Yemen Floods

A week ago, there was a strong likelihood that a ‘tropical depression’ would create heavy rain in Salalah. Fortunately for Salalah, but tragically for Yemen , it veered away and the last few days was over southern Yemen. The video clip http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7689795.stm from Yemen shows a river pouring through “Al Ghar Al Amar” in the centre of Mukalla . The water catchment area in Mukalla is far smaller than that of Wadi Hadhramaut http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7690463.stm or even I suspect Wadi Du’an; there the flooding might be horrific. Wadi Hadhramaut and its tributaries have extraordinarily sheer cliffs, carved by previous floods, which funnel the water in its restricted course . The article I wrote about Yemen finished ….  I was now left with one problem before I left, how to tackle the ascent out of the valley’ hopefully the inhabitants wont find they need an escape route.

A weekend in the mountains of Oman

Joining in the celebrations for a wedding in the Jebel Akhdar Oman

 

Making the steep climb by car up to Jebel Akhdar I arrived in the late afternoon to join the celebrations for a friend’s wedding .

Wedding Arrival Oman
Wedding Arrival Oman

The formal betrothal had taken place last year and today would be the start of married life. Of course, it was a busy affair, as all Omani weddings are, with probably most households in the village joining in. Since this was a ‘town persons’ wedding we set off, in a queue of cars , to take the bride to the grooms home .

Date Tree in Omans Mountains
Date Tree in Omans Mountains

The next day I managed to have an early morning walk through the mountains before having a very enjoyable lunch at a simple reception to congratulate the groom.

Cooler weather brings new openings – a new Gallery in OMAN

focusing on to mentor, develop and promote promising Omani and International emerging artists Al Tarhal Gallery opens in Muscat OMAN

It was a pleasure to be at the opening of what, I feel, will be a superb showcase for Omani and International Artists .

Gallery Opens
Gallery Opens

Al Tarhal is a partnership, focusing on mentoring, developing and promoting promising Omani and International emerging artists. Works by Omani artists like Naima Al Maimani, whose works I am familiar with;

Pictures at a Gallery
Pictures at a Gallery

join artist whose works I have yet to discover, like the calligrapher Saleh Al Shukairi. Oman has had a long tradition of traditional decorative works with silver (the exquisite Mans Khanjar and Ladies Hirz necklaces ) and wood (bold entrance doors into major mansions) . Art as pure decoration had yet to fire the imagination of many Omani’s , but with increased awareness and demand, the gallery should have no difficulty in finding Omani’s to mentor.

Oman and Yemen inspired magazine articles

I uploaded some Oman and Yemen inspired magazine articles I wrote

The Arabian Leopard was the subject of an article in the new daily paper from the UAE http://www.thenational.ae/article/20081009/NATIONAL/76935597. The piece highlights how few of the animals there are – the writer covered the possibility that there might be, or might not be one Arabian Leopard in the UAE mountains. That prompted me to scan in the piece I did about the Leopard for ‘Oman Today’ along with 3 other ones .

The visit I made into Wadi Hadhramaut which Oman Today (again) published in 2007 was a wonderful journey . Seeing ‘hand made’ houses rather than ones made from mass produced material was very stimulating. Each one individual and yet harmonious . To get some nice photos I wandered around just after dawn – in Seyoun waking up a pack of several dozen ‘wadi dogs’ on a mountain slope which made me back away very carefully and in Mukalla enjoying watching the men of the old town take up their places in the tea houses . Along the coast, the scenes of fishermen chasing gulls away from drying sardines spoke volumes of their need to preserve ‘wealth’ .

Bank Muscat asks me to produce brief articles which cover towns where they have branches . I am waiting in hope that they will ask me to do one for their Egyptian branch – and of course pay my travel expenses.

The files are probably not so large with broadband – but they take a while to download from Oman

Arabian Leopard in Dhofar

Wadi Hadhramaut Yemen

Ibri town in Oman

Al Hamra town in Oman