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The Museum Seeking to Unlock a War-Hit Nation’s Mineral Wealth

Yemen once had a nascent stone industry and remains a trove of resources. One curator wants to make sure people know that.

Fahd Albarraq’s Geological Museum is in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.

Fahd Albarraq’s Geological Museum is in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.

Source: Getty Images

In the middle of what the United Nations calls the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, Fahd Albarraq’s determination to keep the Yemen Geological Museum open is baffling to many. A woman recently asked him why he works for free to preserve fossils, stones and minerals when people are going hungry.

Albarraq views the situation differently. His goal is to showcase the potential of a nation that had promised to be a new frontier for mining before succumbing to war and malnutrition. “Hunger kills a few people,” he says from the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. “A lack of education and ignorance will kill everyone.”