Notes on the Geography of Yemen: Village
Not even 10 miles northeast of Sana'a--just before the checkpoint that puts an abrupt end to casual wandering--there's a side valley with water and people.
We've climbed a hill overlooking the valley. Water pipes run hither and yon.
We've looking down on... well, what? A black square rimmed by a low wall, an entrance, and an opposing bump. It's not a construction site. Ideas?
Do thse graves help?
The perfect mosque, though hard on the knees. The mihrab or prayer niche points north to Mecca. The austerity doesn't leave a lot of room for creeping polytheism.
How green was this place before modern pumping? Good question. No ready answer. Slaves might have drawn water from shallow wells.
Qat, the local equivalent of caffeine-loaded chewing gum.
An abandoned fortress, although a couple of men sit in its shade.
So many questions, so few answers, but this is the entrance to the same fortress.
Construction techniques include the true arch.
Looking up at the underside of an interior staircase.
Don't be shy.
The view from the top.
Your guide and host.
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