Limbo. Yemen

In early 2011 the Yemeni youth took the streets to demand the ouster of Yemen’s autocratic President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled the country for over three decades. They did it indeed. Now, Yemen’s transition sits in limbo, a fitting term defined by the Oxford dictionary as “an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution.”

These photographs were taken between 2012 and 2013. the spring yemen juan herrero-1.jpg

Aerial view of the vast harsh lands in Hadramawt province. the spring yemen juan herrero-3.jpg

Rooftop view in Old Sana'a. Sana'a has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a major centre for the propagation of Islam. This religious and political heritage can be seen in the 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century. At an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft), it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. the spring yemen juan herrero-7.jpg

A Shia Houthi wedding in Old Sana'a. herrero limbo-2.jpg

Fun City, Sanaa.

Two men descending from the humid rainforests of the Haghier mountains, still far from the southern coast. Sky and land open in a hotter savannah-like landscape with small stone villages scattered throughout. Socotra Island. the spring yemen juan herrero-9.jpg

Souq Hajjar, a qat marquet in Sana'a. The qat is a plant widely cultivated in Yemen, whose leaves contain a compound with effects similar to those of amphetamines. Among the people from the Arabian penisula and the horn of Africa, qat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Studies have shown that only in Yemen, almost 80% of its population spend 3 to 4 hours a day chewing the plant. Moreover, the enormous need for water of the qat industry is on course to make the capital, Sana’a, the first in the world to completely run out of water.

Shiffa, an artist from Sana'a, in a friend's studio. the spring yemen juan herrero-4.jpg

Sana'a's zoo.

Shia Houthi demonstration in Sana'a.

Woman and boy by the Red Sea. Hodeidah.

Fishermen handling the shark they captured in Ras Irsel, the deserted easternmost point of the island. Socotra.

Men eating lunch. Sana'a. the spring yemen juan herrero 2-1.jpg

A market during the afternoon, Qat time. Hodeidah city.

Office space in the Ministry of Information. Sana'a. the spring yemen juan herrero-12.jpg

Playful children the first day of Eid holidays dressing new clothes and handling bb guns in Old Sana'a. Yemen is the second most heavily armed society in the World after the United States. herrero yemen-3.jpg

Girl standing by a qat field in Dhamar province.


Man from Diksam, the Haguier mountains. Socotra. herrero yemen-1.jpg

Yemeni girl in ballet class, Sanaa. herrero limbo-1-3.jpg

Bottle tree in Hammam Jarif the spring yemen juan herrero-10.jpg

The Grand Saleh mosque, Sana'a. Inaugurated in November 2008, it can hold up to 40,000 worshippers and cost nearly 60 million US dollars to build, despite Yemen being the Arab world's poorest nation. herrero yemen-4.jpg

People and monkeys at the Sanaa zoo.

A fisherman from Matief, an isolated village on the south coast, carries his family all the way to Ras Irsel, to visit relatives at the easternmost point of the island. Socotra.

Street in Sana'a

Socotrans greeting. the spring yemen juan herrero-13.jpg

Groom and father pose for photos while chewing qat. A wedding in Thula, Amran province. the spring yemen juan herrero-14.jpg

Two boys relaxing inside the Grand Saleh mosque, Sana'a. Inaugurated in November 2008, it can hold up to 40,000 worshippers and cost nearly 60 million US dollars to build. A number not easy to digest given the country's suffering from various widespread different kinds of humanitarian crisis.

Landscape in Skand, the Haghier mountains. Studies have shown that the presence of fog in the highlands is crucial for Socotra's vegetation, as it represents up to 77% of total moisture received. Species like the Dragon Blood tree use their upraised branches to capture the mist. Socotra’s climate has been crucial in the evolution of its flora and fauna, leading to its outstanding biodiversity.

After a fire-cooked dinner of goat, rice, and tea the men of the Dixam plateau settle in for a standard night of song, poetry and discussion about their island’s future. Socotra. the spring yemen juan herrero-11.jpg

Jambiya dance during the celebration of a wedding in Thula, the Haraz mountains, province of Amran. Dating back centuries to the pre-Islamic era, the Yemeni dagger is used for self-defence and in traditional dance.

Ali Saleh's museum dedicated to himself. Sana'a.

Flooded street in Sana'a during the rainy season.