Sanaʽa

Sanaʽa (Arabic: صَنْعَاء‎, Ṣanʿāʾ [sˤɑnʕaːʔ], Yemeni Arabic: [ˈsˤɑnʕɑ]), also spelled Sanaa or Sana, is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sanaʽa Governorate. The city is not part of the Governorate, but forms the separate administrative district of "Amanat Al-Asemah". Under the Yemeni constitution, Sanaʽa is the capital of the country,[1] although the seat of the internationally recognised government moved to Aden in the aftermath of the September 21 Revolution. Aden was declared as the temporary capital by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015.[2]

Sanaʽa is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. At an elevation of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft),[3] it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world, and is next to the Sarawat Mountains of Jabal An-Nabi Shu'ayb and Jabal Tiyal, considered to be the highest mountains in the country and amongst the highest in the region. Sanaʽa has a population of approximately 3,937,500 (2012), making it Yemen's largest city.

The Old City of Sanaʽa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive architectural character, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns. In the conflict that raged in 2015, bombs hit UNESCO sites in the old city.[4][5] Located here is the Al Saleh Mosque, the largest in the city.

Sanaʽa

صَنْعَاء
Sanaa HDR (16482367935)
Sana'a (15118422415)
Sana'a, Yemen (14667934933)
Bab Al Yemen in Sana'a
The entrance of National Museum in Sana'a
Clockwise from top:
Sanaʽa skyline, the Old City, National Museum of Yemen, Bab al-Yaman, Al Saleh Mosque
Sanaʽa is located in Yemen
Sanaʽa
Sanaʽa
Sanaʽa is located in Asia
Sanaʽa
Sanaʽa
Coordinates: 15°20′54″N 44°12′23″E / 15.34833°N 44.20639°ECoordinates: 15°20′54″N 44°12′23″E / 15.34833°N 44.20639°E
CountryYemen
Administrative divisionAmanat Al Asimah
Occupation Houthis (Ansar Allah)
Government
 • TypeLocal
Area
 • City126 km2 (49 sq mi)
Elevation
2,250 m (7,380 ft)
Population
(2012)
 • City3,937,451
 • Metro
4,167,961
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
Official nameOld City of Sanaʽa
TypeCultural
Criteriaiv, v, vi
Designated1986
Reference no.385
State PartyYemen
RegionArab States

History

Ancient period

Sanaʽa is one of the oldest populated places in the world. According to popular legend, it was founded at the base of Jabal Nuqum[3] by Shem, the son of Noah,[6][7][8] after the latter's death. It was known as "Azal" in ancient times, which has been connected to Uzal, a son of Qahtan, a great-grandson of Shem, in the biblical accounts of Genesis.[9] Its name is related to the Sabaic word for "well-fortified",[10] a name that echoes the meaning of the Ethiopian name—recorded in a Syriac account as Auzalites—the city held in the 6th century.[9] Qahtan is considered to be the ancestor of "true Arabs".[3]

The Arab historian al-Hamdani wrote that Sanaʽa was walled by the Sabaeans under their ruler Sha'r Awtar, who also arguably built the Ghumdan Palace in the city. Because of its location, Sanaʽa has served as an urban center for the surrounding tribes of the region, and as a nucleus of regional trade in southern Arabia. It was positioned at the crossroad of two major ancient trade routes linking Ma'rib in the east to the Red Sea in the west.[8]

When King Yousef Athar (or Dhu Nuwas), the last of the Himyarite kings, was in power, Sanaʽa was also the capital of the Ethiopian viceroys.

Islamic era

SanaaQuoranDoubleVersions
The Sanaʽa manuscript, found in Sanaʽa in 1972, is one of the oldest Quranic manuscripts in existence

From the era of Muhammad (ca. 622 CE) until the founding of independent sub-states in many parts of the Yemen Islamic Caliphate, Sanaʽa persisted as the governing seat. The Caliph's deputy ran the affairs of one of Yemen's three Makhalifs: Mikhlaf Sanaʽa, Mikhlaf al-Janad and Mikhlaf Hadhramaut. The city of Sanaʽa regularly regained an important status and all Yemenite States competed to control it.

Imam Al-Shafi'i, the 8th-century Islamic jurist and founder of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence, visited Sanaʽa several times. He praised the city, writing La budda min Ṣanʻāʼ, or "Sanaʽa must be seen." In the 9th–10th centuries, the Yemeni geographer al-Hamdani took note of the city's cleanliness, saying "The least dwelling there has a well or two, a garden and long cesspits separate from each other, empty of ordure, without smell or evil odors, because of the hard concrete (adobe and cob, probably) and fine pastureland and clean places to walk." Later in the 10th-century, the Persian geographer Ibn Rustah wrote of Sanaʽa "It is the city of Yemen — there cannot be found ... a city greater, more populous or more prosperous, of nobler origin or with more delicious food than it."

