Notes on the Geography of Yemen: Sana'a: Photo 8
The top room is the famous mafraj, another kind of room with a view. This kind serves as a social space, famously for men too busy chewing qat to say much. The building stays up not because of its walls but because of a central pier of mortared stone blocks. Around the pier a central staircase winds, opening on lobbies at each floor. Off those lobbies, cross walls from the pier to the exterior wall make the whole structure rigid and in the process form a set of small rooms.
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