16 Images of Yemen Show a Beautiful and Surprising Side of the Country

Yemen has been consumed by turmoil in the past few years. The 2012 ousting of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a regime change to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was just the start of the country's political instability. It has since descended into civil unrest and swiftly become a religiously motivated hunting ground for a proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. 

"The minute the [Houthi] rebels seized the capital, it was pretty clear Yemen was in the midst of a civil war," a reporter, who recently lived in Yemen, told Mic in March on the condition of anonymity for professional reasons.

As a result of this political volatility, Yemen is frequently presented as a generic, war-torn Middle Eastern country. Pictures of rubble, extremists and burqa-clad women are often reproduced during escalations of conflict deemed newsworthy. 

Adam Schreck/AP
Hani Mohammed/AP
Hani Mohammed/AP

However, photos of Yemen before the political upheaval reveal a very different side of the country. They are images emblematic of swaths of Yemen untouched by violence and which remain as they were before the war.

Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Hani Mohammed/AP
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes
Oliver Holmes