Yemen's culture minister, who was recently honored for her work combatting extremism and discrimination against women, says she is giving her award to Yemen's dwindling Jewish population.
Arwa Othman won Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award in September. At a Thursday celebration in Sanaa, Othman called for "tolerance" and dedicated her award to "brothers and friends from the Jewish community."
Othman has been subjected to a smear campaign by hard-line Salafi groups because of her civil rights work and support for the Jewish community.
According to the Jewish Agency, fewer than 90 Jews live in Yemen — half of them in a guarded compound which protects the US Embassy in the capital of Sanaa.
Over the past years, Yemenite Jews were subject to threats by radical Islamists, among whom al-Qaeda affiliated extremists.
Since 2008, anti-Semitic acts became more prevalent, culminating in the murder of Moshe Yaish-Nahari, and prompting over 150 Jews to immigrate to Israel.
Omri Efraim contributed to this report.