Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ladies' Day Out

The building of this Jewish "colony" was a priority in the 1920's and 1930's but with civil war raging, the Israeli's went home, in the late 40's, leaving this pile of construction to fall apart. While there are some Jewish people and some Christians here, this is primarily a Muslim country.

An travelling companions' names have significance. Arabs use names have meaning: Mahassin, means "good manners"; Nabiha means, "intelligent woman;" and Arwa was named after an early queen. I was told the fact that there was a queen meant that this was pre-Islam. Cannot happen today. Names are given in hope that the child will become that characteristic.

Bait Baws, which humorously translates into "Kissing House," is an old Jewish settlement outside of Sana'a and was the first of many stops we made yesterday. This is the entrance to what is now a ruin site but which the government is planning to restore. The Jews all left in the late 1940's and it is all falling apart. About 20 families, all Yemeni, now live on the grounds but there are no amenities. And interestingly, "beso" in Spanish means, "kiss;" and "bosa" is kiss in Arabic and "baws" means kiss in Hebrew...or so I was told. Similarities in language.

Another photo of Beit Baws...this place is built atop huge rock outcroppings and some of the buildings are three stories high.

A couple of odds and room is quite nice but the bedspread has to weigh a good 40 pounds and it is not easy to flip off or on. Takes a two arm pull to cover up. I got around to thinking about bedbugs last night...was almost asleep and realized I should have checked but hadn't. Now, if there were bedbugs after more than a week, I would have been bitten. So, what did I do? Got up and bedbugs or bugs of any sort.

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