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"When I painted this picture of the centre of Sanaa I was pleasantly surprised, as I had been throughout the rest of Yemen, as to how little I was bothered by people watching me. It made painting and sketching a real pleasure, instead of a challenge.


While walking back into Sanaa, I left the road to visit an old hill fort which I had seen in photo at the Sanaa tourist office. On stopping to make a quick sketch three men walking by noticed me and insisted I acompany them to a nearby building. There, while I waited, the men changed into army uniforms, and though none of the men spoke English and could not convey what was going on, I got the feeling I must have walked into some kind of military area, and was being arrested. After they had all changed and collected their guns I had to walk with them to the main road. There, a car was stopped and the driver forced to take us all to an army barracks in Sanaa. Myself being squeezed into the back seat between two of the soldiers.

At the barracks it came as quite a relief when an officer speaking good English arrived on the scene and I was able to find out what it was all about. As I had suspected, I had been in a restricted area, though as I told the officer, I had seen nothing to indicate this, and had even been told how to get there by the man at the tourist office. Despite this I was still told I should be more careful in future. Then, after the confiscation of the sketch and film from my camera, I was released. It had been quite frightening at the time, but all's well that ends well, and I am glad to say this was the only bad experience I had on this trip " - MH

Road through central Sanaa, 1984

  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints: Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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