In The Countryside

This story was sent along by Mohammed Alzaeem.  You can follow him on Twitter at @mohammedalzaee1.

"A nice trip to the countryside of Yemen.
The pictures were taken during a one-week visit to the countryside of Ibb governorate.
How wonderful to take a trip to the countryside of Ibb, the governorate of Yemen that wears a very natural and glamorous green  dress especially in spring and summer. My father, uncle and I had an amazing long walk through the high mountains and enjoyed a nice time of tranquility and calmness away from the noisy life of city.
It was a beautiful natural landscape to watch, where villages appear on the green mountains like pearls scattered on a green carpet."

Truthfully, when we put this blog together I didn't think there would be so many posts devoted to beauty, either natural or human-made, but I LOVE THEM.  It's such a welcome reminder that in the midst of all the challenges that Yemen is facing there is still beauty to be found, and that Yemenis…


Mohammed Hojily was kind enough to share a few Tweets with me, which I'm going to include here on the blog in the new couple days.  You can follow him on Twitter at: @MohammedHojily.

"Unlike the Arabic peninsula #Yemen has diversity's environmental and cultural, where that beside the green heavens there are huge mountains contains villagers houses on clouds, despite the ravages of war that Yemen is passing through.  But it is still the wondrous land."

I'm so happy that Mohammed kindly shared his Tweets, but also that he shared these beautiful pictures and words. In the popular imagination Yemen is sometimes unfairly reduced to a rugged desert, but it is so much more than that.  One of our main goals with this blog is to change people's default perception of Yemen.

Barran Temple

This story was sent along by Mohammed Alzaeem.  You can follow him on Twitter at @mohammedalzaee1.

"Barran Temple is a Sabaean temple near Ma'rib, Yemen; also known as the "Throne of Bilqis", the queen of Shiba whose story with the prophet Solomon is mentioned in the Bible and the Holly Qur'an.
The temple is located to the west of Awwam Temple, dedicated to the God Almaqah. The main features of the structure are the six columns and the sacred well in the middle of the courtyard.
It was partly excavated by Wendell Phillips' expedition of 1951-2.
To make it clear, Yemen is one of oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia (better known in its Latin translation, Arabia Felix) meaning Fortunate Arabia or Happy Arabia. Between the eighth century BCE and the…

Lunch In Sana'a

Even though this blog isn't about me - and even though I was only there over a weekend - I have my own memories of Yemen, and I'll share them occasionally.  And although you probably came here via Twitter, there's a chance that you didn't, so I'll give you my Twitter handle: @scuddertravel

"Here are a couple pictures that I snapped on my very brief visit to Sana'a several years ago.  I was wandering around the Old City (and when you're talking about Yemen Old City really means OLD CITY) of Sana'a and it was time for lunch.  It was Friday afternoon and the city was just starting to get busy after the Jumu'ah prayer. As I walked past a little restaurant on a square two gentlemen told me me that their place was the best and that's all the convincing I needed.  I've spent a couple years over seas and I can't imagine I ever had a meal that I enjoyed more or that I remember more fondly."

I'm very hesitant to share my own stories …


Mohammed Hojily was kind enough to share a few Tweets with me, which I'm going to include here on the blog in the new couple days.  You can follow him on Twitter at: @MohammedHojily.

"A child from Socotra was trying to survive a small goat from the #Mukono Cyclone.  #Yemen."

What strikes me about this Tweet is that it perfectly captures something that anyone who has ever traveled to Yemen learns: the incredible kindness of the Yemeni people.  Even when faced with natural disasters (but also sadly man-made disasters) that kindness is never shaken.

Ramadan Football Competition

This story was sent along by Mohammed Alzaeem, our most active contributor to our Yemen Stories blog.  You can follow him on Twitter at @mohammedalzaee1.

Children playing football in the street - Taiz, Yemen
The children in my neighborhood turn the street into a playground to play football. Two teams of children are throwing the ball. On the sidewalk stands the referee with his whistle in his hand. 
One of the attendees tells me that this match is being held within the Ramadan Football Competition, which is organized by a group of young people in the city. The teams of Taiz's neighborhoods compete for the title. Because they do not have a playground, they have made some streets in various neighborhoods playgrounds.
It is the insistence on life in the face of death in a war-torn country. All they dream about is to live their lives in dignity, peace and harmony. The picture is an example of the triumph of life over death, love over hatred and peace over war.

I absolutely love this submi…

Enable Yemen

Here's a submission from Amjad Al-Khattabi, who can be followed on Twitter at @Amjad_khatabi.
"I just wanted to show this video. Anas appears training on his new artificial hand on 1:10 … We have started an initiative aimed to distribute free prosthetics for those who are in need. We named it Enable Yemen because we want it to be a verified member of the international e-nable bases in the US ( link: ) . Until now enable has approved two of our submissions first for 3d printing quality and the second for assembly."
While the point of this blog is not to focus on the war, the chaos and destruction caused by it is sadly an undeniable part of the everyday lives of Yemenis.  Amjad's post, and the video, speaks to the incredible spirit of Yemen in the face of almost unimaginable heartbreak and devastation.