DAI Visits Fortunate Arabia

21 – 28 February 2007

The ancient Arab root for Yemen is ymn, or prosperity.  It has also been known as Arabia Felix, Fortunate Arabia by Roman travelers, who were struck by the contrast between Yemen and the surrounding deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.   Later, John Milton referred to Yemen as “bless’d Araby.”  This country is, in part, peacefully green, lushly mountainous, rugged, vastly sandy, yet at every turn staggeringly beautiful.

Friends of the DAI got to see the staggering beauty for themselves on a very special trip to Yemen.  Traveling from south to north, then over to the coast gave the travelers a chance to view the full spectrum of Yemen’s geography and culture.  It also allowed them to interact with a good cross-section of the Yemeni population, from the academics who shared a cultural evening with us to the ultimate honey dealer to the old men chewing khat in Old Sana’a.

Best of all, the travelers got to know the children – the ones who wanted their picture taken; the ones that ‘volunteered’ to help them get around the souks; the ones who appreciated a simple pencil and the ones eager to practice their English.  Thanks to the children, the participants got to see Arabia Gauisus – Happy Arabia.