‘Janbiya’ is what they proudly wear around their waists. It’s not just a dagger – probably it’s not a dagger at all; not in the sense that you know about a dagger. It’s symbol of their roots; it identifies their tribe; and it a gift of their ancestors as some Janbiyas have been in the families for multiple generations. The material on handle is an indication of their status and the beautiful carvings on the case and the belt tells about their taste. It is always to be worn as an ornament and tradition, not a weapon – “it’s cowardly and looked down upon”, my host warned me about taking the blade out.
Yemen was a country only behind Afghanistan in terms of food security. And it’s problems were no different from any other developing country. I found restless public camping on roads and about to loose patience for bad governance. I witnessed the shift of regime and restoration of order which allowed my flight to leave the country. But what I didn’t see was any reason to bomb all that beautiful city and it’s people.
Yemen is the country of my childhood dreams when most of the stories started with “once upon a time, a queen/king/prince/princess from Yemen…”. It’s the country of Queen Saba (story narrated in Quran). And it’s not only its historic value. I am yet to see a place which has a personality of its own – it’s landscape and buildings are unique in design.
War causes destruction which no country deserves. War is going to worsen the problems Yemen had been suffering from. I don’t want to imagine what bombs will be doing to people who never draw their daggers out.