Yemeni Diaries

Bedouin Sport in the Desert

Well, here I am in Yemen. Two years ago I resolved never to ride on the back of a truck again and within 48 hours of arrival, I was getting slammed against the bottom a Toyota pickup as we bounced through caked mud. My destination was Wadi Hadramout in the East of...
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The Chicago of the Desert

Wadi Hadramout is a broad chasm cut a couple of hundred meters deep into the desert. When the rains do come they flush straight through it creating a lush green valley with palms as far as the eye can see. With nothing but lifeless desert surrounding it, this was the...
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Guns or Butter

Yemen is largely proving to be a very friendly place with plenty to see and remarkably safe - street crime is virtually unheard of. However, I must concede that the stereotypes have occasionally cropped up. There are an estimated 60 million guns in Yemen which amounts...
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An Encounter with al-Qaeda

It seemed like any other town in Yemen. Nestled in a valley between spectacular 3000m jagged peaks, one main strip was packed full of every conceivable means of transport. There was a maelstrom of mini-buses with no doors, pickup trucks stuffed with toilets and sinks,...
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Swinging Aden & the Sailor’s Club

"Aden is a filthy place with boring architecture, no attractions to speak of and can be missed." Thus my expectations were set. But from the moment the minibus crossed the causeway onto the peninsula this city seemed totally out of the ordinary, particularly for...
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No Christian, only Jews

The people of Shahara haven't exactly had it easy over the last 500 years. Aside from the struggles of trying to squeeze subsistence out of mountain slope farming, they've suffered from centuries of attacks from neighboring tribes, not to mention the Turks and the...
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