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The Tears of Sheba: Tales of Survival and Intrigue in Arabia

The Tears of Sheba: Tales of Survival and Intrigue in Arabia

Khadija al-Salami, Charles Hoots

ISBN: 978-0-470-86725-9

Jan 2004

398 pages

Select type: Hardcover


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Loyalty, honour, murder, Bedouin, family feuds and survival in a setting reminiscent of the Arabian Nights

Yemen in the 1960s was a society where loyalty, blood ties and honour meant everything, yet murder, forced marriages, family feuds and public beheadings were common. The Tears of Sheba is the inspiring story of Khadija Al-Salami, whose personal struggle for survival shows a deep-rooted love for her country and its people.

Khadija tells of a childhood devastated by the impact of civil war, in a culture that allowed her to be married at the age of ten to an older man she had never met. Determined to escape the poverty, death and destruction that permeated her life, and with extraordinary tenacity, Khadija asked the local radio station to let her broadcast a programme for children, later using the money she earned to travel to the United States and forge a new life for herself. The Tears of Sheba is a magnificent tour-de-force, passionately told, spellbinding and uplifting - a tale of indomitable spirit and human triumph.

KHADIJA AL-SALAMI spent her childhood in Yemen. Using the money she earned as a child for her radio broadcasts she travelled to the United States to study. She graduated from Mount Vernon College in Washington and returned to Yemen to join the Yemeni TV station. She subsequently joined the Yemeni Embassy in Paris, where she is currently Press and Cultural Attache and Director of the Yemeni Information Centre in Paris.



Cast of characters.


1. Incense and insurrection.

2. Earliest memories.

3. The promised land.

4. The warrior’s life.

5. Perpetual passage.

6. The Murzahs.

7. Custody battle.

8. Growing up.

9. An unexpected visitor.

10. Scars.

11. Revolt.

12. Career woman.

13. Blossoming.

14. Unlikely rebel.

15. France.

16. The kingmakers.

17. Tying the knot ^ halfway.

18. Mayhem.

19. Spiral to war.

20. Like father like sons.

21. Showdown.






“…Tears of Sheba hopefully will give some curious readers a deeper glimpse of both the positive and negative aspects [Yemen]…” (The Journal (Northumberland), 18 December 2003)

“… a deeply engaging portrayal of what the changes that have rockedYemen in the past 40 years mean…” (Yemen Observer, 17 January 2004)

“This book will put all your worries in perspective.” (Be Unlimited, May 04)