My two trips in Yemen have been to a city in the south of San’a called Ibb, while the other one was to Al-Hijja more towards the west of san’a. The work I was doing there was focused on combating child labor and its effects on kids leaving school.
What I saw there was quite sad. Sending a student to school for a full year costs less than 15 dollars, yet many students are forced to leave school because they do not have the proper uniform, or couldn’t afford the books or the stationary. While many others can’t even think about school since the livelihood of their families depend on them . The first school I visited in Ibb was in a very bad condition, yet the kids were so full of life. I have to say, I have not yet experienced a people who love to be photographed like the people of yemen.
The work that is being done there to combat child labour and kids dropping out of school is impressive and is being led by a local non-profit, and they are very passionate about what they do, and also are actually implementing their schemes and the results are already being felt.
On the way back from Ibb, which has wonderful scenery, we stopped at Um Salah’s house/restaurant. The food was incredible. I can’t say more than that.
The night in Sana’a was quick and we were out early next day to Al-Hijja, a city on some serious mountains. The roads are small and winding and the drivers are crazy, so I was happy that we got there safely. The school was in a much better condition than the one in Ibb, and I got some shots on the way. Al-Hijja is also known for its quality Qat…no comment.
Anyways, the memories in Yemen are some of my best, the people are wonderful, the souks have such a simple yet authentic feel and are full of life, the hospitality is incomparable, and riding the Hilux pickup for over 24 hours in 3 days was priceless.