The Other Side Of Yemen;
Images from the Al Mahrah and Hadramaut regions in eastern Yemen during a March 2022 road trip through the remotest area of the country
Yemen’s south-eastern coast, that borders Oman, feels a million miles away from the war going on in the central and western part of the country some 750 miles away. Although this area has suffered conflict and militant extremism in recent times, this part of Yemen is now mostly calm and life feels relatively normal. Fishing villages bustle - with the biggest problem being not the lack of fish but the countrywide fuel shortages for the fisherman’s boat engines. They used to fish everyday but now severely limited by the dwindling gas supplies. Driving inland, some 12 hours by road thru the ‘Empty Desert’ toward the Wadi Duan area of Hadramaut, the landscape changes from flat barren sand vistas, where the Bedouin still roam, to the spectacular fertile valleys and deep soaring gorges.
Other than the now-crippling seven year war, one of the the unfortunate realities of Yemen in 2022, is that is that it relies heavily on grain products from Ukraine- whose ports are now closed for export. Ukraine has provided less wealthy markets ,such as Yemen and The Horn of Africa, with far cheaper grain options for both local grain buyers and humanitarian organizations such as the World Food Program. A prolonged Ukrainian war creates yet more food insecurity for Yemen- a country where some 21 million people are now in need of vital humanitarian assistance.