It has come to my attention that some people that read this blog still think that Yemen is “dangerous.” This came up in some conversations in Malta with a certain cousin, and I get the ocaisional hint about it in my emails. I’m going to spell this out very clearly so that there can be no misunderstanding. The places that I have gone (and lived) in Yemen are one of the safer areas that I have ever been. There is no fear of mugging, there is no fear of robbery. The people are friendly and generally low key. I am more comfortable living here than in Northern Virginia as far as overall “vibe” goes. Yemen does suffer in comparison to the more upscale places as far shopping, food, and tourist services. I think that it is a facinating place and I encourage everyone to come over and see it. Not just because I’d like the company, but I think that this unfounded fear about the place really is symptomatic of American’s views on the middle east in general. If I can change one person’s mind about how “dangerous” and unhospitible this place is, I’d consider it a success. Plus, when’s the next chance you will get to see a place like this with a guide?
I wouldn’t have come over here if there was any danger and I certainly wouldn’t stay if there was any danger. This place is not dangerous, yes even if you are a woman. Keep in mind that men are forbidden to touch women here. That isn’t just some sort of law passed by the government, it is how they are raised and part of their religion. I’m not saying there aren’t any jerks here or that groping couldn’t possibly happen, but I think it would be less likely here than any city in the US.
So come over and visit!