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Al Nakhla, Sana’a

I’m an originally Dutch female and I moved to Yemen nearly fifteen years ago.

The main reason for moving here was that I had become Muslim, so I wanted to live in an Islamic environment. Yemen is not an easy country to emigrate to. I mean, it has taken me quite some time to understand the people and the society.

Being able to speak the Arabic language makes a big difference. This is, the spoken language, which is very different from the official Arabic. I think it took me about two years before I could communicate without too much effort. However, because each part of the country has its own dialect, you keep on encountering new words no matter how long you’ve been here.I live in between and with the locals. I was married to a local but since we divorced some years ago, I have lived with my two daughters. Divorced Yemeni women usually live in their fathers’ house, so living alone is quite strange here. Moreover, I earn my own money, drive my own car (not many women drive here), and do things that are actually considered men’s jobs, like having my car fixed or arranging paperwork. So my life here is a mixture of local life (including baking bread and visiting neighbors, for example) and “foreign” influences. Therefore, my life here is always a challenge, never boring, sometimes funny, and sometimes frustrating.

If you’re interested in living in Sana’a, the daily life, customs, etc., you can visit my blog alnakhla-blog.blogspot.com. I welcome questions on the “ask a question” page and enjoy comments. So meet you there, inshallah!


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