"Highlands in Yemen" Manakhah by Nansen

Manakhah Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 66 photos

Manakha is the main city of the beautiful Haraz Mountains which have its highest summit in Jabel Shibam, 2920 m high .
You can find sparsed in these mountains, like eagle´s nest some litlle fortified villages. It´s easy to visit them form Manakha, as many paths start at this city.
In essence , Manakha region is the typical highlands region in Yemen. Towns and villages are small and sparsed, and buildings are stone-made, mud brick houses are rare , as it is commonly used by the people of the desert and plains. Raining is not as rare as in lowlands, specially in summer, when usually evenings are cloudy and storms are common.

In Highlands you can find the most typical Yemenian building: tower houses. These buildings have usually between four and seven floors. That ´s enough place to four or five generation that live in these houses (great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, and the children). These “skyscrapers” are builded up with mud, stone and wood, depending on the region. In Shibam and in mainly all Hadramawt these towers are builded with mud, but in the area of Manakha and the Highlands is used stone. Windows are really well-made, with takhrim, (lattice window). In the old houses you can still look alabaster windows.

First floors are often occupied by the animals (donkeys, goats, sheep, and sometimes cows). Intermediate floors have several rooms as sleeping – room, kitchen, living-room for women and the diwan. Diwan is the room where celebrations took place like weddings. Lastly, in the upper floor is placed the mafraj, the favourite room as it has a wonderful view of surroundings. Mafraj is used to welcome the guests, to talk with guests or family friends or chewing Qat.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fortified stone-villages, Haraz mountains landscape
  • Cons:In summer evenings usually rains
  • In a nutshell:Highland landscape
  • Last visit to Manakhah: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated Apr 17, 2005
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