In 1062 Sanaʽa was taken over by the Sulayhid dynasty led by Ali al-Sulayhi and his wife, the popular Queen Asma. He made the city capital of his relatively small kingdom, which also included the Haraz Mountains. The Sulayhids were aligned with the Ismaili Muslim-leaning Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, rather than the Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate which most of Arabia followed. Al-Sulayhi ruled for about 20 years but he was assassinated by his principal local rivals, the Zabid-based Najahids. Following his death, al-Sulayhi's daughter, Arwa al-Sulayhi, inherited the throne. She withdrew from Sanaʽa, transferring the Sulayhid capital to Jibla, where she ruled much of Yemen from 1067 to 1138. As a result of the Sulayhid departure, the Hamdanid dynasty took control of Sanaʽa.[11]

In 1173 Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, sent his brother Turan-Shah on an expedition to conquer Yemen. The Ayyubids gained control of Sanaʽa in 1175 and united the various Yemeni tribal states, except for the northern mountains controlled by the Zaydi imams, into one entity.[11] The Ayyubids switched the country's official religious allegiance to the Sunni Muslim Abbasids. During the reign of the Ayyubid emir Tughtekin ibn Ayyub, the city underwent significant improvements. These included the incorporation of the garden lands on the western bank of the Sa'ilah, known as Bustan al-Sultan, where the Ayyubids built one of their palaces.[12] Despite Sanaʽa's strategic position, the Ayyubids chose Ta'izz as their capital while Aden was their principal income-producing city.

While the Rasulids controlled most of Yemen, followed by their successors the Tahirids, Sanaʽa largely remained in the political orbit of the Zaydi imams from 1323 to 1454 and outside the former two dynasties' rule.[13] The Mamelukes arrived in Yemen in 1517.

Ottoman era

The Ottoman Empire entered Yemen in 1538 when Suleiman the Magnificent was Sultan.[14] Under the military leadership of Özdemir Pasha, the Ottomans conquered Sanaʽa in 1547.[13] With Ottoman approval, European captains based in the Yemeni port towns of Aden and Mocha frequented Sanaʽa to maintain special privileges and capitulations for their trade. In 1602 the local Zaydi imams led by Imam al-Mu'ayyad reasserted their control over the area,[14] and forced out Ottoman troops in 1629. Although the Ottomans fled during al-Mu'ayyad's reign, his predecessor al-Mansur al-Qasim had already vastly weakened the Ottoman army in Sanaʽa and Yemen.[13] Consequently, European traders were stripped of their previous privileges.[14]

The Zaydi imams maintained their rule over Sanaʽa until the mid 19th-century, when the Ottomans relaunched their campaign to control the region. In 1835, Ottoman troops arrived on the Yemeni coast under the guise of Muhammad Ali of Egypt's troops.[14] They did not capture Sanaʽa until 1872, when their troops led by Ahmed Muhtar Pasha entered the city.[13] The Ottoman Empire instituted the Tanzimat reforms throughout the lands they governed.

In Sanaʽa, city planning was initiated for the first time, new roads were built, and schools and hospitals were established. The reforms were rushed by the Ottomans in order to solidify their control of Sanaʽa to compete with an expanding Egypt, British influence in Aden and imperial Italian and French influence along the coast of Somalia, particularly in the towns of Djibouti and Berbera. The modernization reforms in Sanaʽa were still very limited, however.[15]

North Yemen period

Dar al hajar edit
Dar al-Hajar, the residence of Imam Yahya in the Wādī Ẓahr (وادى ظهر) near Sanaʽa

In 1904, as Ottoman influence was waning in Yemen, Imam Yahya of the Zaydi imams took power in Sanaʽa. In a bid to secure North Yemen's independence, Yahya embarked on a policy of isolationism, avoiding international and Arab world politics, cracking down on embryonic liberal movements, not contributing to the development of infrastructure in Sanaʽa and elsewhere and closing down the Ottoman girls' school. As a consequence of Yahya's measures, Sanaʽa increasingly became a center of anti-government organization and intellectual revolt.[15]

In the 1930s, several organizations opposing or demanding reform of the Zaydi imamate sprung up in the city, particularly Fatat al-Fulayhi, a group of various Yemeni Muslim scholars based in Sanaʽa's Fulayhi Madrasa, and Hait al-Nidal ("Committee of the Struggle.") By 1936 most of the leaders of these movements were imprisoned. In 1941 another group based in the city, the Shabab al-Amr bil-Maruf wal-Nahian al-Munkar, called for a nahda ("renaissance") in the country as well as the establishment of a parliament with Islam being the instrument of Yemeni revival. Yahya largely repressed the Shabab and most of its leaders were executed following his son, Imam Ahmad's inheritance of power in 1948.[15] That year, Sanaʽa was replaced with Ta'izz as capital following Ahmad's new residence there. Most government offices followed suit. A few years later, most of the city's Jewish population emigrated to Israel.[16]

Ahmad began a process of gradual economic and political liberalization, but by 1961 Sanaʽa was witnessing major demonstrations and riots demanding quicker reform and change. Pro-republican officers in the North Yemeni military sympathetic of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt's government and pan-Arabist policies staged a coup overthrowing the Imamate government in September 1962, a week after Ahmad's death.[15] Sanaʽa's role as capital was restored afterward. [16] Neighboring Saudi Arabia opposed this development and actively supported North Yemen's rural tribes, pitting large parts of the country against the urban and largely pro-republican inhabitants of Sanaʽa.[15] The North Yemen Civil War resulted in the destruction of some parts of the city's ancient heritage and continued until 1968 when a deal between the republicans and the royalists was reached,[16] establishing a presidential system. Instability in Sanaʽa continued due to continuing coups and political assassinations until the situation in the country stabilized in the late 1970s.[15]

British writer Jonathan Raban visited in the 1970s and described the city as fortress-like, its architecture and layout resembling a labyrinth", further noting "It was like stepping out into the middle of a vast pop-up picturebook. Away from the street, the whole city turned into a maze of another kind, a dense, jumbled alphabet of signs and symbols."

