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What You Should Know / January 2, 2010

yemen2 -- Yemen has always been a dangerous place. Wonderfully beautiful, the mountainous north of the country is guerrilla paradise. The Yemenis are exceptionally hospitable, though this has its limits. For instance, the Kazam tribe east of Aden are generous to passing strangers, but deem the laws of hospitality to lapse when the stranger leaves their tribal territory, at which time he becomes "a good back to shoot at".The Awaleq and Kazam tribes are not exotic survivals on the margins of Yemeni society but are both politically important and influential. The strength of the central government in the capital, Sanaa, is limited and it generally avoids direct confrontations with tribal confederations, tribes, clans and powerful families. Almost everybody has a gun, usually at least an AK-47 assault rifle, but tribesmen often own heavier armament.

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  • 1. King Stahlman  |  January 2nd, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Yemen, Shmeman. Write some original copy.

    Try this lead from 2007 –

    “NEW YORK, June 3 — In the heart of the Queens neighborhood known as Little Guyana, Mohamed Sattaur stood Sunday over his plate of deep-fried cassava, wearing an expression of disbelief. Like many of his neighbors, Sattaur, 46, a Muslim from Guyana, was stunned by the news that men from his country and faith had allegedly plotted to bomb fuel tanks and pipelines at John F. Kennedy International Airport. . . .”

    JFK and the Cassava Cabal! There should be enough in that for 4-6 exclusives, maybe even a congressional commission spinoff starring John Ritter, Pee Wee Herman, Michel Marceau, and Jesse Jane. Trace the dots from Big Guyana to Little Guyana. Twitter the updates.

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