Grocery Shopping in Yemen: Better to get there Before the Goat Milk Runs Out

first published on December 5, 2017 by

Gunfight and street brawl erupt in a bazaar in Yemen. Guess it’s better to go grocery shopping before the goat’s milk and lentils runs out…

Imagine yourself waiting on line at the grocery store. You’ve got your goats milk, goat cheese, goat yogurt, and of course, your goat meat. You suddenly realize you forgot the damn lentils (it’s always something isn’t it?), so you decide to head back into the aromatic open-air bazaar.

Much to your chagrin, a well-armed and hostile militia arriving in several technical’s has decided its shopping day as well; and they love their goat meat and lentils just as much as you. “Insha’Allah” you mutter to yourself, hoping to get the lentils and get out before the next suicide bomber cooks off.

But this is Sana’a, Yemen and getting groceries often requires some combat training and a little luck. Apparently, the militia and shop keepers couldn’t negotiate a price on their goat related products, prompting an armed confrontation.

Gunfire erupts in the crowded bazaar, but the grainy cell phone video makes it difficult to establish what’s really going on. This commotion oddly seems a minor inconvenience to many of the shoppers, who eventually clear off the narrow street.

What’s strange about this video isn’t that there’s an armed confrontation between factions on the streets of Yemen. Is anyone really shocked by that anymore? What’s weird, is that it deescalates from gunfire, to beating each other with sticks. A rare occurrence, in the war-ravaged country. On this stick beating front, the shop owners have the upper hand. Successfully chasing the militia out of the market and back to their trucks.


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