YEMEN & THE WAR THE WORLD IGNORES

The terrible war over who rules Yemen drags on to its third year. Yemen was always one of those off-the-beaten-track places, totally untouched by tourism. When I first visited the country in the early eighties, there was no national newspaper, only one international hotel and not even a McDonald’s. The old city of  Sana’a containing some 6,000 tower houses—many more than a thousand years old — was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986. Since the outbreak of war in 2015, this jewel of the Arab world has been subject to ruthless bombing by the Saudi-led coalition. In fact not just Sana’a, but most of Yemen’s precious heritage has been largely destroyed. And an estimated 10,000 civilians, many innocent children, have been killed. I took the following pictures during peaceful times in 1981. Even then it was a difficult country to get around.

THE OLD CITY OF SANA’A IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
A CLUSTER OF TOWER HOUSES IN THE MOUNTAIN TOWN OF AL-HAJJARAH
A DONKEY-DRAWN PLOUGH ON A SMALL FARM ON THE CENTRAL PLATEAU
CONJOINED HOUSES IN HUTH ENABLE WOMEN TO VISIT NEIGHBOURS WITHOUT BEING SEEN IN PUBLIC.
HOUSES ON THE ROAD NORTH TO SAADAH SEEM TO GROW OUT OF THE GROUND
HOUSE IN AL-MANSAF MADE ENTIRELY OF MUD. WOULD MELT AWAY SHOULD IT RAIN
A SMALL OASIS IN THE OTHERWISE ARID WADI JAWF, ANCIENT TRADE ROUTE FOR FRANKINCENSE CARAVANS
SCENERY ON THE WINDING ROAD DOWN FROM THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS TO THE COASTAL PLAIN
PICKING OKRA ON THE RED SEA COASTAL PLAIN KNOWN AS THE TIHAMA
SCENE IN THE OLD COFFEE PORT OF MOCHA
FISHERMEN IN THE RED SEA PORT OF HODEIDAH
TAIZ, THE OLD RASULID CAPITAL, IN THE YEMENI HIGHLANDS
A MARKET STALL IN TAIZ, THIRD LARGEST CITY AFTER SAN’A AND ADEN
WOMEN TRADERS SELLING HANDWOVEN BASKETWARE IN A MOUNTAIN TOWN
PASSING THE TIME IN A SEAFRONT CAFE IN HODEIDAH

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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One Response to YEMEN & THE WAR THE WORLD IGNORES

  1. Paul Gapper says:

    Great pictures from a time long gone, thank you x

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