Contemporary era

Attabari Elementary School is situated in the middle of the Old City of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage site
Attabari Elementary School, Old City of Sanaʽa

Following the unification of Yemen, Sanaʽa was designated capital of the new Republic of Yemen. It houses the presidential palace, the parliament, the supreme court and the country's government ministries. The largest source of employment is provided by the governmental civil service. Due to massive rural immigration, Sanaʽa has grown far outside its Old City, but this has placed a huge strain on the city's underdeveloped infrastructure and municipal services, particularly water.[15]

Sanaʽa was chosen as the 2004 Arab Cultural Capital by the Arab League. In 2008, the Al Saleh Mosque was completed. It holds over 40,000 worshipers.

In 2011, Sanaʽa, as the Yemeni capital, was the center of the Yemeni Revolution in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted. Between May and November, the city was a battleground, in what became known as the 2011 Battle of Sanaʽa.

On 21 May 2012, Sanaʽa was attacked by a suicide bomber, resulting in the deaths of 120 soldiers.

On 23 January 2013, a drone strike near Al-Masna'ah village killed two civilians, according to a report[17] issued by Radhya Al-Mutawakel and Abdulrasheed Al-Faqih and Open Societies Foundations.

On 21 September 2014, during the Houthi insurgency, the Houthis seized control of Sanaʽa.

On 12 June 2015, Saudi-led airstrikes targeting Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen destroyed historic houses in the center of the capital. A UNESCO World Heritage site was severely damaged.[18]

On 8 October 2016, Saudi-led airstrikes targeted a hall in Sanaʽa where a funeral was taking place. At least 140 people were killed and about 600 were wounded. After initially denying it was behind the attack, the Coalition's Joint Incidents Assessment Team admitted that it had bombed the hall but claimed that this attack had been a mistake caused by bad information.[19]

On May 2017, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross an outbreak of cholera killed 115 people and left 8,500 ill.[20] In late 2017, another Battle of Sanaʽa broke out between the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Saleh, who was killed.

Geography and climate

جبل نقم - panoramio
Jabal Nuqm (Arabic: جَبَل نُقْم‎) or Jabal Nuqum (Arabic: جَبَل نُقُم‎) of the Yemeni Sarawat in the area of Sana'a. Local legend has it that after the death of Noah, his son Shem built the city at the base of this mountain.[21]

Districts

Generally, Sanaʽa is divided into two parts: the Old City District ("al-Qadeemah") and the new city ("al-Jadid.") The former is much smaller and retains the city's ancient heritage and mercantile way-of-living while the latter is an urban sprawl with many suburbs and modern buildings. The newer parts of the city were largely developed in the 1960s and onward when Sanaʽa was chosen as the republican capital.[16]

The following are the list of districts in the city:

Bab Al Yemen Sanaa Yemen
The 1,000-year-old Bab Al-Yemen (Gate of The Yemen) at the centre of the old town

Climate

Sanaʽa features the very rare mild version of a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh).[22] Sanaʽa sees on average 265 mm (10.43 in) of precipitation per year. However, due to its high elevation, temperatures are much more moderate than many other cities on the Arabian Peninsula; average temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year in Sanaʽa, with its coldest month being January and its warmest month July. Even considering this, as a result of its lower latitude and higher elevation, UV radiation from the sun is much stronger than in the hotter climates farther north on the Arab peninsula.

The city seldom experiences extreme heat or cold. However, some areas around the city can see temperatures fall to around −9 °C (16 °F) or −7 °C (19 °F) during winter. Frost usually occurs in the early winter mornings, and there is a slight wind chill in the city at elevated areas that causes the cold mornings to be bitter, including low humidity. The sun warms the city to the high 15–20 °C (59–68 °F) and low 21–26 °C (70–79 °F) during the noontime but it drops drastically as night falls in.

The city experiences many microclimates from district to district because of its location in the Sanaʽa basin and uneven elevations throughout the city. Summers are warm and can cool rapidly at night, especially after rainfall. Sanaʽa receives half of its annual rainfall during the months of July and August. Rainfall amounts vary from year to year; some years could see 500–600 mm (20–24 inches) of rainfall, while others can barely get 150 mm (5.9 inches). High temperatures have increased slightly during the summer over the past few years, however, low temperatures and winter temperatures have dramatically fallen over the same period.

