I woke up this morning to hear of an unfortunate incident in Sana’a, Yemen where three mortar rounds exploded near the US Embassy in the capital. No US diplomats were injured but apparently there were some injuries at a girls school located nearby and to some Yemeni officials. This is just 6 weeks after two Belgian tourists and two Yemenis were killed outside the capital by unknown gunmen. Yemen has had a recent history of violence toward Westerners and their interests going back to the USS Cole bombing in 2000. This is very sad to me because I feel that Yemen is such a wonderful country and I hate to see these things happen in the Middle east or anywhere. It gives people the wrong idea about the people of these countries and how nice they are as opposed to the few crazy radicals. It’s really too bad.
The worst part of it is that there appears to be no solution. Be it in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria or wherever…incidents like this just seem to keep happening and it really tarnishes the image of the region and of all the good people of these countries. Extremism is clearly a big problem and understandably it stops people from visiting the region. In fact on my recent Middle East trip, I arrived in Beirut the same day that seven people were killed in the streets of Beirut. That was welcoming news and got my trip started off nicely. However, as my trepidation went away, I realized the region is vast and the people are great.
Again, understandably most people will not visit the region out of fear and I get that, but it is just sad to me that a few bad apples really tarnish a region that is rich in history and culture. Hopefully, one day this stupid and senseless violence will stop and then the region can wake up and realize what they’ve lost over the past few decades of violence and sad incidents.