Aden’s Seashores: Crying for Help! [Archives:1999/29/Front Page]

July 19 1999

-Sultan Thoran Shah, when building the City of Aden 821 years ago. 
History stands as evidence that Aden is among the most ancient cities of the world, but it has also seen many of the worst times. It suffered furious wars and battles throughout the years, from the era Before Christ, until the unity war in 1994. 
But one cannot deny that Aden has been blessed with many beauties. It has a fascinating coastline that is not available elsewhere in Yemen. Al-Tawwahi town, which lies on the Goldmore coastline, as well as the Coast of Lovers, are among the most fabulous areas of nature in the Arabian Peninsula. 
What comes to mind when watching the beauty of the coastline of Aden, is tourism. The beauty can become one of the strongest elements in making Aden a world wide tourist destination. 
However, there is also a dark side to the story. After the civil war of 1994, many open, clean, and beautiful seashores began to take on a new appearance. 
With shock and disbelief, natives witnessed construction, buildings, and hotels and restaurants being built on the public property of the city, on the beach! The coast, which used to be open, is now blocked and you cannot see the sea any more. Villas, markets, and other establishments were built on the shore, and prevented the local citizens from having even a view of the shore, let alone going for a swim. The garbage and remains from the construction in these areas has filled up the shores, and turned them into open garbage pit, and a place where even sewage was directed. 
People who knew Aden 10 years ago ask “is this the city of Aden?” “How did this happen?” “Who is responsible for this mess?”Many questions need to be answered, but the problem is that all of this is happening under the direct supervision of the government. Land is being taken away from the public property and being sold and built upon, while the people in charge are watching silently. 
What is even more pathetic is that there are projects, such as the Khormaksar Beach Retreat, which have cost the country more than 152 million rials, and are still in their preliminary stages. Why this ignorance? Why this mess?