Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu,
Masha’Allah it’s so good to see that a lot of people are trying to get to Dammaaj. I have been to Dammaaj and maybe able to answer some of your questions. I also have some contacts and willing to give u their numbers if they agree. Masha’Allah, I loved it there. I came back at the end of 2005 but still have friends and family there who keep me updated.
When I was there, there was no hot water/boiler! We had to heat up our water, but everything else is fine. You can get a generator and have your electricity for the washing machine. Also, my friend who recently went has hot water Mash’Allah and it’s improving by the day masha’Allah. It’s all about the money to be honest; you can make your home how you want if you have the money. You can also get internet there and phone line.
I bought a house for $5000 and it was just a mud house. To put in water pipes, kitchen, 1 English toilet and 1 Yemeni, tiles and concrete my house it only took $2000. I met lovely sisters from the UK and I also met one of Sheikh Muqbil’s students, Shahida. Mash’Allah, she taught me in English for the first few months but I eventually got used to the Arabic lessons because I made friends with Umm Salamah’s (Sh. Muqbil’s wife) sisters. They loved English sisters and made me feel welcome. There are plenty of English sisters there, so you don’t need to know Arabic to go learn; they can teach you.
There are no shops for sisters. Everything has to be bought by your mahram.You cannot go out on your own after Maghrib unless you are with your mahram. You have to wear the full veil. Yes, you have to cover your eyes and it’s real hot there. It took me ages to get used to it and I was 3 months pregnant then.
We got our visas from London saying we were visiting family. We got an address from one of my hubbies friends because the police at the San’a airport ask, ‘Where are you staying ?’, you shouldn’t say you’re going to Dammaaj say you’re visiting because most of them hate Dammaaj!
We got a hotel close to the masjid where the bus to Dammaaj leaves from in Shumayla. A lot of people go to Masjid Sharqain the bus also goes there but its 1st stop is at shumalah ad its good to get ur space 1st ad ur stuff on 2st b4 they refuse. The journey is a long and hot, it’s a 6 hour-long bumpy ride and the driver may be stopped, but its routine.
My advice to is make sure you have a house before you go and that you have contacts, preferably people waiting at the airport. Alhamdulillah, I had my uncle from Dammaaj and three other men there, so they let us go thinking we were visiting them.
If you really want to go, then don’t let pregnancy put you off. If I can have a child there, then everyone can. Even though I had to travel to Sa’dah, alhamdulillah I had contacts there too, because I didn’t give birth for another two days and at that time there was a curfew in Dammaaj (no cars leaving after Maghrib and not before Fajr) but that was over a long time ago.
I’m gonna tell you the truth: it took me a good few months to get used to Dammaaj, but I love it and would advice anyone who has the chance to go and study. When you get all your lessons sorted out, you’ll be too busy to notice what is missing and what you need.
The most beautiful thing I loved was Eid. The whole of Dammaaj went to a field and prayed on the sand behind the men and then Sheikh Yahya gave us a beautiful sermon. It’s worth leaving all your worldly possessions.
I came back due to an illness, which I had when I was in the UK (not from Dammaaj, so don’t panic). A lot of people I know are back in the UK and its hard to get back to Yemen financially.
Insha’Allah, I’m hoping in a years time, that I would have finished my course and gone for good couple of years. Then, if I run out money, we can get a job in San’aa instead of coming back to the UK.
The housing has a fixed price but I would advise that you get a house in the maktabah. That’s the area of the masjid (nice and local) You don’t need to leave your house for lectures, you can hear it all on the microphone. There are 3 lessons over the microphone with Sh. Yahya.
May Allah make it easy for u all. AMEEN and please keep me in your dua’s. I’m desperate to get back.
P.S I forgot, expect a few creepy crawlies.
If you need any questions answered I’d be happy to help, Insha’Allah if I’m able