Thursday, August 24, 2006
Yemen: The Land of Plenty that is full of contrast
Just got back from Yemen and all I can say WOW. What a beautiful country and what great hospitable people. The land is full of contrast, located in the middle blazing summer heat of Arabia yet Sana’a was cool, full of weapons yet peaceful, rich in culture yet economically poor, conservative people yet everyone is addicted to qat, delicious food yet severed in lousy ‘restaurants’ and amazing historical site with barely any tourist.
All we ever get to hear from Yemen in the news is negative, even though we are neighbors, my impression of the country was that it is unsafe, yet when I went there, I felt totally safe even thought many people outside of Sana’a carried machine guns. These weapons are a symbol of ‘manhood’ and everyone we met, no matter how poor they were, and when I say poor I mean no electricity or running water in their houses’, invited us to eat at their house.
Everyday, people get killed in America yet we all consider the country safe, you only need one kidnapping in Yemen and we consider the whole country unsafe and a no go area. How bizarre is that?
For anyone thinking of going to Yemen, I would tell them, its an amazing country and a must go but if you are looking to be pampered, then I would say good luck. The Moevenpick Hotel is the only ‘real’ 5 star facility in Sana’a. All other restaurants are hotels around Mareb, Kokaban, Thala, Al-Hajra , Manjah and Wadi Dhaher are basic but you will be dazzled by the countries beauty.
I am definitely heading back there again soon.