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Visit Sanaa, One of the Ancient Cities of the World

 

 

Sanaa, the capital city of Yemen, is the most important tourist destination in the country. It is situated in the Yemeni Mountains and is believed to be among the oldest cities in the world, that was inhabited all the time. Many think that Sanaa was erected by Shem, one of Noah’s sons.

This place was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Here you can admire the unique style of Yemeni architecture, consisting mainly of multi-storey houses that look more like towers. The city is also home to Souk al-Milh, which is considered to be the best souk in the entire Arabia Peninsula.

Certain places in and around Sanaa are worth visiting. For instance, Wadi Dhahr is located only a short distance from the city and is a beautiful place with green fields, quaint villages and the famous Rock Palace belonging to the Imam of Yemen.

Some of the mosques you can see in the city are among the oldest religious sites of this kind. For instance, the Great Mosque of Sanaa is home to the oldest written copy of the Quran. Another important mosque is Al Saleh Mosque, situated next to the presidential palace.

Not far from the city, you can see the tallest mountain existing in the Arabian Peninsula, Jabal an-Nabi Shu’ayb. It is 3,666 meters in height and can easily be reached from the Sana'a-Al Hudaydah highway.

The lifestyle of the locals may just rub off on you. Because the country is not industrialized, the people here love to lead a slow paced life. You can set foot into a coffee shop and sip your favorite beverage while looking at the people going by.

A unique experience you can try in Yemen is a session of qat. This is a plant with narcotic properties that the males in Yemen love to chew in the afternoon. For five dollars, you can get a bag for yourself, but be aware that the side effects of chewing on these leaves include insomnia and lack of appetite.

Besides qat, there are other things in Yemen that you can only buy here. A very popular product is the curved dagger called jambiya that you will see worn by many males here. When you purchase the dagger, make sure you purchase a sheath with it. The most expensive models of sheathes have silver included in the metal base while the rest is made of leather. You also need to pay attention to the handle. While in the past, they were made of ivory or animal horn, now the best of them are made of amber or wood. If you do not want the real thing, you can always buy a brooch in the form of a jambiya. You will also find silver pouches and handcrafted belts that will certainly catch your eye.

 



 

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