I think arriving at Bab Al Yemen, the great entry into the an Old Historical and long gone world, is one of the highlights of my life!
I don´t think that I seriously in my mind, thought that what we three and Antar just had done, would have been possible when I arrived in mortar fire to Yemen 2 and half month earlier with my whole family. But with a lot of positive attitude, good contacts and an almost desperate will to succeed, we had made the almost impossible, walked from Tihama to Sanaa at the brink of a possible civil war!
Media met us as quick as we got into the sailah, a paved road, a kind of a through fare, and I could see that even Ahmed Ali Hassan was happy he had persisted and stuck to his guns and finally understood what he had done. Amin loved it! It was his big day in life! Sailah is like a dream, because it takes you on the outside of the old city, we had it all the time to our right, and you have a feeling of traveling through ages. And that is a feeling which just grows the closer you get to the Old City of Sanaa, most likely one of the most fantastic and most vibrant places on earth. Some parts are around a 1000 years old, Saladin (or his Arabic name Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb) was possibly here and when we entered the narrow, winding streets, busy with people and traffic, now that was a high light! I felt like being brought back years, dragged into history, because arriving with a camel in those days, well, not that long ago, was how it all went. Even though I, like the other two, where really tired, I felt somehow relieved and happy, but slightly nervous for the press conference that we had set up with the help of Baba Hussein Sabanko and our friends around Talhal in the Old City.
Passing through the souk was magic. Seeing all our friends, and Pamela and Eva, waiting with a big crowd at Bab Al Yemen, was even better! It was almost unreal all of it, like I was dreaming. Yemeni media was present, so was hundreds of onlookers and police was there to keep the most curious away. Baba Hussein had set up a press conference with speakers just near the gate. I saw Tanya Holm, Boushra he helped me film this event, Sabri Saleem, Hussein the Khawlani….Pamela took the microphone which we bought on request half an hour earlier and introduced us all, Baba Hussein Sabanko held a speech I have completely forgotten and than I stood up an told them my story. You can hear and see it below here:
However, this was just the first part and hopefully I can start part 2 any day!
Here´s some links to what was written locally:
And here, see the slideshow from the trip right here!