Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat Visits Damaged Historic Landmarks in South Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A woman walks on a bridge in the Old Sanaa city January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Aden- Houthi militias and forces of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh did not withdraw from Aden, Lahij and Dhale (in the south of the country) until they had already damaged, stolen and destroyed Yemen’s historic, spiritual and cultural landmarks.

Asharq Al-Awsat visited these cities and saw the destruction by the militias that have turned landmarks into barracks to settle in.

The first thing these militias had in mind when entering these cities was to control significant centers of economic and historic value and not a military one. In case they failed to attack some landmarks they would target them with rockets and missiles. The militias wanted to take revenge of the society that resisted them through bombarding vital constructions and buildings.

Director General of General Organization of Antiquities and Museums of Yemen, Mohammad Mankouch told Asharq Al-Awsat that the architectural heritage is an essential factor of the cultural and civilization heritage of any nation since it reflects the level of construction and architecture reached by this nation.

He added, “Architecture might look similar in various countries but each country or region actually has its own style that makes it stand out”.

Mankouch added that Dhale is rich in a history and heritage that go back to thousand years. One of the notable sites is Dar Al Haid which is not ancient but is considered a heritage since it reflects a heritage pattern and has a fundamental role in the region’s history. He expressed sorrow that this landmark has been damaged during armed struggle against British Mandate and the last war as well.

Speaking of the landmarks in Dhale, south Aden, he also talked about Wales Sidewalk that was built similar to Mumbai Port in 1905. In around one century, this site became a prominent landmark in the city.