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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Friends of Soqotra 15th AGM & Symposium 2016

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September 2016

This year, the Friends of Socotra AGM will take the format of reviewing the past, reporting on the present, and looking to the future. Invited speakers will present themed sessions, with time allowed for discussion after each session.
In addition, in order to allow participants to present and discuss their ideas, images and research, there will be an extended poster session. Each poster presenter will be allowed 1-2 minutes to introduce their poster, within an informal discussion forum.

UAE sends aid to Yemen’s Socotra Islands again!

ABU DHABI // The UAE is sending 12 planeloads carrying 400 tonnes of Ramadan food supplies to Yemen’s Socotra Island to help Yemenis.
The humanitarian initiative by Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation was in response to the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.The first three aid planes include 100 tonnes of Ramadan food supplies to help underprivileged families especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan, an official source at the Khalifa Foundation said.
This latest allocation of humanitarian aid follows several other deliveries to Yemen, the most recent being in April and February 2016 and September 2015.

Hobbit histories: the origins of Homo floresiensis

And it doesn't stop, people of around 1m in height, working with tools... 700.000 years ago?

The origins of the species known as 'the hobbit' - a human relative only a little over a metre tall - have been debated ever since its discovery in 2004. Now new fossils may reveal the ancestors of this strange species and help us to understand its history.
Read more from nature news here:
Find the paper on the new fossils here:
And a second paper here covers the age and context of the fossils:

Friday, 3 June 2016

Early Neanderthal constructions deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwestern France

Something to think about!?
Actually, what do we know?!

175.000 years ago Neanderthal contructed this deep in a cave (SW France)

Why, how, who, ...

A view-only version of the paper in Nature is available by using the following link: and video

A 6minutes movie of the discovery is available at:

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Ancient Indian ports, revisited

Ancient Indian ports, revisited

The Indian reader will find the portion dealing with inscriptions from the Hoq cave in Socotra interesting. In 2001, a group of Belgian speleologists from the Socotra Karst Project made a spectacular discovery on Socotra island. Ingo Strauch, professor of Sanskrit and Buddhist studies at Universite de Lausanne, in the article, details his findings which add to the earlier knowledge. According to the author, the estimated number of Indian inscriptions is more than 100, written in charcoal, chalk or mud, or scratched with a sharp instrument on the surfaces of rocks. Written in Brahmi, the script can be compared to those from the 2nd to 4th centuries C.E., of West India. This is confirmed by some newly discovered inscriptions, which mention the city of Bharukaccha, one of the most important West Indian ports then. As Strauch says, “As far as palaeological analysis allows, all Indian epigraphs can be bracketed between the 2nd and 3rd centuries C.E.” It is well known that during this time, Indian sea trade was at its peak and continents were connected commercially and culturally.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

ERC to build 220 houses for Socotra residents

Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will build a residential city on Yemen’s Socotra Island that contain 220 houses for people affected by the cyclones that hit the area in 2015.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Khalifa Foundation sends 29th relief plane to Socotra

SOCOTRA: The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has dispatched a relief plane, the 29th so far, to the Yemeni island of Socotra, loaded with around 50 tonnes of food and medicines to help people suffering from food shortages due to the circumstances there.

The aid is in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the follow up of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

An official from the organisation said that the aid is part of the Khalifa Foundation’s commitment to implementing the directives of the UAE leadership who are keen to help the brotherly people of Yemen and ease their suffering during the difficult times they are facing.

Officials in Socotra expressed their thanks and appreciation to the UAE for its humanitarian stand and for its efforts in supporting its Yemeni brothers.