Culture

Sana
Sanaʽa

Old City

Sana, Yemen (4325153574)
Night streetscene in Sanaʽa, Yemen

The Old City of Sanaʽa[21] (Arabic: مَدِيْنَة صَنْعَاء ٱلْقَدِيْمَة‎, translit. Madīnat Ṣanʿāʾ Al-Qadīmah) is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old fortified city has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years and contains many intact architectural gems. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1986. Efforts are underway to preserve some of the oldest buildings some of which, such as the Samsarh and the Great Mosque of Sanaʽa, are more than 1,400 years old. Surrounded by ancient clay walls which stand 9–14 metres (30–46 ft) high, the Old City contains more than 100 mosques, 12 hammams (baths) and 6,500 houses. Many of the houses resemble ancient skyscrapers, reaching several stories high and topped with flat roofs. They are decorated with elaborate friezes and intricately carved frames and stained-glass windows.

One of the most popular attractions is Suq al-Milh (Salt Market), where it is possible to buy salt along with bread, spices, raisins, cotton, copper, pottery, silverware, and antiques. The 7th-century Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr (the Great Mosque) is one of the oldest mosques in the world. The Bāb al-Yaman[21] ("Gate of the Yemen") is an iconized entry point through the city walls and is more than 1,000 years old.

A commercial area of the Old City is known as Al Madina where development is proceeding rapidly. In addition to three large hotels, there are numerous stores and restaurants. The area also contains three parks and the President's palace. The National Museum of Yemen is located here.

Sports

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Sanaʽa. The city is home to the Ali Muhesen Stadium, home of the Yemen national football team, and is mostly used for football matches. The stadium holds 25,000 people.

Demographics

Market Scene in Yemen
People of Sanaʽa
Souq@Sana'a
A market scene in Sanaʽa
Year Population
1911 18,000[26]
1921 25,000[27]
1931 25,000
1940 80,000
1963 100,000
1965 110,000
1975 134,600[28]
1981 280,000
1986 427,505
1994 954,448
2001 1,590,624
2004 1,748,000 (Census-Metro[29])
2005 1,937,451[13]

The city's population growth soared from the 1960s onward as a result of mass rural migration to the city in search of employment and improved standard of living.[16] Sanaʽa is the fastest growing capital city in the world with a growth rate of 7%,[30] while the growth rate of the nation as a whole is 3.2%.[31] About 10% of the population resides in the Old City, while the remainder live in the outside districts.[16]

Jewish community

Abraham b. Abraham Yitzhak Halevi and family
Yemeni Jewish family from Sanaʽa, ca. 1940

Jews have been present in Yemen since the 5th century BCE and form one of the most historic Jewish diasporas.[32] In Sanaʽa, Jews had initially settled within the enclosed citadel, known as al-Qaṣr, near the ruins of the old tower known as Ghumdan Palace, but were evicted from there in the late 6th century by the ruling monarch, and moved to a different section of the city, known as al-Marbaki (also called the Falayhi Quarter). From there, they again uprooted and were made to settle in the section of the city known as al-Quzali, and eventually moved from there and settled in the neighborhood of al-Sa'ilah. In 1679, during the Mawza Exile, they were once again evicted from their place of residence. Upon returning to the city in 1680, they were given a plot of land outside of the city walls, where they built the new Jewish Quarter, al-Qāʻ (now Qāʻ al-ʻUlufi), and where they remained until the community's demise in the mid-20th century.[33] After the creation of the political State of Israel in 1948, about 49,000 (of an estimated 51,000) of Yemenite Jews were airlifted to Israel, almost 10,000 of whom were from Sanaʽa (see the English-language book Jews and Muslims in lower Yemen: a study in protection and restraint, 1918–1949). There was essentially no Jewish population in Sanaʽa until the Shia insurgency broke out in northern Yemen in 2004. The Houthis directly threatened the Jewish community in 2007, prompting the government of President Saleh to offer them refuge in Sanaʽa. As of 2010, there were around 700 Jews living in the capital under government protection.[34]

Economy

Historically, Sanaʽa had a mining industry. The hills around Sanaʽa were mined for onyx, chalcedony, and cornelian.[35] The city was also known for its metalwork, which the British described as "famous" in the early 20th century, but declining in popularity.[36] As of 1920, Sanaʽa was described by the British as being "well supplied with fruit and grapes, and has good water."[37]

As the capital city of Yemen, 40% of jobs in Sanaʽa are in the public sector. Other primary sources of formal employment in the city are trade and industry. Like many other cities in the developing world, Sanaʽa has a large informal sector which is estimated to constitute 32% of nongovernmental employment. However, while there is a greater variety of jobs in Sanaʽa as compared to other cities in Yemen, there is also greater poverty and unemployment. It is estimated that 25% of the labor force in Sanaʽa is unemployed.[38]

