Voltage Converters/Regulators

A visitor had requested to know a little more about the voltage regulator I spoke of (in a post on the electricity here in Yemen).  I suggested getting one if you will have American  electrical products (computers, etc) for the purpose of being able to use them here (110) (as 220 is used here), but also for the purpose of protecting your products from surges/jumps in the electricity which could fry your electrical products.


Here is a picture of one.


(Voltage Transformer/Converter)

This one doesn’t have a meter/needle on it. Ours has a meter so that you can see the power that’s coming in (you can see if its dipped below 220, which is  helpful because then you know that maybe you shouldn’t turn on quite so much stuff at that time.


Also, make sure that it says 110 on it (if you will be using American products) because some are only for 220. We purchased one that stays on for 15 minutes after the power turns off if its been charged up for around $60.


Update: after a little more searching, I found  one that show a meter:svc1000_s

(Voltage Regulator)

If you are electronically challenged (like me) , here’s a FAQ page about them:




What is the difference between a voltage converter and a voltage regulator?


A voltage regulator functions as a voltage converter as well as a voltage stabilizer.
A voltage stabilizer will stabilize the electricity to fixed current.
This unit is usually used in countries where the voltage currency is not stable.
The voltage regulator will stabilize a voltage fluctuation between 75v-130v to 110v (+- 4%).
The voltage regulator will stabilize a voltage fluctuation between 180v-260v to 220v (+- 4%).

 Source: http://www.voltageconverters.com/faq.htm



Instead of just a transformer/converter (to be able to use 110V products), you will probably want to get a voltage regulator  (to convert as well as stabilize) for Yemen because the voltage currency is NOT stable here.


Cultural Differences: Children

One thing that I have noticed in the middle East is that children here seem to be, for the most part, fearless.

When we were in Egypt, I remember looking across the field from our house to a building across from us and there was a little girl, no more than 2 or 3, sitting between the balcony railings side straddled, on the fourth or fifth floor.

You see children here as young as 2 or 3 walking down the street by themselves.  I remember one time     seeing a cute little couple, perhaps a little boy and his sister, (he looked about three and she looked about 2 or  younger) walking down the street together, he having his arm around her. It was cute, yet scary as this was a pretty busy street.

This is a picture of a girl on the third story (US stories)  in our neighborhood. Its not uncommon to see the children walking from one window to the next on this little piece. ………………..


Tanks a lot!

It was time to get our tank replaced (we have two so we still have gas if the tank runs out). This time it was easy to get a tank, my 11 year old caught a “tank guy” (they walk around with the tanks on a wheelbarrow and hit the tank on the side with a wrench so you know they are around).

Anyway, we were very fortunate, masha Allah, to get a near new tank….quite a commodity when you take a look at the photo below and see how beat up they get (on the left) which is what you usually get.

So I was very “tankful” for getting this “beauty”……..


Price of ……. Milk in Yemen

I’m starting a new feature of the prices and descriptions of a variety of things in Yemen…….(well, there’s  another spot on the blog that mentions some, but this will provide a little more detail) and I hope to provide all types of items, not just food………………………. 


Milk typically comes in sizes of 1L, but I’ve seen it in packages the size of juice boxes in bottles up to 1.5 L.



 Most milk comes in “tetra pak” rectangular prism shaped cartons, although I have seen it before in an opaque plastic bottle (Beyti brand).

Fresh vs. From Powdered

Be sure to read the labels. A lot of the cheaper milk is made from milk powder and to me, it doesn’t taste as good as that made from fresh milk (but my kids like it) and I don’t think its as healthy. Al Mari’ee and Safa are some brands made from fresh milk, whereas brands such as Yemaani and Hanaa are made from powdered milk.

Fat Content

 You can buy whole milk, low fat, and skimmed milk here.

Low fat may be referred to as “qaleel ul dusm,”  whole milk as “kaamil ul dusm”

Many containers will have English written on one side and the other.


Major Brands

 The major brands that I have seen include: al Mari’ee, Safa, Juhayna, Hanaa, Yemaani, Beyti. Price Fresh milk brands like Al Mari’ee and Safa, run about 250-280 per liter. The cheaper brands are around 200-220 per liter. (currently ~200 riyals = $1.00) 3.78 L = 1 Gallon (US) and 4.5 L = 1Gallon (UK)

Dry Milk is also very popular here. You can buy it in canisters or small foil bags. Some brands are Nido and Anchor, but there are many brands sold here. I think its used more here than in the states.

