So in an attempt to "connect" I tried to focus on the similiarities we share rather than the obvious differences. The following is a list of 10 similarities that I found between Yemen and France. It's not supposed to be taken seriously, so please excuse the generalizations I made.
Pride in national products: both are obsessed with their national products, always discussing them in every occasion they get. The French with their wine and cheese. Yemenis with the Qat & coffee.
Importance of la famille: family is important to both, but the definition of family in Yemen extends to a larger group of people. My relatives from the seventh grandfather are considered my "cousins".
Spending hours doing "nothing": both French and Yemenis enjoy spending hours talking, talking and talking. Yemenis chew and talk, the French go to cafes and do the same. This cultural habit proves useful in enjoying life and creating strong friendships and social exchanges.
Amazing architecture: while the architectural style is completely different, both have absolutely stunning historic buildings.
|Architecture of old Sana'a, Yemen|
Political correctness, what's that? both Yemenis and French are very expressive about their opinions, not feeling the need to sugar coat anything or to try to be politically correct. When you look shocked at what was said, the response is often: "what? we are just being honest!".
The love for kissing: Yemenis kiss on the cheek to say hello and goodbye, women kiss women, and men kiss men. The French on the other hand kiss everyone and all the time.
English music everywhere: early 90's American songs are heard blasting in various shops in both countries.
|Dinner is ready (photo taken in Lille, France)|
Importance of food: the food industry is very important to both countries. Lunch for Yemenis and dinner for the French is very important. Yemenis however, spend a LOONG time cooking, and then eat the food in just 15 - 30 minutes. French food often takes a shorter time to prepare, but eating takes between two to three hours. People in both countries get extremely disappointed when you say you are "full" and can not eat anymore.
We can always find similarities anywhere we go, because despite the differences we have, we all share humanity in common. At the same time, we should appreciate the differences because they make the world an exciting place to live. Without them, the world will be such a boring place.