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Revolutions Are Bittersweet: Travels From Yemen

With the recent developments in Northern Africa and the Middle East, I cannot but feel inspired by the unity and courage that the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain etc. are showing. However, I worry for those that will end up sacrificing their lives in the name of a revolution. Why must revolutions always come at the cost of so many lives? No one will ever know.

I visited Yemen in 2009 and for lack of a better excuse, at the time I was “too busy” to blog or share my images from my experiences with the country and its hospitable people.

So here are some memorable moments from one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, a UNESCO site – Sana’a (pre-demonstrations).

Food for thought: Yemen has been battling water shortages for years. Experts say the capital, Sana’a, could run dry in 14 years. Check out

Curious Yemeni boys come out to welcome me as I explore the narrow streets of Sana'a photographed by Susan Wong

My Yemeni friends and their families were so hospitable!  During their lunch breaks they’d meet me somewhere in the city to show me around!  Here are some curious boys that greeted me while we explored.
A man waits to be seated inside a restaurant during the busiest times of the day at the market in Sana'a, Yemen photographed by Susan Wong

No one can turn down the fragrant smells of Yemeni spices during lunch time.  Here’s a man waiting to enter a crowded restaurant.
Yemeni wearing black robes, bourga’a and balto, while in pubic in Sana'a, Yemen photographed by Susan Wong

Most Yemeni women wear black cloaks and veils, better known as balto and bourga’a.  I met some expats (women) working in the country and they told me that it was imperative to wear one in order to gain trust from colleagues etc.

Skyline view of old Sana'a, Yemen photographed by Susan Wong

The distinct skyline of Old Sana’a which is a UNESCO site and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world!

Merchant selling dates in Sana'a.  Dates are an integral part of the livelihoods of the Yemeni.  Photographed by Susan Wong

Dates are loved by everyone!  You can even have your fortune read through date pits.  So don’t just trash them.

Yemeni sweets photographed by Susan Wong

Yemeni sweets fresh out of the fryer!  I swear everyone had a sweet tooth to the Nth degree!  Dentists in the country must make a lot of money!

Kebabs are essential to the diet of the Yemeni photographed by Susan Wong

All sorts of kebabs and the seafood was sooooo fresh from the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea!

Once a moat surrounding the Old City of Sana'a, it is now a modern highway that divides the old from the new photographed by Susan Wong

What use to be a moat protecting the Old City now is a crowded essential highway for commuters.

Saturday morning market in Sana'a, Yemen photographed by Susan Wong

Busy market day on the weekends.  Yes, this picture only features men.

Have a great week!

P.S. Remember the wise words of MLK: “Injustice anywhere, is a risk for injustice everywhere!”


Filed under: Life, Photography, Quotes, Thoughts, Travel, Yemen, , , , , , , , , ,

Through My Eyes


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