Dr. Steeve Coupeau Goes One‐on‐One with Robert H. Lieberman, Director of “Echoes of The Empire: Beyond Genghis Khan”, 6/6/22

Mongolia, Robert H. Lieberman

(Author Provided/)

NYIHA MEDIA: Your documentary features a large number of interviewees from high-profile personalities, to members of parliament to artists. Can you talk about the selection of your interviewees?

Director Lieberman: Jack Weatherford, the New York Times best-selling author of “Genghis Khan and The Making of The Modern World” is the narrator of the film. I lost count of the number of people I interviewed, perhaps a hundred or more, and those that made it into the film did so, because they brought unique insights into the mentality of the Mongolian people.

The way I work relies on sheer serendipity. I meet someone, film them, and they end up suggesting that I speak to so-and-so, who then suggests someone else. And on and on it goes, the chain getting ever longer.

NYIHA MEDIA: Can you briefly talk about some of the key accomplishments of the rule of Genghis Khan?

Director Lieberman:As Jack Weatherford explains, Genghis Khan was a brutal conqueror, building the largest empire the world has ever seen. But he did build an aspirational foundation that remains to this very day. He provided the rule of law, allowed religious freedom, forbid the kidnapping of women, and provided protection for diplomats‐ who before had been regularly murdered.

Director Lieberman:Now an interesting aspect of the country is that it is the land of “eternal blue skies” and constant wind. So, this is a land just perfect for solar and wind power, which could replace the burning of coal. And that is the real promise and hope.

Yemen: Ancestral Honey Production at Risk by ICRC, 6/13/22

Honey, Yemen

(ICRC/)

According to UN figures, there are around 100,000 Yemeni households engaged in beekeeping and dependent on it as their sole source of income. Active frontlines prevent beekeepers from moving around the country to graze their bees. In addition, dozens of beekeepers have reportedly been killed when trying to cross frontlines while grazing their bees or trying to sell their products.

“The mountain chain on Yemen's west coast is a historic center for honey production, but for the last eight years the same area has been a battlefield,” said Amin, a honey producer from Taiz, one of the cities that has been severely impacted by the ongoing conflict. “The worst day of my life was when a rocket landed on my bee colony. Since then, the situation has worsened; the business is no longer lucrative, the bees are disturbed, and life has gone from bad to worse.”

The presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) presents a grave threat to all Yemenis, as there are more than 1 million land mines and improvised explosive devices scattered all over the country, killing and maiming civilians on a daily basis. Being a beekeeper in areas highly impacted by violence means further risk of being targeted by parties to the conflict while grazing bees in places close to active front lines. This situation has forced thousands of beekeepers to desert the honey industry and practice other occupations which require less movement.

“I am forced to stay in my area which is also forcing me to depend on only one season of production and that is not enough to be able to support my children,” said Youssef a beekeeper from Hajja governorate.

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