Transport

Yemenia, the national airline of Yemen, has its head office in Sanaʽa.[39] Sanaʽa International Airport is Yemen's main domestic and international airport. A primary means of transport in the city is via dababs, minibuses which carry about 10 people. Taxis are also a common form of public transport and there are coaches to major cities such as Aden and Taiz.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Yemen's embattled president declares southern base temporary capital". DPA International. 21 March 2015. Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Yemen's President Hadi declares new 'temporary capital'". Deutsche Welle. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c McLaughlin, Daniel (2008). "3: Sanaʽa". Yemen. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-8416-2212-5.
  4. ^ Young, T. Luke. "Conservation of the Old Walled City of Sanaʽa Republic of Yemen". MIT.
  5. ^ Anna Hestler; Jo-Ann Spilling (1 January 2010). Yemen. Marshall Cavendish. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7614-4850-1. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  6. ^ Al-Hamdāni, al-Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad, The Antiquities of South Arabia - The Eighth Book of Al-Iklīl, Oxford University Press 1938, pp. 8-9
  7. ^ Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen, by Trevor Marchand, Routledge (April 27, 2001), p.1.
  8. ^ a b Aithe, p.30.
  9. ^ a b Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sana" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 125–126.
  10. ^ Albert Jamme, inscriptions from Mahram Bilqis p.440
  11. ^ a b McLaughlin, p.16.
  12. ^ Elsheshtawy, p.92.
  13. ^ a b c d e Bosworth, p.463.
  14. ^ a b c d Dumper, p.330.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Dumper, p.331.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Ring and Salkin, p.631.
  17. ^ "Death by Drone report" (PDF).
  18. ^ Gubash, Charlene; Smith, Alexander (12 June 2015). "UNESCO Condemns Saudi-Led Airstrike on Yemen's Sanaa Old City". NBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  19. ^ "Saudi-led coalition admits to bombing Yemen funeral". The Guardian. 15 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Houthis declares state of emergency in Sanaa over cholera outbreak". Al Arabiya. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  21. ^ a b c McLaughlin, Daniel (2008). "1: Background". Yemen. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-8416-2212-5.
  22. ^ a b "Climate: Sanaa - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  23. ^ "Sana Climate and Weather Averages, Yemen". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Sanaa, Yemen". Climatebase.ru. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Sanaa, Yemen". Voodoo Skies. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  26. ^ Wavell, p.245.
  27. ^ Statesman's Year Book, 1922, p.1367.
  28. ^ Hestler, p.56.
  29. ^ Aldosari, p.134.
  30. ^ "Sanaʽa running out of water with no plan to save it". The Global Urbanist. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  31. ^ "At a glance: Yemen – Statistics". UNICEF.
  32. ^ Jacob Saphir, in his ethnographic work Iben Safir (vol. 1 – ch. 43), Lyck 1866, p. 99 – folio A (Hebrew), states that the Jews of Yemen have a tradition that there settlement in Yemen began 42 years before the destruction of the First Temple. Bear in mind here that the Jewish year for the destruction of the First Temple is traditionally given in Jewish computation as 3338 AM or 421/2 BCE. This differs from the modern scientific year, which is usually expressed using the Proleptic Julian calendar as 587 BCE.
  33. ^ Yosef Tobi (ed.), Studies in ‘Megillat Teman’ by Yiḥyah Salaḥ, The Magnes Press: Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1986, p. 67
  34. ^ Persecuted Yemeni Jews to be given sanctuary in Britain, The Independent, 14 April 2010.
  35. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 98.
  36. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 99.
  37. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 103.
  38. ^ "Sanaʽa, A City Development Strategy". The Cities Alliance. 2006.
  39. ^ "Yemenia Archived 26 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine." Arab Air Carriers Organization. Retrieved 26 October 2009.

External links

2012 Sanaʽa bombing

The 2012 Sana'a bombing was a suicide attack on 21 May 2012, against Yemeni Army soldiers practicing for the annual Unity Day military parade in Sana'a, Yemen. The ceremony is carried out every year on 22 May since 1990 to mark the unification of North Yemen and South Yemen as the Republic of Yemen. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) affiliate Ansar al-Sharia.

Al Hajjarah

Al Hajjarah (Arabic: الهجرة‎) sometimes spelled Al Hajarah or Al Hajjara, is a village in Yemen. It is located in the Manakhah District of the Sanaʽa Governorate, in the Haraz Mountains. It is a former market town, lying along the Sana'a-Al-Hudayda road, and today is used as a base camp by trekkers.Al Hajjarah is built upon a precipice and is famous for its towering houses which are built onto the cliff faces. Its citadel was founded in the 12th century by the Sulaihids, and became an important fortification during the Ottoman occupation of Yemen, given the strategic importance of the location. Al Hajjarah is known to be a producer of pepper.Al Hajjarah contains the former residence of Imam Yahya Muhammad, a signatory to the Italo-Yemeni Treaty of 1926.

Attyal District

Attyal District is a district of the Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. As of 2003, the district had a population of 36,253 inhabitants. Shawkan village is in this district.

Bani Dhabyan District

Bani Dhabyan District is a district of the Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. As of 2003, the district had a population of 16,262 inhabitants.

Bani Hushaysh District

Bani Hushaysh District is a district in Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. As of 2003, the district had a population of 73,957 inhabitants. It's also famous for grape plantations.

