Sat, Mar 10, 2007 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting ─ Yemen 世界走透透:葉門

Left: The walled mud-brick city of Shibam in Yemen's southeastern Hadramout Valley.
葉門東南方哈卓毛谷的泥磚古城希巴姆。

PHOTO: AFP

Referred to by the Romans as Arabia Felix, or Happy Arabia, Yemen is a diver's paradise and home to fascinating tribes, lush fields and well preserved ancient architecture. Yemen is attracting ever increasing numbers of visitors. Read on to discover more about this Arabian wonderland.

曾被羅馬人稱為「肥沃的阿拉比亞」和「阿拉伯樂土」的葉門,是潛水者的天堂,有迷人的部落、青蔥的土地和保存良好的古代建築,吸引愈來愈多的遊客前往。往下讀,深入了解這塊阿拉伯仙境。

A closer look 說古論今

Visitors to Yemen have increased by over 100 percent from 2003 to 2006. They are drawn by the unspoilt coral, a host of small islands and still evident tribal traditions.

There are three UNESCO world heritage sites listed in Yemen; the capital Sana'a, Zabid and Shibam. Shibam's five to seven story mud-brick buildings dating back to the sixteenth century have earned it the nickname of the Manhattan of the desert. The mud "skyscrapers" are contained by a fortified wall and number 500 buildings in less than half a square kilometer.

Zabid is home to the Al-Azhar University where the mathematical discipline Al Jabar — the basis for modern day Algebra — was formed. Although not listed by UNESCO, Marib, located to the east of Sana'a, was the capital of ancient Sheba, and draws visitors both for its outstanding architecture and for being the reputed home of the Queen of Sheba. Tarim, an ancient town in Eastern Yemen, has 365 mosques — one for each day of the year.

Yemen's landscape is a mixture of mostly desert landscape, breathtaking mountains, mud villages and stone houses, and vast green fields of Khat. Khat is a stimulant and local favorite. Its green leaves are chewed by local men in the afternoon giving the chewer a mild euphoric feeling.

A typical meal in Yemen is salta, a broth made of meat and vegetables served in a stone bowl with flat bread. Grilled fresh fish, hummus and ful (a blend of beans, uncooked vegetables and oil) are also very popular. (catherine Thomas, staff writer)

葉門的觀光客自二○○三年到二○○六年成長超過一倍,不受污染的珊瑚礁、許多小型島嶼和至今仍盛行的部落傳統吸引他們的主因。

葉門有三個聯合國教科文組織所認定的世界遺產地︰首都沙那、宰比德和希巴姆。希巴姆市內五至七層樓高的十六世紀土磚建築為她贏得「沙漠曼哈頓」的美名。這些土磚建造的「摩天大樓」外有垛牆,而且在不到零點五平方公里的土地上就有五百棟建物。

宰比德市內的愛資哈爾大學是數學「Al Jabar」的搖籃(「Al Jabar」是現代代數學基礎)。位於沙那東方的馬里卜雖未被聯合國教科文組織列為世界遺產地

,但是這個希巴古國的首都建築奇特,傳說是希巴女王的故鄉,因此吸引不少遊客。位於葉門東部的古城塔里木有三百六十五間清真寺,一年三百六十五天,每天一間。

葉門的地貌多半是沙漠,雜夾著令人屏息的山脈、泥土建築的村莊、石屋和大片的阿拉伯茶園。阿拉伯茶是一種深受當地人喜愛的興奮劑,當地人會在午後藉著嚼它的綠葉得到一種淡淡的幸福感。

「Salta」是葉門傳統料理,是一種以肉類和蔬菜熬

製而成的清湯,盛裝於石碗中,搭配煎餅食用。烤鮮魚、豆泥醬和「Ful」(一種以豆類、生菜和油混和而成的食物)也很受歡迎。(翻譯:鄭湘儀)

Who Knew?

Socotra Island is situated 500km off the coast of the Yemen mainland in the Indian Ocean. Its isolation has created separate flora and fauna from the mainland, including the Dragon Blood Tree, so named because it leaks a bright red sap, said to be the blood of dragons.

The island is 3,600km2 and the population speaks Soqotri, which is entirely separate from and not generally understood by the mainland Yemenis. The island has pristine reefs, and so far 800 different species of coral have been identified off the coast.

Yemen has named the area as a national park and is promoting eco-tourism. In recent years the island has become more accessible with the advent of flights to Socotra. Visitors enjoy activities such as camping on beaches, tracking up dry river beds and hiking in the Haghier mountains, as well as snorkeling and diving.

索科特拉島位於印度洋上,離葉門本土五百公里處,它孤立隔絕的地理位置孕育出有別於大陸的動植物,包括會流出鮮紅樹汁的龍血樹,這種樹汁據稱是龍血。

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