Zabeed to Be One of the Three Cities of International Heritage [Archives:2001/31/Culture]

July 30 2001

Saleh Abdulbaqi 
Cultural Editor 
Yemen Times 
The visit paid by the Minister of Culture, Dr. Abduh Al-Wahab Al-Rowhani to the historic city, Zabeed was a clear indication of the importance given by the minister to this historic city. It also resembles the great significance of Zabeen as a city that contains valuable ancient Yemeni heritage. Zabeed has been suffering neglect and ignorance by the different governments despite its rich culture and heritage. 
Zabeed is well known for its ancient scientific centers in all sectors of science during the flourishing days of the Islamic city. 
The ministry in cooperation with the grated committees has agreed to carry out an immediate plan to save from modern constructions which could potentially affect its historic buildings and monuments. 
The plan also includes rebuilding the historic structures in the city such as, the Grand Mosque, the historical Castle, along with preparing maps for the old city to build a wall to protect it from the influence of future constructions. This is in addition to the drainage channels, paving streets and rehabilitating the Old Market to this city. 
At the same time, the Head of French Center for the Yemeni Studies, Mr. Francios urged upon the Gulf Countries to save the Islamic Heritage in Zabeed for its important value for the whole region. 
Historical Background: 
Zabeed is a historic city in the coastal plain of Tihama with a population of about 20 000. The houses of the city were built of mud in the third century of Hijra. The city was exposed to the effects of the random reconstruction of concrete houses obliterating the real ancient picture of the city. 
The nomenclature of the city was derived from its famous valleys known as Wadi Zabeed. It was one of the historical cities which preserved the heritage of the Islamic civilization. It is the city of religious scholars and students. It has a vast area enclosed by palaces, gardens and palm trees. Ibn Batotah visited the city in the era of Al-Mojahed’s reign and described it as “a great city with water springs and a lot of fruits. It is a city, whose people are kind-hearted and hospitable.” In a study conducted by Abdu Al-Rahman Al-Hadhrami about the city, it was mentioned that “Zabeed has four gates, Al-Shabareeg from the east, Al-Katab from the south, Al-Nakheel from the west and the Seham Gate from the south. The city has so many historical palaces and mosques such as, Al-Naseri House, Alaaz Palace and Al-Naser Palace.” The city is also famous for its mosques such as, the Grand Mosque and Al-Ashaer Mosque built by Abu Mosa. Al-Ashaer Mosque in Yemen was a prestigious station comparable to that of Al-Azhar Mosque in Egypt. The city has also many schools which were built during the reign of the Ayyubis such as, Alosamia school, Al-Kamalia school and Al-Mansooria School. 
Preserving Zabeed’s heritage is part of preserving history, and the perseverance of the history is in fact the perseverance of one’s originality and entity.