Zabeed outside the international heritage register [Archives:2004/801/Culture]

December 23 2004
The remains of a wonderfully built piece of art juxtaposed be side garbage in its yard. This should prompt the concerned people to act.
The remains of a wonderfully built piece of art juxtaposed be side garbage in its yard. This should prompt the concerned people to act.
Ismail Al-Ghabiri
The danger threatening Zabid Town has taken the interest of researchers, academics and experts, leading to arguments at a national symposium on preserving historical Yemeni towns.
The three-day symposium that was concluded at Hodeidah University on Dec. 16, contributed by 35 scientific personalities, academicians, researchers, and those interested who seem to be semi desperate in the eyes of some of those interested ; the purpose of which is nullifying the must or the quittance from taking any surprising severe decision towards a town with no guilt except that it has suffered negligence for longer time, as a result of which, has fallen under the International Heritage by 1993 and enrolled as under risk, after it was as an enlightening center for the Peninsula and its surroundings by its holders of science and knowledge cressets. Meanwhile, some others look at it as a step that deserves attention and appreciation, which disclose the true intentions attempting to rescue the town from danger of random practices threatening by architectural, cultural and original historical features extinction, although it has come up later than it is supposed to be.
But the resolutions and the recommendations that the participants had come out with were the final leading to conclude the argument by the decisions which have been taken, most important of which is the decision and the implementation of the architectural preservation plan for the town, the hastening in issuing preservation law for the historical towns, and to establish a technical specializing unit to implement preservation plan called Culture Home, support and develop Preservation Fund in Zabid, and re-practicing the support of maintenance projects and the supported housing project specimen, taking into consideration the characteristic of the historical Zabid town as being the most important and sacred original Islamic architecture signs, as the Historians say. In addition, there is a call for conducting a study on all types of building violations and a budget to facilitate its implementation, entrusting local councils with this task. It is recommended to benefit from an experiment carried out in old Sana'a regarding the removal of smaller and less serious violations.
The recommendations did not brush aside the necessity of beginning the project on revival of the city's old market, in accordance with previous studies in addition to continued support for renovation projects of historical buildings and houses with distinguishable styles, operation of all traditional local bricks (yajoor) industry and to support projects reviving traditional professions. Recommendations also called for building a textile industry factory and activation of non-governmental organisations in this regard
Decisions and Recommendations were the product of over three days discussions (14, 15, and 16/12/2004). Discussions reviewed a number of important working papers tackling five premises on value and importance of the city's heritage, preserving that heritage, local and international strategies and efforts for preservation. However, those papers had surpassed topics of the symposium to talking about meetings of and subjects dealt with by the symposium organised by the GOPHCY, in association with the World Heritage Center of UNESCO.
Essential and delicate matters related to the current status of the town which the participants have agreed to describe it as a critic.
The most prominent of such points is its economic and social status and the extent of its connection to the development plans and the mechanism of preserving the historical town in addition to detailed matters related to the heritage, the architecture, the antiquities, the transcripts, the homes and traditional crafts.
The papers, which were presented during the five symposium works sessions, split it by each other in presenting analytical visions and other evaluating processes could succeed in becoming aware of many sides, which enlightened the path before the means and methods of possible

Preservation and stopping the available possibilities.
The people of the area contribution, the local councils, and the social and economical events in the symposium works disclose the social and economical fact and the means of its treatment in a way serving the preservation of the town.
Expressing words were uttered during the sittings, on the truth of serious intentions in rescuing Zabid town by the government side whereto the Minister of Culture & Tourism has ascertained the Ministry's intention and preparedness in participating side by side with those who like Zabid, by presenting material and moral support as per planned and prepared studies to be done and participated by the whole events and concerned authorities taking into consideration that the visit to Zabid is an important chapter of the town rescue history.
From his point, Mr. Francisco Bandrin, the Director of World Heritage Center at UNESCO, has determined the basic axis that the organization depends on in preserving the historical towns further to the world campaigns calling for preserving the landmarks, and the world conferences, the pacts and agreements with the member countries in this direction, pointing out in this respect that Yemen has become fully prepared to sign the oral and cultural heritage pact, meanwhile, the nation official in preserving the historical towns has provided three main axis must be adopted to achieve the balancing among each other e.g. the availability of the political, economical and cultural management, whereas the rest of the words uttered by the Chairman of (GOPHCY), Doctor Abdullah Zaid Eissa, and the Governor for the efforts paid by the Governorate and the Authority for preserving the historical towns and its original architectural heritage. Doctor Abdullah Zaid has determined the goals of the symposium i.e. the taking of effective practical decisions for preserving the town by announcing some of the procedures taken by the Authority, most important of which is the review of the law on historical towns, and the issuance of Zabid town general plan, beginning of next week, and to agree with the Minister of Public Works and the Highway to maintain the task of removing the concrete poles in it (Zabid).