Below, you will meet Samira, one of the women in our group. Do scroll down to see the Samira I saw at lunch each day; but whose face, none of the men ever saw. She would flip her veil back when a man, including the waiters, would walk by. She asked me if I would like a picture of her face and this was a very special gift to me. She knows I am blogging and indicated that I could share her photo. Essa made us a special CD of many photos and all of the participants and I told him/them that this was a wonderful rememberance and gift...and Samira gave me a very warm and personal gift of her smiling face.
This huge peacock is a wall hanging just inside the entrance way at the Taj Sheba, our hotel. There was a nice sitting area right next to this where I would often work on my computer while Hani was training.
Today, our last day, Hani and I walked over to the National Museum where we saw this incredibly wonderful door. The key to the door weighs about 15 pounds. And we saw an ornate 500 year old Quran and items from 1000 years B.C. Islam came to Yemen in 629 A.D. and there were examples of stones with the Zabur script for the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. There were six floors, which OSHA has never visited. Hani commented on the fact that handicapped cannot see anything in this country. The steps alone are a hazard as you climb the stairs.
I wasn't to take photos or we would have to pay "baksheesh," a bribe to one of the workers so I stopped taking photos, much to his dismay. And, I really wanted a photo of the three stuffed lions which the president donated to the museum. HUGE
This is Samira, one of our women participants who had her photo taken with me. She always presented herself veiled but would unveil to eat, with her back to the men. I had seen her face while she ate but today, in a very unusual gesture, she took her veil off so I could see her face and remember her.
I was talking with the women today after the session and before my interview and they were filling me in on the regional differences and I again asked about the men wearing the "skirts" of plaid, stripes and with decorations along the edges. One of the ladies told me that they wear these in the hot regions because they, "need to keep things fresh under there." The women in the warmer regions of the country also have their arms uncovered.