Assaid – Twinkling star in Shabwa [Archives:2008/1203/Last Page]

October 30 2008

By: Nasser Abdullah Nasser Salah
For the Yemen Times

With a population of approximately 15,000, the picturesque town of Assaid is situated on a highland 35 kilometers southeast of Attaq, the capital of Shabwa governorate. Hidden among three mountains -Hide Bin Radhi, Hide Mura'aeh and Hide Al-Burieh, the town is decorated with many trees of Nabk (Christ's thorn). In full bloom, Nabk trees fill the air with a subtle aroma, providing a relaxing atmosphere and flowers for bees to make excellent honey.

Distinguished by its ancient architectural masterpieces, the town is home to buildings that are hundreds of years old. A beautiful blend of the use of mud and classical design bear witness to their deep-roots and authenticity. Such buildings are known to be very strong, solid and resistant to most climatic conditions.

There were once some Jewish families, known as skilful silversmiths, who were inhabitants of Assaid. Many of them dwelled in the village of Algabieh, but most of them lived in Habban, a small town located on the Aden-Mukalla highway 40 kilometers northeast of Attaq, where they had their own houses and cemeteries. Jews settled there for years until 1948, when they were removed under the protection of the British Government to Palestine.

The town has had a number of names throughout history. It was once called 'the location of the Sheikhdom of Upper Awaliq and Khalifah' during the time of the Federation of South Arabia under the power of the British colonizer. Then it was called 'the capital of the centre' shortly after national independence in November 1967. Following the blessed unification of Yemen 22 May 1990, it became 'the capital of the province'.

The people of Assaid are friendly, hospitable, forgiving and cooperative. They would willingly spare no effort to do good for the country. They support the noble goals of 26 September as well as those of 14 October and stand by the Yemeni Unification. They are charitable and contribute to the betterment of social welfare. In the past, as there were fewer people in the town, they used to live together as one big family and supported each other, for example by building houses for the needy and providing rations for the voluntary builders.

The people of Assaid uphold their customs and traditions, handed down from one generation to another. Assaid is indeed a twinkling star that shines throughout the Yashbum Valley, one that will leave its imprint on memory for years and centuries to come.