Yemen’s lovers have shocked the nation’s religious authorities by defying a fatwa on celebrating St Valentine’s Day. On Thursday, Yemeni citizens took to the streets of Sanaa wearing red to celebrate their love. Red coloured clothing filled universities, markets, institutions and even schools.
Valentine’s Day is a commercial opportunity as much as it is a festival of love. Yemeni shop owners sold record amounts of clothes, gifts, and flowers in the run up to the celebration. Owner of a gift shop Mohammed el-Ragab expressed his surprise of the turnout that their shops witnessed on Thursday: “So many young people wanted gifts and flowers. My sales have been increasing all week. Valentines day was a great opportunities for the small business owners of Yemen.”
Director of Marketing of one of Sanaa’s hotels, Amr el-Bassam, said that a large number of rooms have been reserved by newlyweds to celebrate the Valentines Day in style despite the current political and economic situation. He said: “It’s a relief to have something to look forward to like Valentines day.”