In another age, the engagement between Mubarak al-Balooshi and his cousin would have been arranged by their family, with little input on the decision from him or her.
O' Brien said that only 24% of the $2.1 billion needed for humanitarian aid in the country had so far been pledged, and he urged the international community to take immediate action to avert catastrophe."Crisis not coming, it is not looming," he said.
"It is here today — on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price."Yemen has been mired in conflict for the past two years with as many as 8,000 people, mostly civilians, killed in clashes between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces backed by neighboring Saudi Arabia.
As he tells his story, he is sitting with friends on a seaside road in Muscat nicknamed Sharia Al Hub – Arabic for Love Street.
The café-lined promenade is a popular place for dates, increasingly common in Oman as the Persian Gulf sultanate adjusts to four decades of oil-fuelled development. Marrying for love was rare just 20 years ago in Oman, a peaceful nation of four million that borders Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
It has a total area of 527,970 sq km or 203,850 sq miles and a desert climate.
The climate is hot and humid along the coast, temperate in the western mountains, and extremely hot and dry in the eastern desert. As with many other Middle Eastern countries, Yemen experiences sand and wind storms in the summer.
While the sun sets over the Indian ocean, young men call out honeyed words to female passers-by.“I got to know the charisma of her personality,” he says of his cousin, whom he did not know personally because she lives in the United Arab Emirates. Arranged matches were for a long time the norm, with minimal contact between a couple before their wedding. Oil wealth, globalisation and widespread higher education have transformed the country since Sultan Qaboos bin Said seized power from his father in 1970 and opened Oman to the world.“It’s a new generation,” says Rahma al-Mahrooqi, director of the humanities research centre at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat.
“People are becoming more open-minded,” says Ammar Ali, 26, an Omani who met his wife Sarah (half-Omani, half-Scottish) through a mutual friend.
Aden is an urban environment with stratifications of cultural influences firstly from a colonial period - the British held Aden as a colony for 129 years (1839-1967), secondly, from centuries old immigration involving the coast of East Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia with trade links and both immigration and emigration, and thirdly, from the surrounding countryside and the former North Yemen, when whole families moved to Aden and kept up their social networks in the line of the countryside tribal society.
) borders the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden between Oman and Saudi Arabia.
After the collapse of the classical theory of modernisation and the introduction of the concept 'global modernity' in social sciences,  is the dubious question of how to study non-Western complex societies so far solved ?