“I took leave to continue my journey to the city of Sana’a. It is the former capital of the country of al-Yaman, a large and well-constructed city, built with bricks and plaster, with many trees and fruits, and with a temperate climate and good water. It is a curious thing that the rain in the lands of India, al-Yaman and Abyssinia falls during the period of summer heat, and mostly during the afternoon of every day in that season, so that travelers make haste when the sun begins to decline to avoid being caught by the rain and the womenfolk retire to their dwellings because those rains are heavy downpours. The whole city of Sana’a is paved and when the rain falls it washes and cleans all the streets. The cathedral mosque of Sana’a is one of the finest of Mosques and contains the grave of one of the prophets.”
The old City of Sana'a. I did not get into the Great Mosque. I tried, but there is currently a minor drama going on in Yemen; the first is an ongoing dispute between the government and the al-Houthi tribe in Sa’ada in the north, which has incurred several fatalities on both sides but mainly on the tribal side, the other is a trial in the capital involving ‘the bearded ones’ as the extremists are euphemistically called, and the government’s determination that they are not going to get a further hold in the country than whatever it is they already have. So, for now the mosque was off-limits.