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Great PaulVDV 2014-01-12 6:11

Hello Gert,
North and South Yemen were apparently already united when you were there.
I couldnít visit Shibam since I was in the north in 1988.
No kidnappings then. But I remember that together with another four or five travellers I went to Barraquish in the eastern desert (with a rented car and a Yemeni driver). Just for one day.
In the desert in the dunes suddenly an armed man made the jeep stop and through the open window he pointed a kalashnikov at the head of our driver while he demanded of every passenger the equivalent in Yemeni rial of a half dollar. We couldnít believe he meant such low amount and gave it quickly on which he kindly thanked us and showed us further away. We didnít know if this was a joke or not since we had seen so many men with kalashnikovs before in the country and never that meant any danger. But our driver didnít want to return by the same route back to Sanaía.
A few years later I heard about the kidnappings. So maybe we had been lucky then.
Iíve always dreamed to go back one day and then Iíd also go to the south, to Shibam.
I find this view so appealing. Like a dream image, beautifully taken from in the palm oasis. But you write that inside the town it is less impressive. I believe it must have been fairly dirty. In 1988 all of North Yemen was dirty.
Still, it was a magnificent country with the most helpful and hospitable people.
It's terrible to see how history goes Ö
My best regards, Paul

  #1  
Old 01-12-2014, 03:43 PM
holmertz holmertz is offline
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Default To PaulVDV: united

Thank you Paul,

The two Yemens were united in 1990, a few months before Germany but with considerably less international media attention. Unification gave Yemen the most modern and most democratic constitution of the Arab world, but this democracy was quickly diluted and already in 1994 the south proclaimed independence again. Civil war broke out and the south was defeated in a short time. That was the end of democracy although it still exists theoretically.

I have been violently robbed a couple of times and threatened by drunken soldiers after a military coup, but I never actually had a gun pointed straight at me, for which I am very grateful. That was a very strange story you told me.

I agree that Yemen is/was one of the friendlest countries on earth. Everywhere I went people would go out of their way to help me whenever I needed any assistance. I was overwhelmed.

All the best to you,

Gert
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:40 PM
PaulVDV PaulVDV is offline
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Default Yemen

Hello Gert,

Do you mean that you've been robbed violently a couple of times in Yemen ? Or in other countries ?
I suppose you mean this latter.
Until now such matters have fortunately been spared to me.

Sometimes someone tells me how he / she was robbed and then I think this could have happened to me, too.
Up to now in most countries I only had good experiences. Hopefully it stays that way.

Best regards from Belgium,
Paul
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:36 PM
holmertz holmertz is offline
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Default robbed

Hello,
No I was certainly not robbed in Yemen. I had some trouble in Afghanistan and South Africa, and a few years ago even here in Stockholm, just a block from where I live. A few pick-pockets and snatched watches here and there, plus a very nasty day in Ghana a short time after Jerry Rawlings' second coup.
But Yemen was very quiet.
Gert
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