Getting to Jibla was at least as exciting as visiting the town. I left Ta'izz in the early morning and explored Ibb for some time. Its old part was very authentic, and I was invited by an inhabitant to his home. He also helped me find a taxi to the bus station, and paid the fare. After arriving in Jibla, I wanted to pay the fare to the driver, but was pulled away from the bus by one of the passengers who also got off. He then even invited me to lunch - it would be one of the best meals I had in Yemen. It gave me the opportunity to take a look inside a Yemeni house, meet his family, and his friends who had lunch with us.
After lunch, my host was very keen on showing me the mosque opposite his house, he claimed he had the key to the minaret and we could go inside. First, we went inside the mosque and my new friends said their prayers. Then, we went to the entrance of the minaret, to find out that it had been closed completely with barriers. Unfortunately, I had to admire the minaret from the outside. We all went to the suq, where my friends hunted for qat while I continued exploring the town, its alleys, old houses and mosques.
The history of Jibla really starts in the 11th century, when Queen Arwa ruled for 52 years. She managed to make Jibla the capital of Yemen, and she introduced other ideas as well, some of which continue to have their impact on to our own days, like terraced agriculture. The town is relatively rich, has elaborate stone towers, views over the valley, and lots of children to run after you and accompany you. The main attractions are the mosques, notably the Queen Arwa mosque, and the Qubbat Bayt az-Zum mosque.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Jibla (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Jibla.
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