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Artisans keep up the shine on gems in YemenHer fingers bleed from beneath the nail beds, but sitting at her workstation, filing Yemeni gemstones on a spinning wheel, Safaa al-Faqih is at peace in a country for too long at war. In green canvas trainers and a black niqab, the young artisan – one of the few Yemeni women in her field – runs a blue Yemeni agate through a hot flame, turning it slowly with her bare hands as she fits it into a mold. Yemeni agate – or "aqeeq" in the local dialect – is a trademark of the traditional silver jewelry the country is famed for, adorning rings, necklaces, women's bracelets and, for men, curved daggers worn tucked into a belt.It is in Sanaa that Faqih first learned her craft and where she continues to practice, creating pieces to meet whatever demand is left.
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