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Yemen, its a Blast!

The Yemen news agency reported a blast at a “qat market” in Sa’dah. This is hilarious when you consider that Saada is basically one huge open air arms market, but it was probably the qat, right?:

Witnesses said the explosion was caused by a cannon shell mishandled by a man trying to sell it at the al-Talh arms market… 

You know, as opposed to the proper way to handle a cannons shell in the middle of a crowded market. I do have to say, the gold plated AK-47 I saw from al Talh was kinda pimp. FYI, if you are buying an anti-aircraft gun, I recommend the fourth stall on the left. Tell ‘em Nimr sent ya!

Sa’dah is a fascinating place. To this day it has a fairly vibrant Jewish community and was an important center of the Zaydi sect. The region has also recently produced armed resistance (often linked to al Qaeda and pals) against the national government in Sanaa. All this in a country which some estimate as having the second highest private gun ownership in the world…let alone all them dang jambiays. Good times.

You might say my title is insensitive (and you are probably right, people died after all), but Yemen has a terrible track record with slogans. The national air-carrier’s slogan used to be “irkab Yemenia“, which in slang would roughly mean “Go screw a Yemeni woman!”……nice.

Getting back to the qat, the Dictator President of Yemen
Ali Abdullah Saleh has decided to stop chewing, or makhzin, literally “storing”, due to health concerns (the English word magazine, comes from that word). Similarly the government is trying to ban the cultivation of qat in the most fertile land to promote food agriculture. Yemen, which should be a food exporter, has to import food due to so much of its airable land being used for qat cultivation. Yemen is totally nutty, but also an extremely beautiful country…

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6 Responses to “Yemen, its a Blast!”

  1. Not related to Yemen, but since you cover music/culture often, have you seen what a dickhead Henry Rollins has been lately on the Independent Film Channel? Hardcore anti-Arab bigotry.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2007, 10:26 pm
  2. i heard when a woman chews qat, it can make her extremely horny .. is that true or just an urban legend o_O

    Posted by Jundi | December 30, 2007, 12:17 am
  3. Annon: WTF? “Henry Rollins: Uncut from Israel”??? I couldn’t find too many clips online, but it looks like he has gone from being the “rage lead singer” to the “rage actor/poet” to now the “rage pundit/comedian”. What exactly did he say?

    Jundi: Yemen was really seggregated by gender so I never hung with women chewing qat. I don’t know what “effects” it has one them :) Sounds like an urban legend, but if any ladies show up to my house with a bag of qat we can find out. I promise to report back to Kabobfest. Any takers?

    Posted by Nimr | December 30, 2007, 8:00 pm
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