Cargo/Shipping – YemPac

I’ve never dealt with them, just passing the information on in case you need  goods, including household, shipped:

from the site:

  • Totally free estimation of Personal & Households Goods.
  • Packing all types of Goods & Merchandise.
  • Forwarding goods by Air, Sea 7 Land.
  • Representing the most reliable & efficient Airlines, Shipping lines , operating from/to the Rep.Of Yemen.
  • Preparing all necessary documentation needed & related to the different kinds of goods.
  • Domestic & International trucking & transportation.
  • Storage & warehousing for short or long periods.
  • Customs clearance & documentation in all Yemen gateways & same Internationally.
  • Door to door services in Yemen or any other part in the globe.
  • Insurance of all types of goods.
  •  http://www.yempac.com/new1/cargo.html

    Buying Hijaab in Yemen

    Alhamdulillah, being in a Muslim country, its easy to find appropriate hijaab (though sadly I have been told that it is actually more difficult in some Muslim countries then you might think to find “appropriate hijaab.”

    So, let’s just say that its super easy in Yemen, alhamdulillah.

    So, I thought I’d give a little basic information about purchasing it here…..

    Where to Find Islamic Women’s Clothing

     You can find hijaab in small hijaab shops around town, you can find them at stores like Shumailah Hari or the mega clothing store City .  Sharia Hail (Hail Street) also known as Sharia An Nisa (women) should tell you that you can find loads of hijaab there.

    In Shumailah Hari, there are little shops upstairs that I think are not owned by Shumaila Hari, but rather leased out.  I think there are 1 or 2 shops and although you can find some basic black, you will also find hijaab that’s a little more out there (black, but with stripes or PINK, or  cheetah skinned prints…no, really). They have the overgarment, gloves, the hijaab/khimaar, wraparound scarves, niqaab, etc. So don’t let the exotic prints fool you, you can find something decent stuff there, too.

    At City Max, again, upstairs there’s a large section of hijaab. Again, the overgarment, not sure about gloves, but there are niqaab, the khimaar that fits over the head, wrap around scarves, etc.

    And then the smaller stores as I mentioned that exclusively sell hijaab.  Shouldn’t take you long to find any one of these, insha Allah.


    If don’t want to haggle (or have to) I would suggest going somewhere like City Max or Shumailah Hari.  Though I think you could probably haggle at Shumailah Hari since these stores are not owned by Shumailah Hari. 

    What are prices like? Well, for basic (not top of the line), here is a sampling of what you might find. Of course, going to the smaller stores, you can haggle. (I actually did today and saved a buck or two, its not really as hard as you might thing to haggle generally).

    So, you can may be able to find lower prices, but just to give you an idea:

    Niqaab ~ 800 riyals (4 bucks)

    Khimaar (pulls over the head)  (1200 riyals ~ 6 bucks)

    Overgarment (women’s) ~ 3000 riyals (15 bucks)

    Gloves (really cheapy ones)  150-200 riyals (2 bucks)

    So you can get a decent whole ensemble (what’s listed above) for under 30 bucks. And again, you can probably get stuff cheaper, and again, this is not top of the line.


    On a related note, I came across a few very informative treatises on the hijaab/women:

    Advice to the Muslim Woman (PDF) from www.al-ibaanah.com written by Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan  (a really good read!)

    The Obligation of Veiling (PDF from Al Ibaanah) written by Shaikh Zayd bin Muhammad Al-Madkhalee

    And I’ve got links to articles about the hijaab (virtues, conditions) over at TJ’s Raising Muslim Daughters Site:

    Hijaab: Conditions of

    What conditions apply to hijaab? What should it be? What shouldn’t it be? Find out here.


    Hijaab: Virtues of

    Help your daughter understand why she should wear hijaab and teach her to be proud of wearing it.


    Hijaab: Young Girls

    Rulings on hijaab and young girls

    Grocery Finds….3/5/09

    City Mart has a sale on the 1L size of Al Safi milk. Its 190 riyals now, usually 280 riyals……….


    On the way into City Mart, masha Allah, at the entrance they have a sign for the duaa when entering the marketplace………………………thought that was cool, masha Allah.