SANA’A -The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has listed the cities of Shibam and Sana’a in the List of World Heritage in Danger, because of the war led by the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen since March 2015.
The inclusion of the two cities in the list of endangered heritage is a clear call to save them from the devastating war ravaging the country.
In addition to the deteriorating humanitarian situation, the war has contributed to the destruction of Yemen’s rich heritage, which has always given the Yemenis a sense of identity and belonging to a civilization with roots stretching far back into history.
The ancient walled city of Shibam, built in the 16th century and sometimes dubbed the “Manhattan of the Desert” because of its tower-like structures, is an example of early modern urban planning. It was placed on the World Heritage List in 1982 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The UN organization had listed the old city of Sana’a in the World Heritage List in 1986. It is a city of great historical importance, which was a major center of Islam since the seventh and eighth centuries CE.
The old city of Sanaam’a, with its Great Mosque, houses built of mud bricks and colored glass windows, and markets, is about 2,500 years old making it one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world