"Let us kidnap you. Our government, or yours, will pay the ransom. You take half, we take half. You will get a nice vacation in our village. What do you think?"

This suggestion was followed by a big smile. I was visiting a great friend of mine, Ahmed The Kawhlani, as I have always called him and he was the first one which kind of introduced me to the world of the qabilis, the tribes of Yemen. He smiled as well, but added:

"He is only joking!"

The joker was a relative visiting him from the village. He, as Ahmed, carried their Kalashnikovs. And their jambiyyas (Curved daggers) and beautiful belts made by gold-and silver thread.

"Without a Kalashnikov, we tribal men would be seen as women" , Ahmed explained and added: "You never know when you need it."

Continue reading on Explorer Mikael Strandberg's Blog

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