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Sana'a

I never thought I would ever come across a city more beautiful than Hanoi, but this week I did. Sana'a is beyond description. These pictures can't possibly do it justice. And the people are the most amazig people I've come across. They were unbelievably friendly -- even when I told them I was American. One guy reacted badly, making some rather repulsive hand gestures, and storming out of the little coffee house I had my morning brew in, but he was back in a minute or two and I think he was apologizing, but I don't know because he was speaking in Arabic. Everyone, and I mean everyone, else was unbelievably nice. People would walk up to me and say "Where are you from?" I'd tell them and they'd give me thumbs up people all over the world give me when I tell them I'm an American, and they'd say "You are welcome to Sana'a."

But of course, the main attraction is the old city, and it is stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Shops in midafternoon
Shops in midafternoon
This street, which convienently also serves as a river bed, runs through the old city
This street, which convienently also serves as a river bed, runs through the old city
Workmen replastering the windows
Workmen replastering the windows
Wall-walking Yemenis
Wall-walking Yemenis
Old city at night
Old city at night
They were shooting a film while I was there. A British/Lebanese production
They were shooting a film while I was there. A British/Lebanese production
Looks like a newer house
Looks like a newer house
Farm yard outside of mosque
Farm yard outside of mosque
Same farmyard
Same farmyard
Kids in a door
Kids in a door
Qat time
Qat time
Beetle
Beetle
No idea, but I could guess the Arabic says There is no god but god and Mohammed is his prophet.
No idea, but I could guess the Arabic says "There is no god but god and Mohammed is his prophet."
The president. His pic is everywhere.
The president. His pic is everywhere.
I was swarmed by kids one day
I was swarmed by kids one day
This is about a quarter of them.
This is about a quarter of them.
Yellow
Yellow
The women are covered, but these movies play at the cinema
The women are covered, but these movies play at the cinema
Where I drank my coffee every day. Note the women in black balancing bread on their heads
Where I drank my coffee every day. Note the women in black balancing bread on their heads
Pink
Pink
???
???
Rainy day by the Bab al Yemen
Rainy day by the Bab al Yemen
The big mosque on the Wadi street
The big mosque on the Wadi street
Out my hotel window, sneaking pics of women
Out my hotel window, sneaking pics of women
Children shout at you from the windows: sura sura Arabic for picture picture.
Children shout at you from the windows: "sura sura" Arabic for "picture picture."
Big mosque outside the old city
Big mosque outside the old city
The National Cinema
The National Cinema
The film is called A New Day for Old Sana'a
The film is called "A New Day for Old Sana'a"
From the roof of my second hotel
From the roof of my second hotel
I can't help sneaking pics of women
I can't help sneaking pics of women
Abby: Felix didn't die: he moved to Sana'a and opened a hotel!
Abby: Felix didn't die: he moved to Sana'a and opened a hotel!
Palatial
Palatial
A little color
A little color
The dopiest tourist shot in the history of dopey tourist shots
The dopiest tourist shot in the history of dopey tourist shots
Small child in alleyway
Small child in alleyway
Drying rugs and hung bulbs
Drying rugs and hung bulbs
Goats (and women)
Goats (and women)
More kids yelling sura sura
More kids yelling "sura sura"
The school uniform is this vaguely military green
The school uniform is this vaguely military green
I asked them to pull out their daggers and menace me, which they thought hilarious
I asked them to pull out their daggers and menace me, which they thought hilarious
Roundabout statuary
Roundabout statuary
Cemetary
Cemetary
Just outside the wall of the old city. Soon, it'll be redone with brand new cinder block. C'est la vie
Just outside the wall of the old city. Soon, it'll be redone with brand new cinder block. C'est la vie
Tree, color
Tree, color
Sura sura!
Sura sura!
The wadi street at night.
The wadi street at night.
Souq at night
Souq at night
Spice souq at night
Spice souq at night
Mosque at night
Mosque at night
Me and the guys having a glass o' joe
Me and the guys having a glass o' joe
Outside the Bab al-Yemen, men selling garments
Outside the Bab al-Yemen, men selling garments
u41%2fspoonbender%2fsmall%2f27079040.P1010255.jpg Camel turning a grain grinder
Camel turning a grain grinder
Quran dealer, outside the old city's biggest mosque: no infidels allowed
Quran dealer, outside the old city's biggest mosque: no infidels allowed
random souq shot
random souq shot
This woman had added yellow to her outfit, and it struck me so much I snuck a shot of her
This woman had added yellow to her outfit, and it struck me so much I snuck a shot of her
Another random souq shot
Another random souq shot
The one with the scarf was quite keen to be photographed. The one in red less so
The one with the scarf was quite keen to be photographed. The one in red less so
Abdellah, a shop owner by my hotel. One of the nicest men I've ever met. the bag in his lap is full of qat
Abdellah, a shop owner by my hotel. One of the nicest men I've ever met. the bag in his lap is full of qat
I was quite taken with my artsy eye, for catching this early morning shot, with the palm tree shadow
I was quite taken with my artsy eye, for catching this early morning shot, with the palm tree shadow
Tobacco seller, across from the curb i sat on every morning drinking coffee. That's a woman coming towards him
Tobacco seller, across from the curb i sat on every morning drinking coffee. That's a woman coming towards him
The indescribable beauty of old Sana'a
The indescribable beauty of old Sana'a
Cafe
Cafe
Dealer in abayas
Dealer in abayas
The women covered in the colorful ones are ethnic Yemenis; the ones in black are immigrants
The women covered in the colorful ones are ethnic Yemenis; the ones in black are immigrants
Garbage collector
Garbage collector
The Bab al Yemen (the gate of yemen)
The Bab al Yemen (the gate of yemen)
New Sana'a
New Sana'a
Street life
Street life