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Chapter Summary

Sana'a survived into modern times with its medieval features and its old way of life still flourishing. The Imams of Yemen had prevented access to the country from the late seventeenth century onwards, broken only by a brief period of Ottoman occupation. This is an important factor in understanding the form of Islamic cities. First, during the lifetime of the prophet and under the direction of his companions, the great mosque was erected in the garden of Ghumdan. Next, Muslim tribesmen came to settle the north and west, enclosing the mosque, which was outside the former gates. Here, in the late seventeenth century, the Jews, who had been forced to evacuate their homes in the old city in the wake of the first anti-Semitic riots, were allowed to settle in a district known as al-Qa'.

Keywords: al-Qa; Imams; Islamic cities; Jews; late seventeenth century; Sana



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