Yemen I (Wadi Hadramawt, Sanaa and around), June 2006
Window, Tarim. Tarim lies to the east of the regional capital of Sayoun, which I flew to on arriving in Yemen. Tarim is an old town with strong religious significance, so when I visited on a Friday there was not much activity in the streets. The shared taxi that took me to Tarim was full of young men reciting from the Koran, on their way to attend Friday prayers in Tarim. Halfway through the trip one of these pious young men closed his Koran, turned to me and said: "Today Friday." I affirmed the truth of the statement, and prepared for a religious discussion. The next words out of his smiling mouth were "Seven o'clock, Germany-Costa Rica!" This was to be the first match of the 2006 World Cup, and the young man's gleeful anticipation was a fine way to dissolve any preconceptions on my first full day in Yemen.