Q: Is it safe to come to Yemen in the current climate?

A: With a change of president, Yemen is more stable than it was. Trouble still remains in certain areas. These areas, however, are not close to the Hadramawt region (where Tarim is situated) and throughout the recent troubles Hadramawt has hardly been affected. Habib Umar emphasises that had there been any concern for the safety of students coming to Yemen the Dowra would not take place. 


Q: I wish to attend the Dowra and then carry on studying in Tarim. What should I do?

A: You need to apply for the Dowra and also apply to study in Dar al-Mustafa or Dar al-Zahra. See here for details. The most important thing is that you enter Yemen on a study visa.

This website and the administration managing it are strictly only responsible for the Dowra. If you wish to prolong your stay, even if just for a few days, you will need to apply directly to Dar al-Mustafa or Dar al-Zahra. This includes any short stay "just for the experience", even if it doesn't involve formal studies!


Q: Can you provide separate accommodation for families and married couples?

A: Accommodation in Tarim is extremely limited. This administration and website only deal with single students residing in the Dowra houses. Please write to biatul_mustafa@hotmail.com for more information regarding families.


Q: Am I able to make my own way and my own arrangements to attend this Dowra?  

A: Some nationals may be able to obtain Visas from the Yemeni embassy in their country, but ALL students must still apply for the Dowra by emailing thedowratarim@gmail.com

If you come through your own arrangements, you will be able to attend lessons with Dowra students but other activities will be subject to confirmation once you arrive and make contact with us. Depending on numbers, and other factors, you may not be included in those activities and will need to continue with your own private arrangements for ziyaras etc.


Q: I am over 40. Would The Dowra be suitable for me? 

A: Based on past experiences, some students (especially older ones), have found the Dowra accommodation and living conditions as well as the intensity of the course to be quite challenging. For example, students sleep on thin mattresses on the floor, share rooms with up to seven or eight other students, share bathrooms and sit only on the ground. The food is also limited in variety compared to what you will be accustomed to.


Q: Can students under 18yrs of age attend? 

A: One of our conditions for acceptance is that all applicants must be over the age of 18 years and wish to attend of their own free will, i.e. not forced by their parents. 


Q: Are women are allowed to come without mahrams?   

A: If it can be avoided it is better. If you can travel with other sisters that may be attending the course from near your area or country, this is preferred. We would give you the contact details of any sisters that are traveling from your area / country, thus you can liaise with them. We hope that all students from the UK will travel as a group. If you are traveling from a different country then we will attempt to put you in touch with other people coming from the same country.      


Q: Can one bring their children and is there some kind of place to have them during the lectures?

A: Unfortunately facilities are limited and our administration does not deal with such queries. Please write to biatul_mustafa@hotmail.com for more information.


Q: Can I attend part of the course only, and will I be able to visit parts of Tarim and Yemen other than what the Dowra has organised?

A: We advise people to attend the full course to obtain full benefit. However, if you are unable to do so, then it is possible to attend part of the course. Visits within Hadramawt can be arranged. Making visits to other parts of Yemen is not recommended in the current climate.

Applicants intending to stay for the full duration of the Dowra will be given priority and if the quota is met, others will be turned down.

It is important, if you wish to receive the full spiritual benefit, that you remain for the full 40 days (or as adjusted for this year to reflect extra commitments such as Ramadan).

Once the Dowra is over, if your visa permits, you are free to plan your own individual activities. This administration cannot unfortunately help you in any way with such arrangements.


Q: I hear there are always difficulties traveling to Yemen, is this true?
A: Unfortunately we often have difficulties obtaining visas from the Yemeni authorities to suit our timing. Flights may also be cancelled unexpectedly. We ask applicants to be patient. We are hopeful that things will run smoothly this year.

We advise that as far as practicable, you bypass Sana and fly straight into Seiyun from Abu Dhabi. (Bear in mind that there is only one flight a week from Abu Dhabi to Seiyun on a Monday)


Q: Will I have easy and continued access to the internet to keep in touch with work and family?

A: The best way to keep in touch is through text messages from your phone. Local sim cards will be provided to students.

Internet is available, but the connections are sporadic and the speed can be a real issue.

It is best to come psychologically prepared to lay back, experience a different kind of life and strengthen your spiritual connections. In cases of extreme necessity, we will facilitate you having access to the internet the best we can.


Q: What is the climate like; I hear it is very hot?

A: This is correct the climate is very hot and dry, and can be unbearable at times; however we do our utmost to provide facilities to make it as comfortable as possible for all. Our experience over the 5 years reflects that most students are able to manage the climate.

Please note if you feel you may have issues relating to such climate conditions then we recommend that you take appropriate medical advice before applying.


Q: Is the Dowra really that intensive?

A: The Dowra is relatively intensive and most of the students' time is occupied with classes or revision, trips, or meetings with the scholars. The climate is also very hot and difficult to bear, which makes the course all the more difficult. Students in the past, however, have all risen to the challenge and reaped the fruits of their efforts.

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