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 wedding 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 in the mountains.

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