Electricity Outages

If you live in the states, you probably experience very little power outages.

Here in Sana’a, it can be a different story, but it really depends on where you live. In some areas the power goes off daily, sometimes twice or more. In some areas, it hardly ever goes off. So, when looking for a place, you may want to ask what the electricity is like.

It’s really just one of those things that you get used to over time.

In one area that I lived in, the electricity went off like clockwork—always after Maghrib. So you could basically adjust your schedule accordingly.–Get stuff done before Maghrib. And even then, it seemed like for months it would go off daily and then after that it was kind of sporadic. And then, it usually remained off for like about 1 – 1 1/2 hours so you could just about tell when it was about to come on and you could get on with your regular activities. A few times (masha Allah, only a few) the power went off for like 21-24 hours (yes, I was counting).

The main problem with the long outages is that you need electricity to run the water pumps. If your top of the roof tank was not full when the power went off for one of these long stints, well, you would be waterless (except what you stored). That’s one of the other benefits of cooking with gas tanks is that when the power goes off, you can still cook.

Just like storing water for water outages, its pretty simple to take measures to help you deal with power outages:

1. You can buy heavy duty flashlights that plug in and recharge. (These are the kind with the handles). I have one that has both an incandescent type bulb and a fluorescent bulb. It can go for months between charges and it gives off pretty good light, masha Allah.

2. You can buy a fluorescent light to mount. Same principle as the flashlight, it charges up but is like a regular fluorescent light that you might have anyway in the house and so of course provides the regular amount of light.

3. Buy a generator. They have small ones to great big ones. These run on gas and can be used when the power goes off. We had a small one when we were in Damaaj.

As I said, some areas experience less power outages then others and eventually you get used to it. One word of caution, if you have a computer, you will definitely want to have a converter (if you have a computer from the states, you will need one anyway), but I have one even though the computer was purchased here. The converter helps regulate the voltage, which really fluctuates here and I have heard of several smaller internet cafes having their computers fried because of this fluctuation.

You can buy a decent converter for about $50, maybe less.

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2 Responses

  1. Asalamualaikum sister,
    I have the intention to Hijra to Cairo….As I was reading some of your information of your experiences in Yemmen, I found out that you lived in Egypt before. Could you tell me why or what made you prefer Yemmen…. for Hijra….
    Jazakallah.

  2. wa alaykum us salaam,

    I can’t say that I necessarily prefer Yemen to Egypt for hijrah as it is much harder to stay in Yemen than in Egypt. In fact, in terms of ease (from our own experience) I would say that for hijrah, Egypt would be easier, and Allah knows best.

    I do prefer living in Yemen because the environment feels more Islamic than in Egypt. I would say about 99% of the sisters here in Yemen wear black AND niqaab as I do, so it feels really comfortable here. The men are mixed, some wear thawbs and some wear more westernized clothes. In Egypt, most of the sisters were wearing scarves with pants or very colorful hijabs.

    I didn’t get out much in Egypt, but from what little I get out, it seems like in Yemen, that the boundaries of male/female interaction are not crossed as much (don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its perfect). But I notice that some men will not hand me change in my hand (so as not to touch me), or that men will make a point to not walk near a woman (but again, this is not everyone).

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