Before I get to the news story, my attempts at learning Arabic are coming along swimmingly. I’ve learned to recognize a word! It’s a great word. A wonderful word. It will get me far. That word is….. and. 


I do not know how to pronounce the character, but I know what it looks like – و. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!

And now, the news.

Browsing the homepage of the website, I picked the story with the pretty landscape photo (bottom middle).

Screenshot 2017-03-25 at 10.45.01 PM

mahwitIt’s a story about planting trees for the start of the spring season in Al Mahwit province.

Officials want to highlight the beauty of Mahwit (the province’s capital city) and reduce desertification by planting new trees such as fruit trees and ornamental trees.

The slogan is, “Together for an honorable homeland for all.”

All citizens are encouraged to help make the campaign successful.

This news report in Arabic is from Yemen’s newspaper Al Thawra.

These trees are important. With imports at 90%, Yemen needs food and water. This area is currently controlled by Houthi rebels.

More on Mahwit below.

Embed from Getty Images

Al Mahwit governorate is located next to Sana’a governorate in the Haraz mountains.


mahwit 2Its capital city has fortified walls and buildings made of sandstone. Villages with their terraced farms blend in with the mountain landscape.


Historically, the area was a major trade route in the Himyarite Kingdom, which traded the infamous frankincense and myrrh. The kingdom had also converted to Judaism so it is not unusual to see the Star of David on some buildings.

al tawila

The following short videos talk about Mahwit governorate. I’m not sure why this isn’t one video because they’re short and Part 2 cuts off mid-sentence, but everything is there if you watch them all together.

“Most peaks are about 2,100 meters above sea level. Its areas, which are close to Sana’a, are considered a resort for those residing in Sana’a. Mahweet has a number of tourist and archaeological sites.”

“The natural and environmental tourist ingredients and aspects are many. Its terrains make a special geographical pattern. It gives a firm foundation to ancient geological development and transformation.”

“The architecture of its houses reflects the reality of the Sheba inspiration. You’ll find before you ornamental beauty and touch of nice designs.”

In not-so-great news, back in January Al Arabiya News reported that the Houthi had recruited more than 450 children from Al Mahwit governorate to fight in the war. They were younger than 13 years old.

Meanwhile tribal sources told that Houthi militias recently opened camps to train hundreds of children in Mahwit, adding that other camps were also established in Amran. They also said these children are either told they will be given weapons or kidnapped from their parents.