Introducing San'a (Sana'a)
Sanaʻa isn’t where it was supposed to be. Shem, the son of Noah and founder of Sanaʻa, had originally chosen the site of his new city a little further west, but just as he set out his guide ropes and prepared for some major DIY a bird dropped out of the heavens, picked up the guide rope and moved it further east. This, Shem knew, was a sign, and so it was there, where the bird had dropped the guide rope, that Sanaʻa was born. Today most visitors to Yemen arrive, like that interfering bird, by air. Sanaʻa, the world’s oldest city, will be their first taste of this most mystical of Arabian countries. It’s a good arrival, for this city is one of the world’s great urban centres, and its many layers, colours and patterns make it the most romantic, living, breathing Islamic city you could ever hope to find.