In this Book

Where the Paved Road Ends
summary
In 2004, Carolyn Han left her comfortable life and position as a lecturer in English at Hawaii Community College and went to live in one of the most remote and mysterious places in the Middle East—Yemen, known in the West primarily for providing a haven for terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda. The previous year, she had sold her gold jewelry to travel with Bedouin by camel from Marib to Shabwa, and the life-changing experience opened the path for her to become the first American English instructor in Yemen’s wild tribal area, Marib.

Guided by fateful encounters and unfazed by warnings of danger, Han allowed her life to unfold as it might, with a sense of acceptance informed by the idea that whatever happens is meant to happen. Learning and understanding would come later. In this book, Han paints a vivid portrait of Yemeni customs, including their enjoyment of the stimulant qat and their proclivity for carrying AK-47s wherever they go, and she conveys what it was like to be a woman alone surrounded by a culture not her own. As the old saying goes, the teacher became the student, and through these pages Han allows readers a rare glimpse into a Bedouin culture that most will never encounter.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Author’s Note
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Part I
  2. pp. 1-1
  1. 1. The Journey
  2. pp. 2-3
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  1. 2. Places Find Us
  2. pp. 4-8
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  1. 3. Embracing Adventure
  2. pp. 9-11
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  1. 4. Travel Awakens
  2. pp. 12-14
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  1. Part Ii
  2. pp. 15-15
  1. 5. Camel Shadows
  2. pp. 16-21
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  1. 6. Crossing the Ramlat as-Sab’atayn
  2. pp. 22-29
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  1. 7. Into the Hadramawt
  2. pp. 30-35
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  1. 8. Walking the Desert
  2. pp. 36-40
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 41-41
  1. 9. An Unmarked Path
  2. pp. 42-45
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  1. 10. Journey to Marib
  2. pp. 46-51
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  1. 11. Landing Head First
  2. pp. 52-56
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  1. Part IV
  2. pp. 57-57
  1. 12. Awaking in Marib
  2. pp. 58-61
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  1. 13. Following Mohammed
  2. pp. 62-63
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  1. 14. No One Walks in Marib
  2. pp. 64-66
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  1. 15. Ancient Marib
  2. pp. 67-70
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  1. 16. Beginning to Disapp ear
  2. pp. 71-73
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  1. 17. Sunflower the Cat
  2. pp. 74-78
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  1. 18. Foule, Bread, and Tea
  2. pp. 79-81
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  1. 19. Black Goat-hair Tent
  2. pp. 82-87
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  1. 20. Confronting Conspiracy
  2. pp. 88-92
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  1. Part V
  2. pp. 93-93
  1. 21. Queen of Sheba’s Temple
  2. pp. 94-99
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  1. 22. Ali’s Invitation
  2. pp. 100-108
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  1. 23. Eating Arsenic
  2. pp. 109-114
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  1. 24. The Looking Glass
  2. pp. 115-120
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  1. 25. Words of Condolence
  2. pp. 121-123
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  1. 26. Choosing the Veil
  2. pp. 124-126
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  1. 27. A Bedouin Tale
  2. pp. 127-130
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  1. 28. Disappearing in Marib
  2. pp. 131-135
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  1. 29. My Teachers
  2. pp. 136-139
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  1. 30. Rafallah’s Tent
  2. pp. 140-142
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  1. 31. Broken Images
  2. pp. 143-146
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  1. Part VI
  2. pp. 147-147
  1. 32. Sana’a
  2. pp. 148-155
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  1. 33. Living Traditions
  2. pp. 156-162
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  1. 34. Marib by Taxi
  2. pp. 163-166
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  1. 35. Bedouin, Russians, andThe New Yorker
  2. pp. 167-173
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  1. 36. English-Arabic Dictionary
  2. pp. 174-178
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  1. 37. A Restaurant Guide to Marib
  2. pp. 179-182
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  1. 38. Blown by Desert Winds
  2. pp. 183-188
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  1. 39. Princess Shoes ina Fish Restaurant
  2. pp. 189-195
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  1. 40. Classics and Camouflaged Cars
  2. pp. 196-198
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  1. 41. Isolated Lives
  2. pp. 199-202
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  1. 42. Women over Sixty
  2. pp. 203-206
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  1. 43. Superstitions
  2. pp. 207-210
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  1. 44. Without Words
  2. pp. 211-214
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  1. 45. Spells Cast
  2. pp. 215-220
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  1. 46. Pre-Islamic Glass Beads
  2. pp. 221-226
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  1. Part VII
  2. pp. 227-227
  1. 47. Christmas
  2. pp. 228-236
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  1. 48. Wine and Cheese
  2. pp. 237-243
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  1. 49. Diplomas
  2. pp. 244-249
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  1. 50. Celebrations
  2. pp. 250-256
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  1. 51. Tarim
  2. pp. 257-260
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  1. 52. Mud Mansions
  2. pp. 261-266
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  1. 53. The Last Supper
  2. pp. 267-270
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  1. 54. Packing Zhara
  2. pp. 271-272
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  1. 55. Graduation Lunch
  2. pp. 273-278
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  1. 56. Gifts of the Desert
  2. pp. 279-280
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 281-282
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 283-284
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