From now on, please continue to read my reports at www.mikaelstrandberg.com since I have arrived to Sanaa in Yemen!
My first quick report looked like this:
I just arrived to Sanna. And I feel happy with no limits!!!! It was such a breeze and I got all necessary equipment thru and I have holed up with great friends in the Old City.
An angel in the shape of a Lebanese business friend and a good mate of my great friend here, Tanya, helped me thru like you couldn´t believe it. After that he brought us to his small mansion and we had a great lunch!
This is Yemen!
You never, ever know what to except. I worried, like all my friends, that I would get problems getting in. No sweat, 3 month visa and I feel such a relief!
After sleeping sound and safe in a room with a great view I woke up to the muezzin at 6, walked downtown to change money, 1 dollar buys you only 215 rial this time. prices are the same, so everything will be far more expensive. I bought a phone card, sent some text messages and walked over Tahir Square.
It is in many ways such a different Sanaa too the last time. No aggression in the air. All is calm and nice and people seem relaxed. Tents are still there, everyone was of course chewing qat. I stopped for a kebab with bread at my favourite place with a great view over a busy, very ageless street.
I feel so happy being back! Thanks my great friends Tanya, Mohammed, Faris, Boushra for making this a possibility and to Muna for her ever lasting smile and positive attitude!