14 September, 2014

Socotra, the Lost Paradise -- in Pencil

The Indian Ocean has the most enchanting islands of all: Zanzibar, the Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, Maldives -- and the other larger ones like the very spectacular and wonderful Indonesian and the Philippine islands. But there is one island (an archipelago, to be precise) that is completely unique and different to all these other islands. That is: Socotra. Peaceful, exotic, beautiful, unvisited, enchanting -- remote Soqotra. The Island's animal and plant life are found nowhere else; it has some of the most pristine and most spotless beaches; its landscapes are so spectacular and so dramatic that a first time visitor can easily imagine on being on another planet; to add to all these wonders, the Island's people have a unique, ancient local language that has no written script. Socotra is a lost paradise, with almost no tourists on it.

12 September, 2014

Amazing Old Sanaa and Bab El Yemen

Ba El Yemen Old Sanaa
Sanaa: one of the oldest, continuously inhabited cities of the world; at about 2,300 meters above sea level, it's also one of the highest capital cities in the world. Sanaa is where Old Sanaa and Bab el Yemen are. Amazing. Wonderful. Fascinating. Fantastic. Are all words, and many more such superlatives, that can be used to describe Old Sanaa and Bab El Yemen . Of all places in Sanaa, Old Sana'a and Bab al Yaman are the most mesmerizing and most enchanting. It must have taken very organized planning, and total discipline to have built such a magically beautiful city. It must have also required very ingenious, gifted and very skilled craftsmen and builders to have created it. Yemenis still are very skilled and excellent builders; but now, Yemen doesn't have that old organized, focused planning; and, very sadly, it doesn't have discipline any more. It lost these long ago.

05 September, 2014

Marquese 'Nonstop' Scott: The Sensation Few People Know Of

My sons, like most young men, like and dance to hiphop music - while I have always taken very little interest in them and found them sort of crude. For me, music - whether Arabic or African or Indian or Western - is best, if it's old and preferably, classic. About a year ago, as I was going through some YouTube songs, by coincidence I bumped on this dance video; I knew the song (The Quick and the Dead) but I didn't know any thing about the two young men dancing. I was very impressed at the way the two danced; it was like ballet but with a twist. Of the two dancing, it was the taller man with the checkered shirt who I found most remarkable. Later, with the help of my sons, I learnt that he was a kind of hiphop dancer; that his style of dancing was called 'dubstep'; that he was called: Marquese Scott and also known as Nonstop.