Yemenity2010's Blog

Swedish explorer presently crossing Yemen by camel

Posted in Blog Entry in English by yemenity2010 on 30/07/2012

Yemen at the present time is not considered a safe place for foreigners. The city where I spent 2010 (Taiz) seems to have changed a lot in that respect, for example, and few foreigners remain. I remember reading about explorer and fellow Swede Mikael Strandberg some time ago, maybe when I was actually in the country. He was planning to cross Yemen by camel, but preparations seemed to take longer than expected. Now he is on his way through the struggling nation and recently he was interviewed by the Yemen Times. According to the Yemeni newspaper he now prefers to be called Ibn Battuta, referencing a famous Arabian explorer from the 14th century. He has also supposedly named his daughter after the likewise famous, mythical Yemeni queen Bilquis, a k a the Queen of Sheba.

For Mikael Strandberg (I will continue calling him that) the biggest challenge so far seems to be the heat and the need to consume copious amounts of water along the way. He describes the Yemeni people as being friendly, helpful and generous and claims that one of his goals is to spread a more positive image, provide a different perspective from the conflict-ridden country.
– Yemen is not only war, Al-Qaeda, poverty or starvation. There are many nice things in this country, he is quoted by Yemen Times as saying.
So far he hasn’t been bothered by anyone and he continues to feel safe. However, he comments on some of the problems that preoccupies him.
– The unnecessary poverty and unnecessary inequality and injustice; there is enough money and resources in Yemen to be exploited for all Yemenis.
Strandberg is accompanied riding through the desert by Swedish friend, free lance writer Tanya Holm, who’s spent a couple of years in this country. More of his observations can be found on his own website.

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