“Two Yemeni friends of mine travelled back to Sanaa from Al Hudaydah the other day. One of them was really ill. He had serious liver pains” , Tarim told me immediately when we met upon the third day of my arrival to the capital, whilst we were sitting outside the Great Mosque and had a very sweet cup of milky tea; “About halfway, in the middle of the night, the car broke down right in a tribal area. It didn´t take long until a bunch of very aggressive tribal men showed up, pointed their Kalashnikovs at them in the dark, yelled and asked them what they were doing there!”

“My friend pointed at his friend in pain and explained how important it was the he made it as fast as possible to a doctor in Sanaa. The men completely turned from aggressive to extremely helpful. First of all, they blocked the road. Secondly, they stopped the first car passing with the help of aiming their Kalashnikovs at it, than persuaded the driver to bring the guy with the pain immediately to Sanaa, which he agreed to do. They sat off immediately. Once they were gone, the men helped my friend to fix his car. They worked on it throughout the night. Next day, he left them with a full stomach.”

We all laughed with joy. In my book that story showed that Yemen was on the right track again and that, as usual, things were not as bad as everyone, including most Yemeni friends, experts and a sensationalist media, was making it out. That story lifted my spirits! I needed it, because all the others had warned me as below:

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