Just about four years ago I learnt my first view words of arabic in Yemen...I spent 3 months there - three months well spent. With two other fellow students I studied in the capital, Sana'a, after four weeks of studying we started travelling the country and did so for two more months. We had a fantastic time discovering the country and its hospitable people. A very special place to which we only happened to travel by accident was Soqotra. In a taxi from Aden to Mukalla a doctor asked us if we wanted to stay for a few days in his house...of course we did! When we arrived in Mukalla we stayed in the same hostel with him and on the next day he handed us over the key to his house as well as a letter to his neighbour. We went to book a flight and on the next day we arrived on the island - not knowing a word of soqotri, the local language, neither the location of the house where we were to spend the next seven days. Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves a lot - discovering the island bit by bit. Ever since I wanted to go back. I've been there for only one week last year in spring but as soon as I can afford the trip I will go - this time with my husband, who is also very keen on yemeni history and culture.
(If I got you interested: the webpage of the Friends of Soqotra
is a good place to find out more - also there is Rowan, a volunteer who works with a womens organisation on the island, she keeps a very sweet livejournal
But how come I'm thinking about all these things today?
Well on wednesday my arabic course starts again,
and Hiam, my sweet teacher from Baghdad is as strict as she is good looking...
So to motivate myself I read blogs written about Yemen.
One is german: Sana'ani - Ein Jahr im Jemen
It is written by two journalists who are working for "zeit.de".The Arabic Adventure
is the second journal that I want to tell you about. It's, much more personal and written by Birgit, an anthropology student and friend of mine. She started studying arabic in Sana'a a few months ago and she's in the same school where I used to stay. Reading her entries though, makes me think that things have changed a bit in Yemen, since I was there. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy these links, although they only provide a tiny glimpse into a very different world.