02 July, 2006

Khor Al Mukalla

Khor Al Mukalla, is now the central point in Mukalla; the water-way, created just early last year, has become the main attraction and focal point. For me, it is a special gift: I do most of my brisk walking now, in the evenings, along the water-way. Sometimes, with my kids. In the evenings, especially after sun-set, it is cooler and quieter; and excellent for brisk walking and working a sweat. Along the Khor too, are nice restaurants and places for resting and relaxing; excellent for families. As violent crime is very rare and almost non existent in Mukalla, one can enjoy the place even after mid-night; it is the safest city I can think of. And best of all: children are treated very kindly and women are treated with much respect and care. Years back, I didn't know I would come to love Mukalla and enjoy it as much as I do now; apart from Mukalla, the only other city, I feel as much at ease and at home in, is - Nairobi. Yes, Nairobi; which is in complete contrast to Mukalla!

With the creation of the 'Khor', several other places - just as relaxing and attractive - have been built around Mukalla. My other favorite place is around the Khalf area, South-East of Mukalla proper: Khalf is where I mostly take my family for outings; where too, we can easily watch dolphins and enjoy the sea and where too I go for swimming with my kids. Sometimes, we are rewarded with very spectacular and acrobatic shows by the dolphins. Khalf too, has very clear, blue waters; bluer and clearer than that on the renowned Diani Beach on the Kenyan coast.
Mukalla is still a very strange place and difficult to describe - a mixture of the very old and the very modern: all the women in the streets, are dressed in black and burqas, and most of the men in 'sarongs'; fashion is not of much concern or importance along the streets. Some parts are still biblical in appearance, especially the Old Town; goats and sheep, still wander the streets; and many cats. Plastic garbage bags are strewn almost every where; buildings, are haphazardly put up - some half finished, which makes some parts of Mukalla look like a war zone. And yet, the latest SUV models cruise the jammed streets; and, to me, it seems almost every one has a mobile cell-phone and almost every house has a satellite dish. Internet cafes, and modern shops and restaurants - are springing up almost every where around Mukalla. On the whole, Mukalla - with it's stunning surrounding scenery, very blue, clear waters - could turn out to be to one of the most beautiful cities - with time and care. One can only understand and appreciate Mukalla, by seeing it and being in it.

Al Mukalla On Google Earth

More on Al'Mukalla: From This Blog, Technorati Links