Sunday, February 11, 2007

witches and midgets

After a so-so dinner at an overpriced hotel restaurant last night, I accompanied my housemate and friend to a different hotel that my housemate's friend runs. The reason for going is because hotel manager's brother works for the mobile phone company and can block the phone calls from my friend's Yemeni harasser.

After that was all sorted out, we started discussing the mystical side of Yemen. Or shall, I say, THEY started discussing it - I don't know jack about this.

Apparently there is a book of magic called Shams al-Ma'arif. Nobody knows who wrote it (but popular opinion is the Jews) and there are still a few hand-written copies floating around. This dude got his hands on one of these and took it to his house. Needless to say, some Harry Potter-esque stuff started happening and he returned the book to the owner. I guess the Saudis come to Yemen to look for such things because 'they're all dogs looking to hunt women' and the Shams can help with that - as it's a recipe book of sorts.

Also, there's a slew of tunnels under the old city all linking up with this hotel. Apparently the hotel was an old castle (though you wouldn't know now) back when the Turks occupied Yemen. In this hotel, they actually built a 'false floor' about 1.5 meters in height where they hid all of their valuables. After years of being scared of what they might find inside, the owner recently opened it and found wooden boxes full of old Turkish army armor. Fierceness.

It's the only building in all of Sana'a that has a Turkish hammam on it. And the tunnels? Where do they go? The Yemenis are too scared to find out. But one thing is for sure. The people with tunnels under their house are convinced that once the government finds out, they will take their houses away from them and fill in the tunnels.

They've found ancient hand-written Korans in the walls of a mosque in the capital. Apparently, the stories in the Korans are different from what's in the 'real' Koran. I'm sure of a lot illiterate, brainwashed people know about this, but have dismissed it as being untrue/unauthentic/unIslamic. Wonder who has the manuscripts now and/or if they've been destroyed.

There's also some theories going on that despite the fact that there's 500 Jews in Yemen (which the Yemenis take great pride in because they 'respect one another' - despite the fact all of the Jews have been moved into a hotel and have around-the-clock security because a group of Shi'a called the Hoothi have threatened to kill all of them), some Muslims are actually Jews. That is to say, they practice Judaism in their homes, but nobody knows. A group of them supposedly went to the American embassy, told them this, and got passports as religious refugees or whatever refugee box you can check off for such things. They said they were forced into Islam.

I've been discussing these things with my teachers and they want to know:

a) how the fuck I know this
b) why I want to know this
c) if I actually believe Muslims were forced into a religion of peace. because they weren't!
d) if I think juggling is magic (because my teacher is convinced its the devil's work. that, and dancing)


Blogger Hiding in Asia said...

Double,double toil and trouble....

Stir that shit eric.

Ask more questions!

Demand answers!

hee hee.

I can juggle and dance.

Helen is magic!

3:37 AM  

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