Bayt Baws

Founded by the Bawsites during the Sabaean Kingdom, What makes the village stand out is that it is a largely deserted Jewish settlement in the heart of Yemen

Sana’a, Yemen

Coordinates: 15.271800, 44.226600

Nearby Places

Bayt Baws is a village in western central Yemen. It is located in the Sana’a Governorate. There is an old castle which is a tourist attraction. Outside of the fort, there is an old dam, a small area for Jewish houses, and a synagogue.

What makes the village stand out is that it is a primarily deserted Jewish settlement in the heart of Yemen. The Bawsites founded the village during the Sabaean Kingdom.

Its ridges were carved by the people in the past for fortification. The only way in and plausible way out is a wide wooded Gate that gives access to this deserted village.

In Al-Hamdani’s 10th c. “Antiquities of South Arabia,” the founders of Bayt Baws are identified as the Bawsites descended from dhu-Tha’laban, a Himyar king descended from Dhu-Murathid.

But though they’d been living in Yemen for centuries, most of the Yemeni Jewish community relocated to Israel in 1949 and 1950, during Operation Magic Carpet. Some more in 1959, while a minority moved to the United States. More people left the settlement of Bayt Baws in the 1990s, after urbanization caused the city of Sana’a to swallow the land around it.

The village now shelters some 33 families from various provinces affected by the conflict that has been going on in Yemen for five years.

The tales of Bayt Baws and its history and rich heritage are now threatened with extinction.

Know This

The best way to reach Bayt Baws is to hire a cab from Sana’a. Anyone can enter Bayt Baws any time.


Image Sources

By المصور أنس الحاج – Bait Baws – Sana’a, CC BY-SA 2.0,

By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia – Bait Baws, Yemen, CC BY-SA 2.0,


Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon


Kate Dixon

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Kate Dixon