Monday, November 14, 2011

"Sana's magnificent architectural past"

The tanks, mortars and firefights rumbling and crackling through the ancient city of Sana are endangering not only Yemen's future but also its magnificent architectural past of intricately decorated earthen houses and slender brick towers.

The old city, with its stealthy alleys and fortress walls, is one of the most striking visions in the Arab world, a bit of fairy tale in a harsh, despotically ruled land. But once-peaceful protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh that have escalated to street battles involving tribes, government forces and mutinous soldiers are encroaching on the historic center, settled more than 2,500 years ago and named a World Heritage Site in 1986 by the United Nations.

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