Hamdan, furnishes more than ten thousand jobs a day [Archives:2005/854/Culture]

June 27 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi

Hamadan is the name of one of the most famous tribes of Yemen. Today's Hashid and Bakiel tribes are the descendants of this tribe. The tribes of Hamdan are still living in north west of the capital Sana'a

In spite of the historical reputation of Hamdan, we find that it is nowadays famous for growing Qat, which is considered to be the best kind of Qat in Sana'a. Hamdan is the place which was referred to in the Holy Qur'an in the story of those young men who, after the death of their father conspired to give nothing to the poor, their story is as follows in Qur'an, ' Verily, we tried them as we tried them, as We tried the people of the garden, when they swore to pluck the fruits of the (garden) in the morning, ' The story continues '19. There passed on the (garden) a visitation (fire) from your lord at night and burnt it while they were asleep.'' surah 68. Al-Qalam Part 29.

Hamdan lies in the northern side of Sana'a:

Hamdan- Dharawan is a semi plain area , with intermittent mountainous of varied heights, which is characterized by a rich volcanic soil. There are three dams in the area. On top of these are, Sud Al -Shi'b Al -Kabeer, Twoadha Sud and Rai'n Sad

The Tribes of Hamdan

Hamdan tribes are now divided into four divisions; they are:1- Wada'a 2-Bani Makram 3- Dahm 4- Al-Robu'

Its area is about 589.3 sq. km. and its population is 101.212 or 169 persons per sq. Km. Hamdan consists of four directorates as mentioned before.. there are 98 villages.

Hamdan and the cultivation of Gat and Plums:

The fertile soil of Hamdan is exploited in growing Qat. It is considered as the first cash crop for the population. The most famous villages in growing Qat are, Wadi Dhuaa, Alkibar, Toudhan, Al-Madam, Hataab and Bait -Aldhufif. People are now digging the rocks, then they cover them with soil brought from other sites to grow the Qat. This is ofcourse in addition to the other vast areas already planted. The other areas, in which Qat is not grown, depend on the seasonal rains. In exception to this, there is Al-Hawri area, that is famous for growing plums.

Dharawan employs ten thousand workers daily. Zaied Ali, a businessman (contractor), from Al kubar area, says, “Qat is a cash source for 85% of the Hamdan population.

Hamdamn district Center “Dharawan ” receives 10 thousand workers daily. They come from Sana'a and other areas. They are then carried by wholesalers which are called “Majabrah” to the farms to pick the Qat. They work from 5 in the morning to ten. Each gets 600 rials plus a small bundle of Qat “tekhzinah”

Unfortunately, a number of the youth have left school to work in Qat selling “mugautah”. This of course needs to be addressed.

Disparity of Income:

There are some families in Hamdan that live below poverty limit, especially those who don't own farm lands, or live in an area that is affected by severe cold “al-dhareeb”. The other family's annual income is estimated to be ten million Yemeni rials, that is five thousand dollars

Huge revenues, and No Services:

Abdulbari Hizam Al-Gadhi, an inhabitant of Hamdan, says that, “Because the people of Hamdan don't get jobs in the government, many of them left school to work in Qat selling, take me for instance, I graduated from the faculty of law in 2000 and I didn't get a job. Now I work in Qat selling,” he continued, 'The District receives daily revenues from the Qat that is brought from the neighboring villages. The monthly income of these customs is about twenty million Yemeni rials in addition to other customs of Zakat and others. In spite of that there are no services in this area, no water or health services, no infrastructures and the local councils have no role.

Qat and Depletion of water:

Qat is the major water depleting factor. There are about ten artesian wells in a village. Now they are being deepened to a depth of 250 meters in the last three years . Some reach up to 400. There is no compensation in spite of the suds that have been lately constructed. According to Ministry of Agriculture latest studies, Qat consumption of water reaches about 800 million cubic meters. There are assurances that, one bundle of Qat consumes 500 liters of water, which is enough for the consumption of a family for a month.

Marriage Traditions in Hamdan:

The high dowries are a great concern to the young people in Hamdan. The expenses that a proposer should pay amount to 700 thousand Yemeni rials. The other expenses could reach a million. This is a bad habit that should be seriously faced, by the well doers in the area.