Sanaa is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. it is the capital of the Republic of Yemen. The history of Sanaa started when founded by Shem, son of Noah. the story tells of how Shem reached Yemen after a long way from the north and found Sanaa a suitable place to settle in. Shem originally chose the western part of Sanaa but according to a popular legend, it says that the moment he began building the foundations of the city, a bird flied to himand picked up his sounding lead to the eastern part of Sanaa and dropped the lead.
Shem believed that this bird was sent from god to lead him to a better place for settlement. Sanaa is located in the middle of the Yemeni heigh. It is about 2150 high from the sea lever. it is on the west foot of Nukum Mountain. The climate in Sanaa is usually moderate in summer. and cold in winter. However, it has rainy summers, and dry winters. Sanaa is known for its sand and dust storms which results in problems and crop damages. It is also known for its limited natural fresh water which leaves the country in an in sufficient supplies of potable water. Sanaa has a population of 1. million people. Jews are the oldest non Muslim minority that has emigrated to Sanaa, however, the dominant religion is Islam. Majority of the population are Muslims. Other religions in Sanaa is Christianity (Christians) and Hinduism (Hindus). Religion in Sanaa, Yemen reflects the culture and society of Yemen. Sanaa is famous for having many man-made trades including jewelry, silver, kinds of Jambia, copper containers and agricultural tools that can be founded in the Sanaa Market. The Sanaa Market is located in the old city of Sanaa which I’m going to talk about later on in the paper.
The market contains a set of small shops open in the ground floor which overlooks narrow streets. Each shop is only few square meters. Today, the Sanaa Market is still as popular as before. Each trade or goods has a special sub-market for it that the number of the sub markets are 24. All these sub markets are joined now in one name, which is Souq Almelh or Melh Market. As the capital city of Yemen, 40% of jobs in Sana’a are in the public sector. Other primary sources of formal employment in the city are trade and industry. Each county or a city is famous in its own way of diet and food.
Yemenis eat three times a day at home. Generally, there is an early breakfast of sweet tea with bread made of sorghum, wheat, or barley. Dinner includes a porridge prepared from fenugreek with meat, eggs, vegetables, herbs, and spices, which is served hot in a stone or clay bowl, a light supper consists of vegetables or dates. Lentils and peas are traditional staples in addition to sorghum. At special occasions and celebrations, guests are served a roasted or boiled meat from goat or sheep with rice. In town and villages it is served with side dished of roasted or fried eggplants and mixed green salads.
As for desserts, they serve fruits or custard with raisins and grapes. Sanaa has more than 50 mosques, five of the fifty has domes and others with minarets. The most important mosque is the Great Mosque which was built during the life of Prophet Mohammad and ordered by him in the 8th year of Hejra. which are not less beautiful or wonderful with respect to the style of minarets, domes and artistic embellishments. Sanaa is considered one of the Islamic historical towns in Yemen because it has the Old City of Sanaa which is a wonderful place of old architecture.
The old city of Sanaa is one of the nicest cities in the Middle East and the Islamic countries. After the city got developed, they built a fence all over the city. The city had a for in it on a high area. Under this area are the markets and the great mosque of prophet Mohammad. The planning of the city is quarter-based. However, building are built to be next to each other in a close distance. Each quarter of the city has a mosque and a garden that provides its people with vegetables. The city has a big gate that serves as an entry gate. it was built about 1000 years ago and it is called (Bab Al Yemen).
Sanaa has the highest mountain in the Middle East which is the mountain of the Prophet Shueib. This mountain is 3766 meters above the sea level. The best quality of Yemeni coffee and grapes can be found there. It also has the most beautiful village in Yemen which is Al-Hajara. Sanaa city is broadened in the horizontal and vertical directions. The old architecture of Sanaa has much of ornamentations existing in a variety of forms and percentages such as fences, mosques, the masses of towers, baths, samsaras, markets, schools and mils. These forms makes Sanaa a live city that meets a person’s basic requirements.
A person or a group can form immortal architectural heritage which reminds us of the Hymiarites (Hymiarite Kingdom) led architecture. One of the building I am talking about is still there since about seven centuries. Houses in Sanaa are marked by their advanced structural style. Their construction reflect high level of welfare, attraction and beauty. The upper floors are built with bricks, and each floor is separated from the other with a well designed belt. Museums are also a part of Sanaa. It has two important and interesting museum. The National Museum, and the Military Museum.
The National Museum was built on 12 October 1987. Its rooms contain many important archeological treasures. It has more than 17 thousand diverse archeological pieces dating back to different historical ages. This begins from the age of the past history and ends in the current age. Second, the Military Museum. It is located in Tahreer Square, and it dates back to the second half of the 19th century after Christians Osmanis built it in their second rule in Yemen. It exhibits historical treasures such as primitive weapons, inscriptions, manuscripts, photographs and portraits.
The latter are related to the military history that is why they call it the Military Museum. Cultural institution in Sanaa takes a role also. Sanaa has five different universities consisting of a large number of different facilities. It has the most important university in Yemen The Sanaa University which was established in 1970 as the first and the primary university in the Yemen Republic. Other universities that are located in Sanaa between the private and government universities is the University of Science and Technology, Al-Eman University, Saba University which was named after Queen Saba, and Queen Arwa University.
The most important monument in Sanaa is Dar Al-Hajar or the Rock House which located a few kilometers from Sanaa. Any tourist that wouldn’t visit has missed it because not seeing Dar Al Hajar is not seeing Sanaa. Most of the visitors forgets visiting this fantastic artistic place. The typical Yemeni architecture is what really makes the building so special and appealing. The palace was built as a summer residence by Imam Yahya in the 1930’s. As for the political life in Sanaa it is just like the country.
Yemen have entitled a presidential republic and a multiparty parliamentary democracy. The parliament consists of the House of Deputies and an appointed Upper Chamber, or Senate. A president is elected for a five year term and the current president of Yemen Republic is General Ali Abdullah Saleh. He have been ruling the country ever since he won his last campaign in 1999 and that is 12 years of presidency. The Yemeni constitution guarantees the political rights of its women, however, gender inequality is generally widespread in Yemen.
In conclusion, Sanaa City is the historical and capital City of the Republic of Yemen. It is one of the most wonderful historical cities in the world and the middle east . Its important because the whole city has a one of a kind architecture that serves as being a live museum to other countries and tourists.