Creative Visuals

Uzlah Al-Arqub in Al-Mahwit Governorate: A Photo Essay by Nezar Moqbel

This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)

Al-Arqub is the name of a region that lies north-west of Sana’a, in al-Mahwit governorate. The area is known for being covered in greenery all year round. It is also characterized by its geographical position as it is located between four major governorates: Sana’a, Hajjah, Amran and al-Hodeidah. Uzlah al-Arqub is an archaeological tourist destination which has characteristics which distinguish it from other areas in Yemen.

In al-Arqub there is an archaeological site considered to be one of the major landmarks in al-Mahwit, known as Hosn Shautar: a soaring fort, breathtaking especially in its architecture and construction. This fort is more than 500 years old. The structure, simple in its appearance yet stern and robust in its design, has endured nature in all its tumultuousness and alterations throughout the centuries. The fort, located at 1,800 feet above sea level, consists of five buildings ranging from 2 to 5 storeys tall. In it, all the necessary supplies were available for use as a garrison: it has two ponds, one serves as a source of drinking water for the inhabitants and the other used for cattle and cleaning purposes. There is also, as an essential feature in the planning and construction of the fort, and in accordance with the architectural objectives during its era, a mosque accommodating around 100 worshippers. The fort is protected from all sides by a wall, and it possesses a single gate.

Not only is the castle magnificent in its beauty thanks to its location at such a high altitude, where the clouds infiltrate through the stones and penetrate the wooden windows, but also one finds at the bottom of the structure a captivating waterfall, creating a marvelous scene as it interacts with the other elements of nature. A forest surrounds the waterfall, hosting rare species of birds and containing natural pastures and fresh water ponds and wellsprings. One major source is the Gail al-Siba’a, whose water flows all year long.

In this photo essay we present to the readers of Al-Madaniya magnificent images from al-Arqub taken by the artist Nezar Moqbel. On his photography style, Nezar explains:

“When I am faced with a captivating picture, I make sure to associate it with a meaningful message to send out to people, hoping for it to have a good outcome. Also, I always attempt to show my country’s beauty, to which I owe so much, despite all the suffering that we photographers are going through during this period.”


Nezar Moqbel, is a Yemeni artist from the al-Mahwit. Born in the capital Sana’a, he has earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. He started practicing photography and video in February 2019, and he has published a story The Kushari Vendor (2020) for AJ+. Nezar works for local production companies in the making of non-profit and for-profit movies. During the last few months, Nezar has worked as a director and photographer on a film to raise awareness about COVID-19. He has a number of photography works, some are published and some are not.

You can follow Nezar and see his works on his Instagram page:



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