The link to this blog from Yemen comes to me from Rita Zawaideh of Caravan-Serai tour company in Seattle. Jordanian-born Rita is THE national authority on mid-east travel, and was one of the first tour leaders to gain authority to take tourists from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia. She's received many awards for her humanitarian efforts and donates tons of time to causes promoting Arab-American understanding.
Here's what she says about her recent Yemen trip in January:
"Yemen is one of my favorite countries. I know that it is not an area that a lot of Americans travel too , but it should be. This last trip I did have the ex-presidents nephew talk to the group - he is a political analyst for CNN and other major TV stations on the issues of Yemen and what is happening their- we also spend a day with some local women in doing what they do and going to their home and receiving visitors and eating with them etc. " "I think it was a shock to the group to see that under the abaya the women were dressed the same as western women and also more fashionable- they got to ask them questions about being the second wife and what it was like to be married at a young age etc etc. It opened their eyes to the issues that the women their have versus what the women in the West have- very different issues that are important to them."