Clockwise from top:
Zabid skyline, Al-Asha'ir Mosque, highrise building, architecture pattern, historic town
|Governorate||Al Hudaydah Governorate|
|Time zone||Yemen Standard Time (UTC+3)|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Criteria||Cultural: (ii), (iv), (vi)|
|Inscription||1993 (17th Session)|
Zabid (Arabic: زبيد) (also spelled Zabīd and Zebid) is a town with an urban population of around 52,590 persons on Yemen's western coastal plain. It is one of the oldest towns in Yemen, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993; though, in 2000, the site was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Great Mosque of Zabid, also known as Al-Asha'ir Mosque, was built in 628 AD by Abu Musa Ashaari, one of the followers of Muhammad. The town was the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century.
The town, named after Wadi Zabid, the wadi (or valley) to its south, is one of the oldest towns in Yemen. Abu Musa Ashaari, one of the Prophet Muhammads companions, came originally from Zabid, and had the Great Mosque of the town built in 628 AD, also still during the Prophet's life. According to tradition, this is the 5th mosque built in the history of Islam. Another sahabi; Amru bin Ma'adi Yakrib also hailed from Zabid and was from the House of Zubaid, an arabian tribe named after this city. Zabid was the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century and a centre of the Arab and Muslim world due in large part to its famed University of Zabid and being a centre of Islamic education. It was the capital of the Ziyadid dynasty from 819–1018 and the Najahid dynasty from 1022–1158. Today, however, it is at the intellectual and economic margins of modern Yemen.
World Heritage Site
In 2000, Zabid was listed on the List of World Heritage in Danger; the listing was made on the behest of the Yemeni government due to a state of poor upkeep and conservation. According to a UNESCO report, roughly "40% of the city's houses have been replaced by concrete buildings, and other houses and the ancient souk are in a deteriorating state. If the city has not begun preservation of its cultural heritage within two years of its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it faces possible loss of this vaunted status.
As of 1920, Zabid was one of two places in Arabia growing indigo. Zabid also grows and produces cotton. The British cite tribal disputes as dampening the economy in Zabid during the early 20th century.
The wall of Al-Asha'ir Mosque
- "Najahid Dynasty." Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 14 April 2006.
- Eickelman, Dale F. "The Middle East and Central Asia." (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River: 2002)
- population of Zabid
- "Decision : CONF 002 XI Inscription: Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen)". unesco.org. 1993.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger 2000: Historic Town of Zabid
- Ahmad al-Aghbari and Mohammad al-Ulofi (February 15, 2009). "Is Yemen Able to Keep Zabid Listed in World Heritage?". Saba News.
- Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 85.
- Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 103.
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