Yemenity2010's Blog

Love, Thy Will Be Done* – in Yemen and Elsewhere?

Posted in Blog Entry in English by yemenity2010 on 22/01/2012

Yemeni Weddings. They are something special. Well, as a visitor you’re aware you never have the whole picture, since most of the festivites are segregated. Men in one place, women in another. What goes on behind the closed doors on the other side? Some answers you can get by reading women reporters’ accounts of the proceedings, such as the latest blog entry from Lebanese writer Mira Baz, who spent many years in Yemen: ”When all I’d seen of Yemen for months was unostentatious women in black, you could imagine the shock of seeing the women at my first few Yemeni weddings! Was this really Yemen? Behind closed doors, and away from the men’s probing eyes – both the harassers and the decent ones – women were letting it all out.” Recommended reading!

Also, the big news this week from Yemen seems to be the immunity law granted to president Ali Abdullah Saleh in exchange for his resignation from office. ”The immunity would cover the 33-year period of Saleh’s presidency and could not be cancelled or appealed against.” reports Al Jazeera English. Protests are said to have erupted in the city of Taiz, one of the three biggest cities in Yemen, while al-Qaeda-linked militants are reported to have taken control of Radda, a small town some 170 kilometers south of Sana’a.

Speaking of marriages: The American election campaign is on, at least on the Republican side. A lot of it makes for fascinating coverage even for us non-Americans. Sometimes intentionally funny, like the reports from Jon Stewart and his Daily Show team, as well as his former sidekick Stephen Colbert. Other times, you come across opinions that attract your attention and may be entertaining, but maybe not in the way it was intended. Like the endorsement of candidate Newt Gingrich from psychiatrist Keith Ablow, published by Fox News.

Telling quotes: ”When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one”. Exactly, that’s what the Republicans used to say about Bill Clinton and his infamous affairs, right? I am not saying a president or prime minister needs to be morally flawless (which is a rare quality). And relationships are not always easy, but… I guess I might be looking for some sort of consistency. Ablow’s conclusion: ”So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president. And I think that is exceedingly unlikely.”

At least on the last issue, I tend to agree… Or will South Sudan come courting in a few years?

By the way, I started watching ”The Tudors” on DVD last year, the series about the English 16th-century king Henry VIII. He is known for having had six wives of which he divorced some, executed others and in the process he created a new church. Among other things. It’s intriguing to follow the proceedings in the corridors of power and the way people fall in and out of luck with an emotional, strong-willed, manipulative and sometimes cruel king. Halfway through the second season I only miss one thing about the concept as a whole: someone to really root for. Most people involved are more or less corrupt, but simultaneously believable, and sometimes even possible to identify with.  Recommended watching. But you might wonder – what’s love got to do with it?** Maybe everything, maybe nothing at all.

* Yes, that’s the title of what was once upon a time quite a big hit, performed by Martika and composed by the artist sometimes known as Prince.

**And that’s a Tina Turner tune. Right again.

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