Socotran tenacity is amazing, reporter says [Archives:2006/1008/Culture]

December 18 2006

Mose'd Sowaileh
For the Yemen Times

An Italian delegation recently completed a photographic report on Socotra, spending a week preparing it. Sandra Maglani of Italy's Mediaset TV Channel 4 and photographer Andria Bonina prepared a photographic report about Socotra, focusing on Italian and Yemeni cooperation and projects financed by the Italian government.

Financed by both the Italian government, and Yemen's Red Crescent Association, the Save and Develop Socotra project aimed to support the island's fishermen with boat engines. Maglani was impressed with the progress of the project as they observed it.

In a statement to the Yemen Times, she said their report also involved two French-financed projects, including training more than 100 beekeepers in modern methods of handling bees and supporting beekeepers with all necessary means. The second project concerns planting vegetables for individual use.

They further interviewed a mosque imam, who spoke about the Islamic religion in which the island inhabitants believe and explained its magnanimity.

Though Socotrans live in dire circumstances, they aren't ready to depart their island at any cost, which was the most attractive element to Maglani and Bonina.

Maglani described her surprise as follows, “I'm attracted not only by the natural scenery, but also by the citizens' tenacity toward their island.” She also marveled at the harmony and balance in which islanders live with their environment, never burning green plants or cutting them to kindle fires.

However, Maglani stated that their visit's timing was somewhat unsuitable due to the seasonal monsoon rains that limited their movements on the island.