Battle of Sanaʽa

Battle of Sanaʽa may refer to:

Battle of Sanaʽa (2011), urban fighting between protesters and the Saleh administration

Battle of Sanaʽa (2014), the decisive victory of Houthi rebels over the Hadi administration

Battle of Sanaʽa (2017), the decisive victory of Houthis over pro-Saleh fighters

Battle of Sanaʽa (2014)

The Battle of Sana'a in 2014 marked the advance of the Houthis into Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, and heralded the beginning of the armed takeover of the government that unfolded over the following months. Fighting began on 9 September 2014, when pro-Houthi protesters under the command of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi marched on the cabinet office and were fired upon by security forces, leaving seven dead. The clashes escalated on 18 September, when 40 were killed in an armed confrontation between the Houthis led by military commander Mohammed Ali al-Houthi and supporters of the Sunni hardliner Islah Party when the Houthis tried to seize Yemen TV, and 19 September, with more than 60 killed in clashes between Houthi fighters and the military and police in northern Sana'a. By 21 September, the Houthis captured the government headquarters, marking the fall of Sana'a.

Battle of Sanaʽa (2017)

The Battle of Sana'a in 2017 was fought between forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthis in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. Both sides were allied during the 2014–15 Houthi takeover of the government but the alliance ended when Saleh decided to break ranks with the Houthis and call for dialogue with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are leading a military intervention against the Houthis. Fighting then broke out between the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh as the Saudi-led coalition began bombing Houthi areas, ultimately resulting in Saleh's death and a Houthi victory.

Great Mosque of Sanaʽa

Great Mosque of Sana'a (Arabic: الجامع الكبير بصنعاء‎ Al-Jāmiʿ al-Kabīr bi-Ṣanʿāʾ) is an ancient mosque in Sana'a, Yemen, just east of the old Ghumdan Palace site. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old City of Sana'a. Dating to the seventh century, it was reportedly built in part from the materials of the Ghumdan palace.

According to the authentic Islamic scriptures traces the mosque's history to the period of Muhammad. The building has undergone several renovations in later centuries. An important archaeological find was the Sana'a manuscript, discovered there during restoration in 1972.

Nihm District

Nihm District (Arabic: مديرية نهم‎) is a district of the Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. As of 2003, the district had a population of 41,502 inhabitants.

Sa'fan District

Sa'fan District (Arabic: مديرية صعفان‎) is a district of the Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. As of 2003, the district had a population of 33,722 inhabitants.

Sanaʽa Governorate

Sanaʽa (Arabic: صنعاء‎ Ṣanʿāʾ) is a governorate of Yemen. Its capital is Sanaʽa, which is also the national capital. However, the city of Sanaʽa is not part of the Governorate but instead forms the separate governorate of Amanat Al-Asemah. The Governorate covers an area of 13,850 km². As of 2004, the population was 2,918,379 inhabitants.

Sanaʽa International Airport

Sana'a International Airport (IATA: SAH, ICAO: OYSN) is the primary international airport of Yemen located in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. It serves the city of Sana'a. Initially, a small passenger terminal was built in the 1970s. The runway is shared with a large military base with several fighter jets and transport aircraft of the Yemeni Air Force.

Sanaʽa manuscript

The Sana'a palimpsest (also Ṣanʿā’ 1 or DAM 01-27.1) is one of the oldest Quranic manuscripts in existence. Part of a sizable cache of Quranic and non-Quranic fragments discovered in Yemen during a 1972 restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana'a, the manuscript was identified as a palimpsest Quran in 1981; as it is written on parchment and comprises two layers of text. The upper text largely conforms to the standard 'Uthmanic' Quran in text and in the standard order of suras; whereas the lower text contains many variations from the standard text, and the sequence of its suras corresponds to no known quranic order. A partial reconstruction of the lower text was published in 2012; and a reconstruction of the legible portions of both lower and upper texts of the 38 folios in the Sana'a House of Manuscripts was published in 2017 utilising post-processed digital images of the lower text. A radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment of one of the detached leaves sold at auction, and hence its lower text, to between 578 CE and 669 CE with a 95% accuracy.

Sanhan District

Sanhan District is a district of the Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. Its seat is Sanhan. As of 2003, the district had a population of 400,399 inhabitants.

Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen

A military intervention was launched by Saudi Arabia in 2015, leading a coalition of nine countries from the Middle East and Africa, in response to calls from the internationally recognized pro-Saudi president of Yemen Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi for military support after he was ousted by the Houthi movement due to economic and political grievances, and fled to Saudi Arabia. Code-named Operation Decisive Storm (Arabic: عملية عاصفة الحزم‎ 'Amaliyyat 'Āṣifat al-Ḥazm), the intervention is said to be in compliance with Article 2(4) of the UN Charter by the international community; this has been contested by some academics. The intervention initially consisted of a bombing campaign on Houthi rebels and later saw a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition has attacked the positions of the Houthi militia, and loyalists of the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, allegedly supported by Iran (see Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict). The Houthis who had pressured Mansur Hadi for reforms, say that they took power through a popular revolution and are defending Yemen from a western backed invasion. The Saudi-led bombings soon expanded to most of Western Yemen including civilian targets and was followed by UAE-led deployment of ground forces in the South.

