Another trip with friends

Sana'a Travel Blog

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Fortified town of Al Hajjarah, built on rock.

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Another day trip

I am really being a social butterfly.  Being the second day of the weekend, I did another day trip ... this time with the Europeans.

The fortified mountain town of Al Hajjarah is one of the most impressive in Yemen.  There were many other villages each with different character.

Al Khutayb stood out as there were many Muslim Indian pilgrims in the pastel blue, green or pink outfits.  Very un-Yemeni.  The site is special to the Ismailiya sect  -   my teacher frowned when I told him I visited this place.  Hhmmm ...

Yemen and Yemenis

Yemenis, as with other Arabs (except opportunistic Cairo con-artists) are a friendly bunch.

It is very much a tribal culture unlike in the Levant where I've had most of my Middle Eastern experience. They're dark Arabs (as I call them) compared to the fair-skinned Arabs of the Levant. There are also some Ethiopians and other Africans.

In keeping with tribal tradition, most men (and some young boys) wear a dagger on the front of their sarong ... yes, even in town, shopping, on the bus etc. We were treated to a traditional dagger dance at one of the villages we visited. Four generations (including Little Johnny) waved their daggers and pranced around to the rhythm of the drums. So refreshing to see ... at no stage did Mum shriek to Johnny "Put that knife down!" or "Don't run with the scissors"!

As for the women, they're in full black robes and also have their faces covered except for the eyes.

A favourite Yemeni past-time is chewing of qat, a leaf with mind-altering properties (perfectly legal). The leaves are accumulated in the mouth with saliva to form a ball that protrudes through one cheek like one-sided mumps. I've been told it doesn't impair one's judgment but is more of a stimulant ... drivers chew it while on the road. Many of my new friends chew qat but I haven't tried it yet.


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Fortified town of Al Hajjarah, bui…
Fortified town of Al Hajjarah, bu…
Playful children at Al Khutayb, an…
Playful children at Al Khutayb, a…
Al Khutayb.
Al Khutayb.
Al Khutayb.
Al Khutayb.
Public transport in the mountains.
Public transport in the mountains.
Yemeni hitchhiker ... someone jump…
Yemeni hitchhiker ... someone jum…
photo by: alexchan