Exactly five years ago, in a coffee shop in downtown Washington D.C., the idea of this project was conceived by two Yemeni friends, Sama'a and Lamiss.
They were weary of the way Yemen was and continues to be depicted in the media as a dangerous place, with images of destruction, famine, and death. The friends felt compelled to showcase a side that genuinely reflects the resilient and generous spirit of the Yemeni people. In their encounters with Americans who visited or lived in Yemen, many had numerous fond memories of its culture, food, traditions, and community.
The friends were inspired by pre-internet modes of communication; the travel postcard, to be specific. They decided to call the project "Postcards from Arabia Felix," an anthology of American experiences in Yemen. The compiled narratives in this collection reflect the personal experiences of the authors, and not the editors. It is written in two main formats: some share a single story or memory while others are comprised of several short anecdotes.
The commonality in all the stories proves that we, Americans and Yemenis alike, are much more similar than we think.
This project would not be possible without our esteemed contributors who volunteered their stories out of their deep affection for the country and the people they met there. Special thanks to Ms. Hanan Yazid, Ms. Audrey Bolus, Mr. Mac Skelton and Ms. Hajer Qasem for their hard work and creativity. This project is not funded and not for profit. Everyone who worked on this project volunteered their time, and many of those involved approached it as a passion project.