Zabid, situated in the coastal lowlands of the Tihama, had already been a university town around 800 years AD, and at that point in time was one of the most important centres of Islamic and scientific scholarship. It was here that one of the first schoolbooks for algebra was written. Not much is to be seen of the former radiance of the town, only those who view the town with wide-open eyes will be able to recognise why Zabid was declared a town of
World Cultural Heritage and therefore registered with the UNESCO:
The well-preserved fantastic ornamental plasterwork on some of the house are a clear sign of this. Also interesting is a short visit to the citadel, which was built in times of the
Ottoman Empire. Modern development, such as within the whole of the Tihama, has up to now just passed by – the whole region belongs to the poorest and economically most underdeveloped in the whole country.
Bait al Faqih
Once a week, the normally colourless town of
Bait al Faqih transforms into a lively centre of trade. Not only agricultural products are on offer, but also for the Tihama, typical braided beds, pumpkins, and household equipment are to be found. A short distance outside the Souqs, a few of the original weavers have their workshops and produce the characteristic bright and colourful striped cotton cloths.