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Friday, December 21, 2007

Sightseeing with Armed Guards & Military Convoy (again)

In Sanaa. Went on day trip to Marib, capital of the ancient kingdom of Sheba ¨C famous for the legendary Queen of Sheba.   The region is currently in a semi-state of rebellion and foreigners need to enter the region only in military convey - so we have eight vehicles for foriegn tourists headed by an army pickup with heavy machine guns - really cool! 
 
Outside Sanaa on the way to Marib, the Bedouin tribesmen all carry rifles!  At police checkpoint outside Sanaa, all Bedouins have to deposit their rifles and then collect them when they leave the capital.
 
The Sheba ruins were cool and the journey there skirted the edge of the Empty Quarter. Beautiful sand dunes.
 
BTW, Yemeni women have 7 children each which explains the huge population of 22 million, 50% of which are below 20 y/o.
 
Yemeni men spend all their time chewing qat.  Even soldiers and police do that on duty!  No wonder this is Middle East¡¯s poorest country.
 
Will upload pics later.

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