Hajjah, a city of the western highlands, has a relatively recent developmental history, having been secluded by its geography. Though the earliest mention of this city appears in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in the writings of Imam Idris, it was not until the nineteenth century, under the second Ottoman occupation, that it emerged as a state-organized center. Prior to this, Hajjah was predominantly a collection of small towns, centered on the activities of a local souk, at the al Kula'a citadel. Developed through the turn of the century, Hajjah emerged as the provincial capital of Hajjah Province in 1944. In the latter half of the century, major development projects were undertaken in the city, including new street planning, the development of water supply and the construction of the Amran-Hajjah highway.

Marabet, Zohra. “Hajjah”. In Development and Urban Metamorphosis; Volume 2: Background Papers, edited by Ahmet Evin. Singapore: Concept Media/Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1984.
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