Yemen Manuscripts: Indispensable Part of The Arab Nation Heritage [Archives:2001/30/Culture]

July 23 2001

Yemen manuscripts are among the most important cultural and historical heritage of Yemen. This ruins and manuscripts of Yemeni ancient civilizations made up a good source of knowledge for all the Yemeni and foreign researchers. This rich heritage could create great interest in Yemen as a destination for tourists and researchers coming from all over the world to study with live samples the great ancient civilizations of our forefathers.
It is a pity however that some people completely forget about the importance of the ancient manuscripts. It is ever more pathetic to realize that some Yemenis actually sell those manuscripts to foreign dealers as goods for cheap and unbelievable prices. They smuggle them abroad and sell them to gain a few dollars without knowing that such treasures are actually invaluable pieces of heritage.
General Manager of the Yemeni Manuscripts Authority Mr. Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi believes that Yemen’s ancient manuscripts are not but a national heritage for the Yemeni generations, he describes them as an indispensable part of the Arab and Islamic national heritage. “Those manuscripts are the nation’s linguistic, cultural and historical heritage, which must be reserved for the coming generations. They should be the hints and guidance tools that could enable us to easily communicate with the forefathers and travel back to ancient times” he said.
According to Al-Makhafi, more than 8,000 pieces of Yemeni manuscripts can be found in Sana’s , Taiz, Zabid, Jeblah, Kawkaban, and Dhamar cities inside libraries, mosques and other private residents. While more than one million pieces of Yemeni manuscripts could actually be found in some important national libraries located in Italy, the Vatican, France, Britain and America. Al-Makhafi added that “The Yemeni Manuscripts Authority has adopted a serious practical plan aiming at restoring these manuscripts to Yemen. The national plan initiated its activities at the Arab library in 1978 and at the Al-Ahkaf library of Hadhramout in 1988. Huge indexes were also designed for the purpose. The Manuscripts House in Sana’a carried on the job of documenting, registering and maintaining the manuscripts. The last ten years mark the beginning of the national awareness campaign on the importance of preserving and maintaining the historical manuscripts. this enabled researchers and people concerned about rare heritage to find a rich source of information in this field.
Some Yemeni manuscripts of the Holy Qura’an date back to the break out of Islam and the migration of prophet Mohammed ( Peace be upon him ) from Holy Makka to Madena in the Arab peninsula more than 1,400 years ago.