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Kenneth Cline on Yemen

Kenneth Cline has written a book about his experiences in Yemen. For the next four days it is available free as an e-book on Amazon.

Here is the description:

Yemen today is mostly associated with civil war, terrorism and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises — not to mention the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon twelve centuries ago. Yet, there’s so much more to this small country in southwestern Arabia. Mr. Kennis Goes to Yemen: A Story of West Meets East explores some of the real people behind the stereotypes. During the mid-1980s, while on a journalism fellowship, author Kenneth Cline spent five months living with a Yemeni farming family in their remote mountain village, an experience afforded few other Westerners. In this part memoir/part travel story, he describes his struggles with cultural differences and personal relationships in a harsh desert land, where the distance between East and West is not easily crossed.

The village family welcomes Cline with traditional Arab hospitality. “My home is your home,” says Abdullah Mudahar, the father, but complications soon ensue. It doesn’t help that Cline’s interpreter skips out on him during his very first night in the house. An effort to help the family build a water tank gets bogged down in tribal politics. The author’s mistake in lending money to Mohammed, the oldest son, creates family drama when Mohammed avoids repaying the debt. Through it all, Cline learns to appreciate the Mudahars as individuals, both good and bad, while also enjoying the beauty and complexity of Yemen — a country with a fabled past struggling to balance “modernity” with its traditional values.

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