First of all, I had no idea that a place like this still did exist. It is kind of my old Arabian dream coming true and the souk in the Old City of Sanaa, is one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited.
Just want to share my first thoughts with you. It is in many ways medieval, exiting, the people are superb, full of personality, curios, smiling, very friendly and courteous, but Sanaa is also noisy, polluted and utterly confusing when it comes to this amazing item called traffic which is made up of mainly people traveling on motorbikes in every possible speed. In all directions, everywhere.
I have just worked on some common phrases and the Arabic alphabet for almost 8 hours. It is far from easy. I have not been in this situation of being a student for over 20 years and the teachers here are very good but hard. They beat you over the fingers with a ruler if you do mistakes. So I am bleeding on both hands right now. Just joking! They´re as hospitable and kind as the rest of the Yemenis I have seen and come across. Everyone smiles and wants to talk to you. They also congratulate you/me for daring to be here considering the bad reputation the country has acquired through the Western media, but they all assure me and the rest of us students, that we will be safer here than any other place on earth. I don´t doubt that at all.
I didn´t neither expect, which once again was stupid of me, that my fellow students, most 25 years younger and very ambitious and bright, would be such characters. I have already met a friend of life here, Pamela, and there´s many personalities of sorts. One is an elderly American professor, with a very interesting life. I will tell you his story later as well. Another one a young Moslem woman who has left the US for the first time to come to Yemen to study the language of the Koran. She has promised me an interview. They have all come here, because they want to.Teachers and personal here at the school are fantastic as well. I will write at length about this school soon and its interesting origin.
Time to try the alphabet again….aaa, baa, tá, thá….don´t want to get beaten by the ruler again.