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Sana'a Travel Blog

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The palace at Wadi Dhahr is the de facto icon of Yemeni tourism.


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It has take over two weeks for me to get here, the icon of Yemen's tourism industry ...  Wadi Dhahr.

I've developed an obsession for photographing things that are taboo elsewhere but permissible in Yemen. Such as children as young as two years old doing the traditional dance with daggers. Nowhere better to see this than at Wadi Dhahr where men celebrate weddings (the women celebrate elsewhere privately). There were so many toddlers doing their first moves with waving that dagger. Pround dads (and some mums) all around.

At Wadi Dhahr, I was perplexed that locals had to be frisked before entry ... they were obviously wearing their dagger. I asked in my broken Arabic if they were looking for a second dagger ... no, they were looking for guns. Not allowed to fire guns into the air to celebrate weddings at Wadi Dhahr.

Moving beyond daggers to knives ... I've tried organising a group trip to the gun souk (market) but this appears off limits to foreigners. Maybe we can dress up as Abayah Barbie or Burka Barbie. But then women may not be permitted to enter ...

By the way, Abayah Barbie is very liberal; most women only show their eyes through a small slit (but some have a fine mesh over that slit as well). They wear only black. FYI Burka Barbie is not for sale here ... only for Afghan market ... it isn't black, haha!

 

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The palace at Wadi Dhahr is the de…
The palace at Wadi Dhahr is the d…
Here son, take this knife and run …
Here son, take this knife and run…
My first jambiyah (dagger) dance, …
My first jambiyah (dagger) dance,…
He knew I wanted a photo ... good …
He knew I wanted a photo ... good…
Jambiyah (dagger) dance ... looks …
Jambiyah (dagger) dance ... looks…
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photo by: alexchan