21 January, 2013

Mukalla in Pictures

Symbolic Replica Mukalla Gate
Over forty years ago, Al Mukalla city did not go beyond this symbolic gate on the left. Near this same point, there was a gate constructed by the Al Quaity sultans, the then ruler of the city; the old gate (below photo), then, controlled the inflow of people to the Old Mukalla. The city then, like most cities in the Middle East during those times - was a walled city. Today, Mukalla is a very much changed place. Below are some photos of the city that I took in 2010:

Old Mukalla Gate - as it was over forty years ago
Above: the old Mukalla gate going to the Old City as it was, then. This photo is from this site. From the same site, see more photos of what the city looked like in the olden days; and read more on Old Mukalla.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
The replica of the old gate now stands in the center of a round-about.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
Many, old buildings, whitewashed, still stand today.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
Much has changed, but the hills and mountains around the city never change.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
There are many, well paved roads and streets around the city.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
Unfortunately, there are very few gardens and few places with trees around the city - like this with palm trees.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
Most of Mukalla's space have been taken up with business premises; leaving most streets narrow and congested.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
At the center of the city, one structure very clearly stands out - the water canal.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
It is around the water canal that most visitors and the city's residence go to for 'cooling off''.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
Apart from this water canal, the city's planners, have given very little thought to recreational facilities.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
With buildings and houses so closely congested even on top of the hills, there is now very little room for any thing else.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
The city's infrastructure, still, needs much improvement. Most of the sewage and drainage system is emptied in to the water canal.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
As beautiful and as recreational as the canal is, at times, the stench from the canal from the emptied sewage is overwhelming.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
It is around the canal that children and the elderly can easily walk and rest. It is where many children, too, play.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
Of all of Mukalla, it is around the canal that is cleanest. Sign posts like the above help in keeping around the canal clean and free of 'qat' chewing.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
Out in the sea, fishermen and boats are still very much as they have always been; very much a part of Mukalla.
Mukalla, Hadhramout
Around the city, moored fisherman's boats are a common site in the sea.
Mukalla, Hadhramaut
As Mukalla expands outwards, there is talk of transforming the few other narrow, natural swamps around the city into artificial canals. The swamp above, like the others around the city - are where the few remaining birds in Mukalla find refuge. Due to poor, unthoughtful planning for the city, now - very much unlike before, turtles are a very rare site. When planning and expanding the city, Mukalla's planners should think more of having recreational facilities; and should give consideration and protection to the city's wildlife.