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Location: Kansas, United States

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


All the pictures were taken in Sana'a, the capital city of Yemen. The Old City of Sana'a is a World Heritage Site.

ALL the women here are covered. Most wear full black but a few wear an old Yemeni print cloth. I'd say that about 75 percent of the women veil their face except for eyes, about 5 percent veil their eyes and the remainder show their face. Most of the black abiyas are polyester and these women are dressed 'underneath' and then cover with the black abiya. I can not imagine how hot they are.

Most all men, and many young boys, wear traditional clothing and the jambiya--knife. The guys here in front of the scarf shop may appear to be in a movie but they are in their everyday clothes. Another traditional dress here is the sarong type 'skirt' with a western style shirt. I will send a picture of that sometime.

Finally, I was waiting for the elevator at the Sheraton Hotel in Sana'a (the embassy makes all related personnel stay at the Sheraton) and out stepped this man with his falcon. I was amazed--mouth gaping, almost speechless. He spoke some English and I finally asked if I could take a picture. He readily agreed. The man is from Bahrain and runs a falconry school. He was bringing this bird to a friend in Yemen. At home he has seven falcons and conducts classes in the Middle East and at his home. It was his idea for me to hold the falcon so I put on the glove and there you have it.

I am settled in Aden now. The city seems incredibly poor. Across the street from my apartment are three sets of shops and refugees from Africa have made the parking lots their homes. They make their children beg so it is depressing but I cope. I just have to say no. At first I resisted the idea of living in a compound, but most of the houses here are behind walls and heavy gates. My job is to familiarize Yemenis with the American legal system--a thing I know almost nothing about BUT the English level of the students is very low so I will actually just be teaching English and trying to place some of the language in a legal setting.


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