Wednesday, January 28, 2004


FEATURE-Yemen hopes Queen of Sheba legend will boost tourism

By Miral Fahmy

MARIB, Yemen, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Whether she was an ancient matriarch renowned for her wisdom or one of the world's most enduring myths, the Queen of Sheba lives on in her reputed homeland Yemen.

The woman who supposedly inspired the admiration and lust of King Solomon remains one of the most important characters in Yemeni history despite the lack of proof that she even existed.

Now Yemen wants to use the legend of Bilqis, as the Queen of Sheba is known here, to draw tourists to the ruins of the Sabean kingdom that once ruled supreme over the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa as far back as 6,000 years ago.

"There can be no tourism without antiquities so we're preparing the sites and we hope that within a year or two, we can welcome visitors," said Sadeq Othman, head of the antiquities department in eastern Marib province.

"We believe that the Queen of Sheba ruled from here and we want the whole world to come and see it."

The Queen of Sheba is mentioned in the Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy books as the woman who stood up to Solomon but who renounced paganism after meeting him.


Keep reading, there's more. And I've blogged some additional information about the Queen of Sheba here.

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