Old Town Sana’a, Yemen

No, your eyes are not deceiving you….some of these buildings are not straight. They tilt. They lean. They take the odd and spontaneous directions that often result from hand work. But they are beautiful, in part due to the handmade stained glass windows that look out from every room and make them all unique. Ochre mud-bricks and whitewashed designs evoke impressions of Saharan Africa, the American southwest, and central Asia. As dusk settles, lamps light and the Muslim call to prayer flows with the chill air of evening. The effect is haunting and unearthly.

What a shame it will not last. Civil war has come to Yemen, has destroyed neighborhoods all over the country, and who knows if the old city will survive it. And what humanity doesn’t knock down, nature will. Sana’a is near an active and violent earthquake zone, and its ancient, fragile construction has repeatedly been damaged. Someday it will succumb entirely. (Price Schedule E)

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