Saturday, September 19, 2009

Windows - Yemen

It's another rainy and grey day in İstanbul. Our little puppy Hera is spending the day at the Vet. Her kennel cough is not getting better. Since morning I am trying to spend time at the balcony, there is not much to do. I keep looking at the windows of the apartments around us. They are all different, reflecting the souls of the people living inside.

Some has not been cleaned for months,hastily closed with faded curtains. Maybe sign of a soul, who does not care much about life. Not happy? Depressed? I dont know...There is another one on the left side. I keep seeing a cat who is spending long hours watching the street..Sign of care and love. Probably..There are also couple others displaying lots of flowers. I like looking at them. Very colorful. I imagine joyful and lively people living inside. They are all my neighbours, but I dont know them. Curse of living in a big city.

I made one of my most memorable trips to Yemen in 2006. As most of the Yemeni women were behind the veil, I had very limited contact with them. Where ever I go I always wonder about other women, how they live, what they feel?? I remember trying to understand Yemeni women by looking at the windows, just trying to get a glimpse of their soul... So today, please walk with me in the narrow streets of Shibam and let's write stories together.


  1. I am so sorry to hear Hera is sick. I hope she is better soon. We too were at the vet on Thursday. Bean got his leg shut in the door. He is still soar, but not broken. Poor puppies! These are very interesting windows. I bet you do spend a lot time wondering who is behind them. I would.
    xxx kim

  2. Sorry your puppy is sick. I hope she gets better really soon! I can't see any of my neighbors; there are too many trees around. I know afew a them but even in a small town people like to keep to themselves. Your pictures and post are very thought provoking.

  3. i love that last photo..
    but your comment about the sad window..maybe an old person, with very few visitors..
    windows and doors certainly do tell us alot about the people inside.

  4. Poor puppy .. hoope he feels better soon

    I love these photos.. windows are so fascinating... just like you i live in an apartment... not quite the city.. but not far from... and there is no privacy... my neighbours windows are too close... so I can't look and wonder and there would be nothing to wonder about... you can see it all!! but i used to live facing away from the main crowd and yes... then it was more interesting to see the rows upon rows of windows and balconies and wonder what the life was like inside.. a bit like the movie 'Rear Window' hehe

    The Yemen window photos are fabulous.. The colour of the building and the contrast of colourful windows is just wonderful. I think that the veiled women are a bit like the windows.. you don't know what is going on inside.

    Wonderful thoughtful post. x Julie

  5. The windows are so small. One must have to have a lot of light in one's soul to compensate for the lack of light in the home environment.

    Hope your puppy recovers.

  6. Sorry your puppy is sick. Hope she recovers soon!

    Fascinating windows. They are beautiful and interesting. You have taken me on a tour of someplace I will probably never see in person.

    Thanks for showing me a glimpse of Yemen.

  7. It seems depressing to have closed curtains and shutters on the windows and veils on the faces. I was so glad to see the last photo, with a sign of life and happiness.

    You must be missing Hera. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  8. Loved the windows! And yes, I know what you mean about wondering about the lives of women behind them.

    Once I spent a couple of weeks in an apartment in an ancient "palazzo" in a small southern Italian town. From our own balcony with had the view of all the other balconies surrounding the central courtyard. I remember watching all the action on the balconies and wondering. An old lady and her cat on one, a washing line of fancy undies stretched across another one. Making up stories was interesting.

    Your photos of the Yemeni windows show lives much more hidden and difficult to connect with. Such a contrast with life in, say, West African villages where just about everything happens outside.

    Great pictures!

  9. What a lovely walk. How often do we stop to notice the windows? Perhaps because ours are so similar.

    I imagine many stories, especially in the second to last. From bottom to top and back.



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