This expression could easily be a Yemenite saying. The local dwelling — a multi storey stone or clay house — preserves the features of a military tower which can resist a siege. The entrance is a heavy wooden door, upholstered with nails with wide heads for durability. In the past these doors were made lower than human height and put high above the ground, to make it difficult for unwanted guests to enter. If it was decided to let the visitor in, then the owner could open the wooden cross shaped latch without having to go downstairs by using a rope. Arrow slits make it possible fire from above and from the flanks, and the turret on the roof make it possible to spot an enemy in advance. A supply of power and lead is kept in the home, along with provisions, water and bandages. Today the defensive functions of the house have lost their meaning, and domestic conveniences and decorative merits: window frames, stained glass etc., are increasingly valued. People in Yemen continue to build just as they did centuries ago, using the same methods and materials, reproducing over and over again the old layout and details of architectural decor.
Wooden shutter from Shibam. Hadramawt.
Cross shaped lock. Wood. Hadramawt.
Oil lamp — sham‘aa. Hadramawt.
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