As the rural highland towns were built for defence, the windows in the older houses are very small and high up in the walls to keep attackers out, but big enough to shoot through.
Ibb had a Jewish community who were traders about 200 years ago and you can still see the Star of David symbol on the doors of some of the old houses.
Crossing the Sumarra Pass is the thing to do, from Sana'a to Ibb sit on the right side of the bus. Beautiful view of terraces and fortresses.
The countryside around Ibb has always been tribal. Tribal feuds continued until the 1960’s, often with families unable to leave their mountain houses in case they were murdered.
Each town or village was built high on the mountain for defence against attack.
The agricultural valleys and terraces had mountain paths where the tribes could hide and defend themselves against their enemies as they approached.