Sheikh of Arhab escapes death [Archives:2004/700/Front Page]

January 5 2004

On Friday, the paramount Sheikh of the powerful Arhab Tribe, located between Sana'a City and Al-Jouf Governorate, was returning to Sana'a from a trip to his tribal domain. Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab Sinan (mid-seventies) met up with an ambush, reportedly said to be arranged by a rival clan, who have been vying for the Sheikhdom of the tribe for a long time.
The ambush was just a short distance from the Al-Rahaba checkpoint that is at the beginning of the paved road leading to Haifa, the District Center of the Arhab District, near the Sana'a International Airport.
The Sheikh and his relatively modest accompaniment of guards managed to squiggle their way out of the ambush, after being hit with a wobble of gunfire from the ambushers. The Sheikh was said to have been wounded in one of his arms and three of his companions were also wounded. It is not clear yet if the ambushers suffered any casualties.
Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab Sinan has a long history of escaping attempts on his life by several adversaries. He has a long history of combat engagements and a phenomenal record of successes even against highly mechanized forces sent to subdue the tribe during the early days of the Revolution (1962). After the Civil War (1962-1970) ended, the Sheikh quickly proclaimed his loyalty to the Republic and continued to play an important role in keeping inter-tribal and intra-tribal conflicts from getting out of hand.
He is also a founder of the Society for Ending Blood Feuds, an NGO that is active in settling the bloodletting between tribal factions. The Habbari Clan, one of the leading clans in Arhab is seeking to wrest the tribal leadership from the Sinan Clan, and this has led to several violent engagements between supporters of both clans within the tribe.
Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab Sinan is highly regarded among his fellow tribesmen for his chivalrous bravery and wisdom, and for keeping the Tribe of Arhab united and peaceful.
They were arrested after the violence as they wanted to run the students union election which the security men refused to let them do.