Banu Kathir

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Kathiri (Arabic: الكثيريal-Kathīrī, officially the Kathiri State of Seiyun in Hadhramaut (Arabic: السلطنة الكثيرية - سيؤن - حضرموت al-Salṭanah al-Kathīrīyah - Sayʾūn - Ḥaḍramawt) was a sultanate in the Hadhramaut region of the southern Arabian Peninsula, in what is now part of Yemen and the Dhofar region of Oman.


The Banu Kathir are a branch of the Banu Hamadan and once ruled much of Hadhramaut but their power was truncated by the rival Qu'aitis in the 19th century. The Kathiris were eventually restricted to a small inland portion of Hadhramaut with their capital at Seiyun (Say'un).[1] The sultanate entered into treaty relations with the British in the late 19th century and became a part of the Aden Protectorate. The Kathiri State declined to join the Federation of South Arabia but remained under British protection as part of the Protectorate of South Arabia. Al Husayn ibn Ali, Kathiri sultan since 1949 was overthrown in October 1967 and, the following month, the former sultanate became part of newly independent South Yemen[2]

South Yemen united with North Yemen in 1990 to become the Republic of Yemen, but local sheikhs in Yemen are reported to still wield large de facto authority.

The first Prime Minister in the history of East Timor, Mari Alkatiri (mar'ī al-Kathīrī,), is a third generation descendant of immigrants from Kathiri, part of a significant migration of Hadhramis to Southeast Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is reflected in his name (Alkatiri).

The Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib is also a descendant of immigrants from Kathiri.


  • Mohammed ibn Bedar ibn Omar (1395–1430)
  • Muhammad ibn 'Ali (c. 1430 – c. 1450)
  • Djaffar ibn 'Abdallah (fl. c. 1493)
  • Badr ibn 'Abdallah (c. 1516 – c. 1565)
  • Unknown number Sheikhs (c. 1565 – 19th century)
  • Husein bin Muhsin (fl. 1st half 19th century), He left to Saudi Arabia
    • Ghalib ibn Mohammed (1848–1893)
    • Mansur ibn Ghalib (1894–1929)
    • 'Ali ibn al-Mansur (1929–1938)
  • Under British protection (20th century—1905)
    • Djaffar ibn al-Mansur (1938–1949)
    • al-Husayn ibn 'Ali (1949–1967)


  1. ^ Freya Stark, The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut
  2. ^ Yitzhak Oron, Ed. Middle East Record Volume 1, 1960

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°10′N 50°15′E / 17.167°N 50.250°E / 17.167; 50.250