Fighter jets and ground forces from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Academi (formerly Blackwater) took part in the operation. Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia made their airspace, territorial waters, and military bases available to the coalition. The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including aerial refueling and search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots. It also accelerated the sale of weapons to coalition states. The US and Britain have deployed their military personnel in the command and control centre responsible for Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, having access to lists of targets. Pakistan was called on by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition, but its parliament voted to maintain neutrality. On 21 April 2015, the Saudi-led military coalition announced an end to Operation Decisive Storm, saying the intervention's focus would "shift from military operations to the political process". Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners announced the launch of a political and peace efforts, which they called Operation Restoring Hope (Arabic: عملية إعادة الأمل‎ 'Amaliyyat 'I'ādat al-'Amal). The coalition did not stop its use of force, saying it would respond to threats and prevent Houthi militants from operating within Yemen. Qatar was suspended from the coalition due to the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, and Morocco ended their participation in 2019 due to deterioration of Morocco–Saudi Arabia relations following Al Arabiya's alleged documentary questioning Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara.The war has received widespread criticism and had a dramatic worsening effect on Yemen's humanitarian situation, that reached the level of a "humanitarian disaster" or "humanitarian catastrophe", and some have labelled it as a genocide. After the Saudi-led coalition declared the entire Saada Governorate a military target, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen and Human Rights Watch said that air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Saada city in Yemen were in breach of international law. On 1 July 2015 UN declared for Yemen a "level-three" emergency—the highest UN emergency level—for a period of six months. Human rights groups repeatedly blamed the Saudi-led military coalition for killing civilians and destroying health centers and other infrastructure with airstrikes. The de facto blockade left 78% (20 million) of the Yemeni population in urgent need of food, water and medical aid. Aid ships are allowed, but the bulk of commercial shipping, on which the country relies, is blocked. In one incident, coalition jets prevented an Iranian Red Crescent plane from landing by bombing Sanaʽa International Airport's runway, which blocked aid delivery by air. As of 10 December 2015, more than 2,500,000 people had been internally displaced by the fighting. Many countries evacuated more than 23,000 foreign citizens from Yemen. More than 1,000,000 people fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Oman. The war has caused a humanitarian crisis, including a famine which has threatened 13 million people, as well as an outbreak of cholera which has infected an estimated 1.2 million. In November 2018, UNICEF described Yemen as "a living hell for children" saying that every 10 minutes a child is dying due to preventable diseases as a result of the war. More than 85,000 children under age 5 may have died of starvation.

Yemen Arab Republic

The Yemen Arab Republic (YAR; Arabic: الجمهورية العربية اليمنية‎ al-Jumhūrīyah al-‘Arabīyah al-Yamanīyah), also known as North Yemen or Yemen (Sanaʽa), was a country from 1962 to 1990 in the western part of what is now Yemen. Its capital was at Sanaʽa. It united with the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (commonly known as South Yemen), on May 22, 1990, to form the current Republic of Yemen.

Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)

The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions: the internationally recognized Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen. Houthi forces controlling the capital Sanaʽa, and allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have clashed with forces loyal to the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have also carried out attacks, with AQAP controlling swathes of territory in the hinterlands, and along stretches of the coast.On 21 March 2015, after taking over Sanaʽa and the Yemeni government, the Houthi-led Supreme Revolutionary Committee declared a general mobilization to overthrow Hadi and further their control by driving into southern provinces. The Houthi offensive, allied with military forces loyal to Saleh, began on the next day with fighting in Lahij Governorate. By 25 March, Lahij fell to the Houthis and they reached the outskirts of Aden, the seat of power for Hadi's government; Hadi fled the country the same day. Concurrently, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using airstrikes to restore the former Yemeni government; the United States provided intelligence and logistical support for the campaign. According to the UN and other sources, from March 2015 to December 2017, 8,670–13,600 people were killed in Yemen, including more than 5,200 civilians, as well as estimates of more than 50,000 dead as a result of an ongoing famine due to the war. The conflict has widely been seen as an extension of the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict and as a means to combat Iranian influence in the region. In 2018, the United Nations warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation in what it says could become "the worst famine in the world in 100 years."The international community have sharply condemned the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign, which has included widespread bombing of civilian areas. The bombing campaign has killed or injured an estimated 17,729 civilians as of March 2019 according to the Yemen Data Project. Despite this, however, the crisis has not gained as much international media attention compared to the Syrian civil war until recently.

Yemeni Revolution

The Yemeni Uprising (intifada), and also known as the Yemeni Revolution of Dignity followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and other Arab Spring protests in the Middle East and North Africa. In its early phase, protests in Yemen were initially against unemployment, economic conditions and corruption, as well as against the government's proposals to modify Yemen's constitution. The protesters' demands then escalated to calls for the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Mass defections from the military, as well as from Saleh's government, effectively rendered much of the country outside of the government's control, and protesters vowed to defy its authority.

