Written By: Yemen Observer Staff
Article Date: Jul 10, 2012 - 11:46:09 AM
Swedish explorer Mikael Strandberg and journalist Tanya Holm, came back on last Thursday, from there expedition in Rub al-Khali – also known as the empty quarter, the biggest desert in the world .
Mikael Strandberg and his family with his Yemeni fans in Bab al-Yamen Sana'a.
They had set foot in the Al-Mahra province on June 1st. Earlier this year Mikael successfully completed his first expedition by camel in Yemen: from Zabid to Sana’a. A modern Indiana Jones Mikael said he essentially wanted to portray Yemen in a different light, bringing the focus on the beauty of a millennia old civilization, rich of culture and people rather than fall into the trap of international journalism which reduced the country to a terror hub.
A well-known explorer Mikael certainly caught the world’s attention, putting Yemen back onto the forefront of the media, but this time positively.
Yemenis are ecstatic that Mikael decided to use Yemen as the ground of his next adventure as they felt he was determined to convey the truth about what people came to know as the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula. Although Yemen is indeed one of the poorest nations in the world, it is also home to the kindest, most generous and hospitable people than anyone would ever come across.
“We’re so proud of what you did for us, you deserve Yemeni citizenship, I wish you could have it”, said an enthusiastic Yemeni.
Talking about his experience Mikael said that despite people’s perception the heat was actually his fiercest enemy rather than al-Qaeda as people automatically assumed. A first time explorer Tanya also admitted that the heat was her biggest challenge saying that it took her about three days to handle scorching temperature and the desert sun. Now a veteran explorer Tanya feels that she experienced Yemen as it was 5000 years ago, a virgin land where only nature reigned. Having walked for 3 weeks from Al-Ghaydah, in Al-Mahra governorate, through Hadramaut they reached the Rub al-Khali.
Even though their expedition started rather badly because of technical difficulties, both Tanya and Mikael soon realized that the real problem lied within themselves, impatience.
In tune with nature, Bedus have a different approach of life. “The bedus were generous and fantastic sharing their water, food and their tents with us” said Tanya and Mikael. Tanya said that if she had to do it again she would do it in a heartbeat. Share their experience by watching the online pilot of the expedition at : https://vimeo.com/42817817
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