Friday, 7 June 2013

Arabia Felix

I was reading about Aden when I read about Yemen whose poetic old name was Arabia felix. Yemen lies on the 'right side' and that is considered 'good' as everything starts on the right or right side. A documentary on Yemen (on ASTRO) also featured its men as happy - they even danced at night. Yemen must be a happy place.

Yemen's relief is diverse, from the shoreline to the coastal plains to the wadis and mountains. Yemen is an ancient place with many ancient stories and monuments. It is hard to belief that Yemen is fertile as well as has a place called the Empty Quarter.

Almost every city in Yemen has its own character and long history.

Aden is by the sea and a volcano stands in its hinterland. It is an important seaport since time immemorial. Steamers stop at Aden for refueling and replenishing food supplies before proceeding northward to Jeddah, Port Said and finally passing through the Suez Canal and onward to Europe. Steamers from Europe also pass through the Suez Canal and stop at Aden for refueling and replenishing food supplies before sailing to India and onward to Southeast Asia. Aden harbour is busy.


The Fairsea Roma steamer with its characteristic V marked on its funnel. The Fairsea is a fleet of elegant steamers. Photo from Dr Che Lah's Hajj collections, 1960s.

Hadramaut is the seat of scholars. Hadramaut has the largest archives holding Islamic manuscripts. Scholars here migrated to various parts of the world some 700 years ago to spread what they loved most - Islam.

Mokha is the town famous for its mocca coffee, a rich chocolaty coffee au lait mix

Sana'a is beautiful.

Tarim is an ancient burial ground.

Taiz has markets.

Yemen Old Splendour Tours

Fairsea Roma steamer