Symbols on the wall (30) - Madrassah Mosque minaret in Sanaa

Marjolein Katsma

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Share this page photo: © 2007 Marjolein Katsma | text: © 2010 Marjolein Katsma


Tags for this photograph:
travel, politics, mosque, icon, president, minaret, yemen, sanaa, elections, rearing horse, saleh


This image is part of Symbols on the wall – a “documentary” on the walls of Yemen and things attached to walls. Please read the Introduction first!

< previous Symbols on the wall (29) - a little square in Sanaa   ^ Collecting symbols


A nice view of the beautiful minaret of the Madrassah Mosque in Sana’a as seen from the suq area where they’re selling fabric for making fancy dresses. This minaret seems to be the first one built in Sana’a with this specific type of brickwork ornamentation, somewhat reminiscent of brickwork ornamentation in Uzbek religious architecture, yet different.

The actual mosque is behind the houses you see in the foreground. On one of those walls, a by now familiar sight: political posters, in a rather pleasing arrangement:

Posters neatly arranged on a wall in Sana'a

It serves to illustrate two observations: First, I have never seen any posters or graffiti on the walls of religious buildings in Yemen – I can’t say it doesn’t occur, but I certainly have never seen it; what at first seems like a side wall of the mosque, is actually just the wall of a house here. Second, the posters here seem to be purposefully arranged to make a pleasing pattern; we’ve seen other cases as well where political symbols are carefully arranged in a highly decorative way (these details are links):

Frieze of little horses A wall in Kawkaban

It is as if making political statements on the walls is (sometimes) an art form in itself!


And with this, we’ve come to the end of our magical mystery tour along the walls of Yemen: a few mysteries have been solved, others remain…

Don’t forget to read the final chapter where I recap all the symbols I “collected” along the way, and provide a bit of background reading in case you’re interested.

For now, thanks for following me on this tour! It was a pleasure to play your tour guide, and I hope to see you again!

Taken in Sana’a, Yemen 2007
Camera: Fuji Finepix F30

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