Yemen, Sana’a, Old city

Restoration of the wall near Bab – El – Yemen

Most people have heard of the Old City of Sana’a, capital of Yemen. For its historical and architectural beauty, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986.

The Old City is surrounded by clay walls which stand 9 – 14 meters high. The architecture is unique, the houses are multi-storied buildings decorated with geometric patterns, friezes and stained-glass windows.

Bab – El – Yemen is the main entry point through the city walls. In the two years I lived in Sana’a, I cannot recount the number of times I passed this iconic gate.

And each time, walking through the narrow streets and lanes, I was enveloped by an overwhelming atmosphere.

Here are a few images to relate these moments and honor the inhabitants of this unique place.

Early morning the baker cooks chapatis

Salesman throwing a jacket to a crowd of men for them to try it on.

Craftsman at work on a djambia, the dagger worn around the waist by every man in Yemen.

Discussing quality and price of a bunch of khat. Men and often women chew khat leaves regularly, usually in the afternoon. The leaves have a narcotic effect and are used as a stimulant.

Worker in a woolshed

Tobacco dealer

Young shoemaker


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