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Yemen - Houses

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Since centuries, Yemenis have built their houses in a defensive way. Much of this can still be seen, and is actually one of the main attractions of the country. Traditional houses are built of stone or mud, and are generally high. In some areas, the ground floor has no windows to keep unwanted visitors out. The higher floors often have beautifully decorated stained windows in all colours. The first floor was traditionally used for storage, and higher floors for living. The top floor, or mafraz, is a communal room where Yemenis have social gatherings in the afternoon. While chewing qat, they discuss all matters people talk about: politics, family, the weather. The view from these rooms is often spectacular. In some cases, traditional houses have been made into hotels and you can experience the beauty of the houses first-hand.
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Houses and some of the many gardens of Sanaa
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Tall mud houses in Wadi Hadramawt
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Close-up of a Shibam skyscraper
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Shibam seen from a distance
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Sultan's Palace in Say'un
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When lit up at night the Yemeni windows show all of their beauty
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Rock palace in Wadi Dar
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View over Sanaa
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Village in the Haraz mountains