Clouds, Yemen, 1979

Photograph by Steve Raymer

Clouds gather in a dramatic sky over north Yemen, once a crossroads for the frankincense trade. To the Romans this elbow of land along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden was Arabia Felix—Happy Arabia—perhaps because the abundance of silks, spices, and pearls that came north by camel caravan made it seem a bountiful place.

—Text adapted from and photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "North Yemen," August 1979, National Geographic magazine

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