A major demonstration of over 16,000 protesters took place in Sanaʽa, Yemen's capital, on 27 January. On 2 February, Saleh announced he would not run for reelection in 2013 and that he would not pass power to his son. On 3 February, 20,000 people protested against the government in Sanaʽa, while others protested in Aden, a southern Yemeni seaport city, in a "Day of Rage" called for by Tawakel Karman, while soldiers, armed members of the General People's Congress and many protesters held a pro-government rally in Sanaʽa. In a "Friday of Anger" on 18 February, tens of thousands of Yemenis took part in anti-government demonstrations in Taiz, Sanaʽa and Aden. On a "Friday of No Return" on 11 March, protesters called for Saleh's ousting in Sanaʽa where three people were killed. More protests were held in other cities, including Mukalla, where one person was killed. On 18 March, protesters in Sanaʽa were fired upon, resulting in 52 deaths and ultimately culminating in mass defections and resignations.Starting in late April, Saleh agreed to a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered deal, only to back away hours before the scheduled signing three times. After the third time, on 22 May, the GCC declared it was suspending its efforts to mediate in Yemen. On 23 May, a day after Saleh refused to sign the transition agreement, Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, the head of the Hashid tribal federation, one of the most powerful tribes in the country, declared support for the opposition and his armed supporters came into conflict with loyalist security forces in the capital Sanaʽa. Heavy street fighting ensued, which included artillery and mortar shelling. Saleh and several others were injured and at least five people were killed by a 3 June bombing of the presidential compound when an explosion ripped through a mosque used by high-level government officials for prayer services. Reports conflicted as to whether the attack was caused by shelling or a planted bomb. The next day, Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi took over as acting president while Saleh flew to Saudi Arabia to be treated. The crowds celebrated Saleh's transfer of power, but Yemeni officials insisted that Saleh's absence was temporary and he would soon return to Yemen to resume his duties of office.In early July the government rejected the opposition's demands, including the formation of a transitional council with the goal of formally transferring power from the current administration to a caretaker government intended to oversee Yemen's first-ever democratic elections. In response, factions of the opposition announced the formation of their own 17-member transitional council on 16 July, though the Joint Meeting Parties that have functioned as an umbrella for many of the Yemeni opposition groups during the uprising said the council did not represent them and did not match their "plan" for the country.On 23 November, Saleh signed a power-transfer agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, under which he would transfer his power to his Vice-President, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, within 30 days and leave his post as president by February 2012, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Although the GCC deal was accepted by the JMP, it was rejected by many of the protesters and the Houthis. A presidential election was held in Yemen on 21 February 2012, with Hadi running unopposed. A report claims that the election had a 65% turnout, with Hadi receiving 99.8% of the vote. Hadi took the oath of office in Yemen's parliament on 25 February 2012. Saleh returned home on the same day to attend Hadi's inauguration. After months of protests, Saleh had resigned from the presidency and formally transferred power to his successor, marking the end of his 33-year rule.

Climate data for Sanaa, Yemen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30
(86)
31
(88)
32
(90)
32
(90)
37
(99)
39
(102)
41
(106)
38
(100)
40
(104)
34
(93)
33
(91)
31
(88)
41
(106)
Average high °C (°F) 22.3
(72.1)
24.7
(76.5)
25.6
(78.1)
24.8
(76.6)
25.7
(78.3)
28.2
(82.8)
26.6
(79.9)
25.9
(78.6)
25.1
(77.2)
22.2
(72.0)
20.3
(68.5)
20.5
(68.9)
24.3
(75.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.6
(54.7)
14.1
(57.4)
16.3
(61.3)
16.6
(61.9)
18.0
(64.4)
19.3
(66.7)
20.0
(68.0)
19.6
(67.3)
17.8
(64.0)
15.0
(59.0)
12.9
(55.2)
12.4
(54.3)
16.2
(61.2)
Average low °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
3.6
(38.5)
7.0
(44.6)
8.5
(47.3)
10.4
(50.7)
10.5
(50.9)
13.4
(56.1)
13.3
(55.9)
10.6
(51.1)
7.9
(46.2)
5.5
(41.9)
4.4
(39.9)
8.2
(46.7)
Record low °C (°F) −4
(25)
−1
(30)
1
(34)
4
(39)
1
(34)
9
(48)
5
(41)
0
(32)
3
(37)
1
(34)
−1
(30)
−2
(28)
−4
(25)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 5
(0.2)
5
(0.2)
17
(0.7)
48
(1.9)
29
(1.1)
6
(0.2)
50
(2.0)
77
(3.0)
13
(0.5)
2
(0.1)
8
(0.3)
5
(0.2)
265
(10.4)
Average rainy days 2 3 4 5 5 4 4 5 3 3 2 1 41
Average relative humidity (%) 39.3 35.8 38.5 41.1 36.0 27.2 40.1 45.5 29.9 29.0 38.1 37.7 36.5
Mean daily sunshine hours 8 8 8 9 9 8 6 7 8 9 9 8 8
Source #1: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 2259m),[22] Weather2Travel (rainy days, sunshine)[23]
Source #2: Climatebase.ru (humidity),[24] Voodoo Skies (records)[25]
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