frequently asked questions
Please Read the FAQs and About sections before submitting any queries, and/or your application
- Is it safe to come to Yemen in the current climate?
A. There is some political instability in the region and trouble exists 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. In fact Dar al-Mustafa receives hundreds of students and visitors every year and the number is increasing.
- I wish to attend the Dowra and then carry on studying in Tarim. What should I do?
A. You need to apply directly to study in Dar al-Mustafa or Dar al-Zahra. See here for details. You will not be able to attend the Dowra and the continue with full-time study, as official classes commence and clash with the Dowra timetable. You need to either attend the Dowra only, or enrol into studies directly with Dar al-Mustafa or Dar al-Zahra.
- Can you provide separate accommodation for families and married couples?
A. The Dowra Admin team will cater for couples and families in private accommodation. Please ensure you highlight this within the application form, and see here for more details regarding associated costs.
- Am I able to make my own way and my own arrangements to attend this Dowra?
A. You are able to make your own way and your own arrangements to attend the Dowra, but all students must still apply for the Dowra. Please note the Dowra Admin team endeavour to arrange group travel wherever possible - particularly for sisters. More information will be made available once applicants have been accepted.
- 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 ten or twelve 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. Notwithstanding this, over 40's have attended in the past and thoroughly enjoyed their experience.
- Can students under 18 years of age attend?
A. All applicants must be over the age of 18 years and wish to attend of their own free will, i.e. not coerced.
- Can one bring their children and is there some kind of place to have them during the lectures?
A. Parents are welcome to bring their children. Unfortunately, there will not be childcare facilities available. Families are requested to make their own arrangements with regards to childcare during lectures.
- Can I attend part of the course only, and will I be able to travel back to my country or visit parts of Tarim and Yemen other than what the Dowra has organised?
A. Students wishing to receive the full spiritual benefit should remain for the full 40 days program. If you are unable to do so, then it is possible to attend part of the course and then travel back to your country, or (if your visa permits) you are free to plan your own individual activities. Please note that visits and travel to other parts of Yemen is not permitted due to the current climate.
- 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.
- Will I have easy and continued access to the internet to keep in touch with work and family?
A. Internet is available, but the connections can be sporadic and slow at times. The best way to keep in touch is through text messages from your phone. It is best to come psychologically prepared to lay back, experience a different kind of life and strengthen your spiritual connections. In cases of necessity, we will facilitate you having access to the internet the best we can.
- What is the climate like; I hear it is very hot?
A. The climate is very hot and dry; however we do our utmost to provide facilities to make things as comfortable as possible for all. Our experience over the 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.
- Is the Dowra really that intensive?
A. The Dowra is relatively intensive and most of the students' time is occupied with classes or revision, 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.