Visiting Al Qaidah In Yemen

Well, I hate to be anticlimactic, but I’m afraid some might read a bit much into my title… Although, this confusion has delivered more than a few Yemenis into serious trouble when innocently responding with “Al Qaidah” when asked about their backgrounds or where they are from.

The unfortunately named Al-Qaidah is a town in central Yemen that has absolutely no connection with the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation. The town, which predates the Al Qaeda organization, derives its name from the words that mean “the base” or “the foundation” in Arabic.

A sign at the entrance to town:


I’m afraid there is not a lot else to recommend the hilly town other than the novelty of its name as it is just another of those ugly, indistinguishable modern towns that are found everywhere among the surging populations of the developing world. But, here is another slice of Yemen for you:



The sun was starting to set when we passed through, but I was advised by our driver that at other times of the day, there is not a lot going on in Al Qaidah either. So, perhaps they should play up their unusual name and make the most of it? There is a lot of potential there for a catchy advertising campaign to bring in the tourists.



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