Zabid Public Library opens [Archives:2006/976/Last Page]

August 28 2006

Consisting of 23 divisions, Zabid Public Library opened last week. Minister of Culture Khalid Al-Rowaishan, who opened the library, stated that the library, which contains approximately 5,000 titles and valuable literary manuscripts, is the beginning of significant cultural activities to be witnessed in Zabid. He added that the historical city “is qualified to be the Arab Culture Capital.”

He also revealed his ministry's efforts to submit the historic western Yemeni town in the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) program as the Islamic culture capital. “Here, Zabid comes with history peering from its window and shaking hands with us with no warmth but the warmth of its people's hearts,” he added.

Al-Rowaishan and other Hodeidah local council officials also laid the foundation stone for Zabid Cultural Center and Central Library. Additionally, a manuscript center is expected to open in the city within a month.

Founded in the ninth century, the historical city of Zabid was the center of an influential Islamic school and the famed University of Zabid. Named after its first governor and founder, Zabid is one of the oldest towns in Yemen and one of the first to convert to Islam during the Prophet Mohammed's lifetime. It boasts several families who can trace their lineage to the prophet.

UNESCO has declared Zabid a World Heritage Site and funded excavations of its old schools.