SANA’A: Land of housing [Archives:2005/898/Last Page]

November 28 2005


Sana'a lies in the mid of the western mountainous chain which stretches from the far north of Yemen to the south. It is surrounded by a number of governorates: Amran to the north, Dhamar to the south, Al-Jawf and Marib to the east, AL-Hodeidah to the west and on the northwestern direction are the two governorates of Hajjah and Mahweet.

The Relief of Sana'a varies between basins,and Wadis (valleys) involving green amphitheatric mountainous terraces and fertile lands. Within its mountain chain, it is the highest mountain summit of Arabia. Sana'a is famous for producing all kind of grains, the best quality of grapes, and Yemeni coffee. Most of its population are engaged in agriculture and cattle rising.

Sana'a governorate is distinguished by its daily and weakly public markets that are held in many cities and areas. There is some thing that might be interesting in these old markets besides the interesting of sale and buying and the written agreements that had been done between the tribes called (Marakeem). These agreements deem as a control system which organize every thing to held these markets in its right time.

There are some historical and archeological sites in Sana'a province that have a wide fame.

– Ghaiman:

Ghaiman is an archeological village on the southwest direction of the capital, and is situated some twenty kilometers of a distance. Its name was mentioned in many ancient Yemeni inscriptions. While its ruins that are still visible witness the civilized standard that villages had achieved before Islam. Some tombs of ancient Yemeni kings can be seen there such as the tomb of the famous Hamearat King Abo-Kareeb Assad.

In addition, there are old and huge-sized water reservoirs being constructed through engraving the mountainous rocks, thereby taking part of the internal size-structures of these mountains found in the region. In the past time, rain waters were kept by these reservoirs, and away from the heat of sunrays so as not to be evaporated.

– Dhi Marmar Fort :

It lies 27 km to the northeast of Sana'a, in Shibam Sakheem, which is known nowadays as Shibam Gharas . Along with Shibam, this castle was among the important commercial centers that controlled the “traffic” of commercial caravans.

Some of the discoveries in this area resulted in the presence of ancient mummies that were found inside rocky-built burials.

The results of such discoveries stated that ancient people of Yemen practiced the art of mummification, which had been undertaken in procedures different than the one practiced by the ancient pharaohs of Egypt.

– Al-Hajara Village:

Al-Hajara is one village of Haraiz zone; few kilometers to the west of Manakha. It is not far from the historical Masar fort, which forms the first line of defense for the village from the west side.

This fort is the very same fort where Ali Mohammed Al-Sulayhi emerged as the founder of the Sulayhide Dynasty (1047-1138 AD.). The Ottomans stationed their guns here to protect the delivery of military supplies between Sana'a and the Red Sea.

The clear-cut features of AL-Hajara village that its high-rise stone houses are some eight stories high and some were estimated hundreds of years old, overlooking very steep valleys with beautiful terraces.

– Kuhlan:

It is an archaeological area; lying to the northwest of Sana'a, and is 2400 kilometers high above sea level. Its history goes back to pre-Islamic times.

– Bilad Al -Rous (Turkish bath centers):

As a naturally splendid resort, it's situated in Al-Hazz Wadi to the southern direction of the capital.

– Arhab:

It is a famous area in Sana'a governorate, is situated 20 kilometers to the northeast direction of Sana'a. AL-Heifha is the center of the Arhab while Dayban and Baet-Maran Mountains, which are approximately 2600 meters high, consider as famous mountains in that region.

Arhab is considered as one of the greatest tribes in Yemen which had a great history in the Pre-Islamic age or even in the Islamic age. The zone is very rich with its archeological sites that some of it had mentioned in some engraves such as ancient Mader city, Hazm village, Matarha fort, and Beat-Obedha.