Sunday, December 3, 2006

Qmariyyah or Takhrim

Qamariyyahs are traditional stained glass windows that are delicately crafted and set above the square windows in older traditional buildings, newer ones, offices and even airports.

They're so popular that you're likely to spot them everywhere, however each one is so unique that it almost becomes a fun passtime pointing out and remembering all the different designs, colours and patterns.

Some buildings even have two Qamariyyas in place set back to back, one seen from the outside and the other from the inside.
I've heard a story about an older Yemeni man exlaime about this tradition saying that "whoever came up with the idea of setting two Qamariyas back to back above one window is very stupid"

There are some studios/workshops around town where the Qamariyas are made, it appears that they draw the image onto a large slab of plaster which is placed on the wall then the design is cut out using an electric saw or gadget, sometimes there are pieces of broken qamarias lying outside of the store, it seems like a difficult craft and prone to breakage at any time.

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