Aden: Past & Present [Archives:2001/21/Culture]

May 21 2001

Saleh Abdulbaqi 
Yemen Times 
With its rich history, the city of Aden has been one of the important national centers for development at all levels. Despite the many wars and conflicts that have left their mark on the city, it is today prepared to welcome the 11th anniversary of unification day on May 22. 
Its significant geographical location and seaport connecting it with Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. has made it a favorite target for foreign colonizers. This has enabled it to combine multi-faceted cultures that is clearly seen in the high degree of cultural awareness of its people. Adani people are, no doubt, among the kindest and most generous people in Yemen. 
The city has also been famous as a trade center. Souq Attaam, Souq Al-Buhrah, Souq Al-Baz, Souq Al-Zaafaran, are the most well-known markets that have attracted many traders, especially from the neighboring countries. Caravans from the north and east used to come to Al-Sheikh Othman loaded with different kinds of goods which went to Crater and other trade centers. Being one of the most important approaches to Aden, the city of Sheikh Othman become a center for many traders. Al-Tawahi was also another important trade center. Its strategic location overlooking the seaport added more beauty to it. Many tourists used to come to this place to purchase gems, souvenirs, etc. and enjoy the beautiful scene of the seaport. Zone of the city were named after the communities concentrated in them. For example, there used to be the Indian, Jewish. zones and so on. These communities left the city following its independence. 
In 1952 a Radio station was established in Al-Tawahi and in 1964 the first TV station in the Peninsula was also established here. The cultural activities prospered when the Ministry of Culture established the National Theater in the area. Many political, cultural and social activities were organized attracting may Arab and foreign intellectuals and artists. 
In 1912 Aden city witnessed an educational revolution when Sheikh Mohammed Omar Bazaraah established the first school which was known as Bazaraah Charitable School. Later on, many national schools were built to contribute to the development of the city. 
There are many nice and attractive places in Aden such as the historic tanks, the palace of the Sultan, Al-Aidarous mosque, the house of Rimbaud, etc. Its coast includes a good number of fine bays and beaches surrounded by magnificent volcanic rocks which add more beauty to the landscape. It is painful to see such nice places receiving less attention. However, they are still crowded with people who come to enjoy their free times away from the noise of the city. I feel sad when I visit any Arab country and see how nice and organized their beaches are compared to the Aden beach. But still I hope to see Aden more beautiful. 
Despite the great development Aden has achieved during the last decade, it still deserves more attention. So do its citizens. Aden today is representing the whole of Yemen and all Yemeni people.