and brassware, woven and printed fabrics and rugs.
The Festival launched the Yemeni Cultural Fair which is due to take place in London’s Trafalgar Square this summer. The square will be transformed into an Arab souk in July as part of a month-long celebration of Yemeni culture.