This article originally appeared in Yemen Today in 2009.
About 110 kilometers northwest of Sana’a lay a conclave of mountains and a sense of history.
Mahweet or the Mahweet Governate, as it is called politically corrected, is a city that dates over thousands of years old. As the touring van made its way in and out of the various heights of the Bilad Ghail mountains, the green and rocky valleys stood like a portion out of a time capsule.
It started as an early morning journey, with packed lunches and snacks to eat on the way. A bunch of us settled in the touring van with our journey passes safely tucked under our guide’s belt. The roads of Sana’a gradually began to end and we entered sequestered paths that lead to a place that was 2100 meters above sea-level.
The way to Mahweet is as awe-inspiring as it is thrilling. The valleys that one passes to reach Mahweet are deeper than the naked eye can process. There is greenery that is enough to make you wonder how in God’s name could the waves of green be so perfectly tended? It makes you question nature’s infinite mysteries of how a city nearby Sana’a is quite dry and arid whereas the mountains of Mahweet were lush and filled with plant life.
Once Mahweet arrived (after a reasonable three hour drive from Sana’a) our place to stay was Fandaq al Mahweet which offered comfortable rooms and a beautiful view. The climate was not only reasonably chilly; it also had a pleasant wind that blew from all directions given the height of the city.
The city of Mahweet offers the foreigner a glimpse into the past that did not fail to live. On the way to the city came Al-Taweelah, another small wonder of time, which stood in the 21st century Yemen as it did thousands of years ago. The buildings, architecture, the wandering cattle and the attire of the locals were enough to build a time machine.
A point-perspective is found near Mahweet City – upon which, say the locals, there is a five-star hotel to be built soon. This small cliff offers a view that clearly looks beyond thousands of meters and onto the surrounding cities in the Mahweet governate.
It is definitely a sight worth seeing. The roads are impeccable, the ups and downs of the many, many mountains through the way do challenge the expertise and dexterity of the driver, but the view acquired is simply breathtaking. A must-visit. In all manners of speaking.