A state of euphoria and hope is seen in the desolate peaks and broken ruins that adorn the sides of the historic Seiyun Palace in Hadhramaut Governorate (east of Yemen), with the approach of a Saudi hand that lives and hopes in restoring its stunning areas, after being betrayed and neglected in recent decades.
In a move met with wide Yemeni satisfaction while triumphing over history and the rich human heritage, the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen announced yesterday the signing of an agreement to restore the historic Seiyun Palace in To rehabilitate Hadhramaut in partnership with UNESCO. , following demands to restore the historic building, parts of whose walls have recently fallen due to The heavy rains that the country has seen in recent months, damaging the building, which is one of the most important monuments in Yemen.
Preservation of the authentic Arab heritage
Yesterday, the project agreement was signed by the general supervisor of the SDRPY, Ambassador Muhammad Al Jaber, and the representative of “UNESCO” to the Arab Gulf States and Yemen, Salah El-Din Zaki Khaled.
According to Al Jaber, the project aims to contribute to the Yemeni government’s support for the protection of antiquities and historical areas that are at risk, “and this is a continuation of the Kingdom’s support for the brothers in Yemen, and to preserve the authentic Yemenite and Arab. heritage,” and as an extension of “the Kingdom’s pioneering role and interest, in working to preserve and preserve the tangible heritage.” and intangibles in Yemen, and as a contribution to the government’s support for the protection of antiquities and historic areas at risk. in Yemen.”
the same style
In an effort to preserve the unique architectural style of the historic palace, which was built from mud and traditional building materials about 500 years ago, the SDRPY statement said: “The restoration work will be carried out by Yemeni workers, in collaboration with the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums in Yemen and with logistical support and a technician from the Social Fund for Development in Yemen.
As for the representative of “UNESCO” to the Arab Gulf States and Yemen, Salah El-Din Zaki, he confirmed that the project will work to enhance the role of Seiyun Palace as a museum and center for the cultural life of the local community to revive, in addition to providing employment opportunities for Yemeni youth.
He said that through the project, UNESCO seeks to strengthen the role of culture in order to build the capacity of local communities in Yemen to adapt, resist and recover in the face of the ongoing war and natural disasters. .
In spite of time
Seiyun Palace is one of the most prominent historical and archaeological monuments in the Hadhramaut Valley. It is also one of the largest mud palaces in the world. It consists of seven floors, 45 rooms, many annexes, guest halls, courtyards, horse stables, palm groves and fruits. Therefore, it has great symbolism and cultural importance that represents a lot for the values of heritage. Yemeni and global humanitarian.
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Yemen’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “UNESCO” Muhammad Jumaih says that the permanent delegation of the Republic of Yemen to UNESCO during the last period received a report on the situation of Seiyun Palace, and the consequences caused by rain, climate changes, erosion and neglect factors, and the event directly affects the palace. For this, “I contacted the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen on the one hand, and UNESCO on the other, to study what could be done. In turn, the international organization requested a detailed work plan to palace, which is a wonderful masterpiece.”
Speaking to “The Independent Arabia”, the Yemeni ambassador added: “Colleagues in the office of the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums in Seiyun started preparing the plan, and it was sent to UNESCO, which approved it, and after UNESCO approved the plan. plan, the Saudi side agreed to finance it.”
What can we do?
Jumaih explains that the beginning of the project was a message I received from Ambassador Al Jaber through the WhatsApp application asking: “What can we do?”, “And since then we have a recovery plan with the help of UNESCO began to prepare, after the approval procedures took some time until the signing of a restoration agreement. The palace in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Muammar Al-Eryani, the general supervisor of the Saudi program for the development and reconstruction of Yemen, Ambassador Muhammad Al Jaber, and the director of the UNESCO Office for the Gulf States and Yemen Salah Khaled.
Regarding the start date of the project, the ambassador said that it remains only for UNESCO, represented by its office for the Gulf States and Yemen, to contract with an implementing agency in Yemen to implement the project according to the architectural style, so that the palace maintains its bright presence and its great place in the hearts of Yemenis as a unique and rare cultural symbol.
Historians considered the ancient palaces of Yemen to be the first skyscrapers in the world, that is, they appeared six thousand years before modern buildings, since the days of the Kingdom of Sheba and earlier in the era of the prophet Noah, as the case is. of the historic Ghamdan Palace in Sana’a, which was built by Sam bin Noah (founder of Sana’a) Historians consider it the oldest and rarest palaces in the world.
Observers said that the project comes within the framework of government assistance to protect the Yemeni heritage from destruction, in addition to the pioneering role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in preserving the history and antiquities of the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab and Islamic countries, which prompted the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Muammar Al-Eryani, to praise the Saudi role in his country, including “Efforts in the Seiyun Palace Restoration Project”.
Al-Eryani indicated that the Seiyun Palace restoration project is among 224 development projects and initiatives implemented by the SDRPY in seven basic sectors, namely education, health, water, energy, transport, agriculture, fisheries, capacity building of government institutions, in addition to development programs.
Al Kathiri State Headquarters
Because of the beauty of its unique construction and its high elevation, the Kathiri state that ruled the Hadhramaut valley some time ago made the palace a main seat of the rule of the sultans of the state. Sultan Badr Abu Tuwayriq (of the sultans of Al Katheer) started it as his residence in 922 AH after he renovated his house and built a mosque next to it. At that time the city of Seiyun became the capital of the many state.
With the independence revolution against British colonialism and the sultanate rule in southern Yemen, which led to the fall of the Kathiri state in 1967 AD, the palace was called the Revolution Palace, and it was used as a police station, a headquarters for security institutions, and a seat for the Sayun Museum.
During the years 2000 and 2001, the palace witnessed extensive renovations under the orders of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The palace was built of mud, as mud architecture flourishes in Hadhramaut Valley to this day, due to its suitability for the valley’s climate, which is characterized by heat, dryness and warmth in winter.
It consists of five floors and two single bedrooms overlooking the farms and valleys of the region. The first floor is used as a hall for public meetings and ceremonies, while the second floor is a warehouse for supplies and weapons and a residence for servants, while the third floor is for the Royal Council and the private office. Women.