Ode to Sana’a

Sana’a is a lovely and unique city with many beautiful people.  We’ve enjoyed a wonderful three months studying there but have decided that it would be better for us to relocate.  Sana’a, being the capital city, is naturally more expensive then other parts of Yemen.  To remain in Sana’a, we would have to start teaching English as a means of generating income, which means that we would have less time to devote to our studies.  Given this conundrum, we’ve decided to relocate to a place where the cost of living is cheaper, the Arabic studies are cheaper, Qur’an studies and other Islamic studies are offered at no cost, and the people are cool.  Where exactly is this place?  We are currently in Hadhramaut.  Remember where our oh-so-delicious honey was from?

We are literally in a small desert town surrounded by beautiful mountains.  At night, the mountains emit a reddish hue and suspended just above them lies a blanket of stars, glittering the night sky.  I’ve never been out west, but the mountains here remind me of pictures that I’ve seen of mountains in Sante Fe. 

Growing up in New York City, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many stars in my life!  You cannot help but glorify the Creator when you witness such a sight.  I was walking with a group of sisters the other evening and the electricity went out.  We all looked up and stood frozen and in awe by the sight of so many stars.  Most of us, being Western city girls, stood there oohing, aahing, and saying “Subhan Allah” (Glory be to God) at such a sight.

The town has the feel of a university town (minus drunken students loitering the campus at night, of course).  The students here hail from Indonesia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Norway, Germany, Japan, Yemen, U.S. U.K. Tunisia, Morocco, Sweden, Comoros, Canada and many places in between. The community here is diverse, with so many sincere, God-fearing people that you can not help but be affected for the better.  The days are filled with classes and study, and the nights are filled with worship and rest. 

Having friends who preceded us to this location, we were able to jump right in to the action.  We arrived on Thursday (about two weeks ago) but it feels like we’ve been here longer.  Urbndervish is studying at Badr Institute for Arabic Language and I’m taking private lessons in Arabic.  Considering how much we have yet to learn of this language, we wanted to take the opportunity to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to its study at this early stage in our pursuit. 

Note for the Arabic students:  Urbndervish is continuing ‘Arabiyyat lil-Anasheen and I’m studying Kitab al-Asassi for now. 

So, Sana’a; it’s been real.  You’ve been great.  It’s us, not you.  We hope to see you again soon.  Before we forget; here are our few features of Sana’a that we failed to mention earlier. 100_0950

Yes, water is a bounty!  You tell them, Mr. Yemeni Water Drop! 

This ad is part of a water conservation campaign.


These new trash cans have been appearing all over Sana’a.  Now just to get folks to actually put the trash in the can and not on the floor and we’ll be well on our way.


Children playing in dirt, as they love to do in these parts.


And the last thing that we were happy to find was affordable, homeopathic medicines at the pharmacy.  We were able to find all kinds of Ayurvedic medicines to nurse muscle strain and the post-Hajj cough.  Nice to know that alternative health products are not over-priced and reserved for the elite in Sana’a!


Side Note:  Remember our sassy crib?

If you’re looking for a clean, convenient and modern apartment/flat during your stay in Sana’a, we would highly recommend Sana’a Apartments.  The apartment is centrally located and the neighbors are great! 


5 thoughts on “Ode to Sana’a

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  1. as salaamu alaikum. our prayers and thoughts are with you. may Allah continue to reward you both. jak so much for sharing your experiences, thoughts and photos. don’t concern yourself with my questions, espeically given the limited internet access. insha Allah, we will meet again soon and we can dialogue in person.

  2. As-Salaamu Alaykum. Al-Hamdulillah, my prayers were answered! I was always hoping you two would go to Tarim. If you’re in Yemen that’s the only place to be. I pray you will have much success there. Please give my salaams to Hasan Al-Boriqua’i. Is Murabit Hadameen’s son from Mauritania still teaching Maliki fiqh there? So, are you two planning on finishing the program there (Dar Al-Mustafa and Dar Az-Zahra)?

  3. Salam alaykum both,

    As always, it’s really great to check your blog 🙂
    Alhamdolilah that you are enjoying all of your time and experience… may Allah bless you both and have all of this in the balance of your good deeds…

    fe aman Allah,

  4. As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah!!! Kaf Anti? Anti bi-khayr? Kaf Tarim? I can’t wait to see you there. We are counting down the days here. Please let me know if you need anything from here that I can bring for you. Also ask Aisha the same thing and let me know insha Allah. Please send salaams and love katheer to all the sisters there. Love to you. Hayyak Allah

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