شبام كوكبان

( Shibam Kawkaban )

Shibam Kawkaban (Arabic: شبام كَوْكَبَان, romanized: Shibām Kawkabān) is a double town in Shibam Kawkaban District, Al Mahwit Governorate, Yemen, located 38 km west-northwest of Sanaa, the national capital. It consists of two distinct adjoining towns, Shibam (Arabic: شبام, romanized: Shibām) and Kawkaban (Arabic: كَوْكَبَان, romanized: Kawkabān). Shibam is sometimes also called "Shibam Kawkaban" in order to distinguish it from other towns called Shibam.

Shibam is a market town at the edge of a large agricultural plain; above it is the fortress-town of Kawkaban, at the summit of the cliffs to the southw...Read more

Shibam Kawkaban (Arabic: شبام كَوْكَبَان, romanized: Shibām Kawkabān) is a double town in Shibam Kawkaban District, Al Mahwit Governorate, Yemen, located 38 km west-northwest of Sanaa, the national capital. It consists of two distinct adjoining towns, Shibam (Arabic: شبام, romanized: Shibām) and Kawkaban (Arabic: كَوْكَبَان, romanized: Kawkabān). Shibam is sometimes also called "Shibam Kawkaban" in order to distinguish it from other towns called Shibam.

Shibam is a market town at the edge of a large agricultural plain; above it is the fortress-town of Kawkaban, at the summit of the cliffs to the southwest. Kawkaban, which means "two planets" in Arabic, is a sizeable town in its own right, and is known for its lavish tower-houses. Because of the fertile surrounding farmland, the defensive strength of the Kawkaban fortress, and the city's closeness to Sanaa, Shibam Kawkaban has been strategically important throughout Yemen's history.

It contains a fortified citadel about 2,931 m (9,616 ft) above sea level. It is built upon a precipitous hilltop, walled from the north and fortified naturally from the other directions. It was the capital of the Yuʿfirid dynasty (847-997), and was also home to a Jewish community until its demise in the mid-20th century. The city affords good views of the surrounding countryside.

The city features several old mosques: al Madrasa, al Mansoor, al Sharefa and Harabat. The old market is in the middle of the city. Old rainwater reservoirs can also be seen in the fortified town, named Meseda, Alasdad, and Sedalhamam.

 Kawkaban Gate

The earliest mentions of Shibam Kawkaban are in 3rd-century inscriptions which identify it as the center of the Dhu Hagaran Shibam tribe.[1]

The town is known as Shibam Kawkaban because it is on a mountain called Kawkaban. It was also known as Shibam Yaḥbis, Shibam Ḥimyar and Shibam Aqyan. The Yuʿfirids Muslim dynasty (847-997) that emerged in the Yemen is originally from Shibam Kawkaban. Shibam Kawkaban became their capital.[2][3]

According to al-Hamdani, Shibam was the center of the historical mikhlaf of 'Aqyan.[4] He wrote that the town had 30 mosques in his day and was inhabited by members of the Banu Fahd branch of the tribe of Himyar.[4]

Beginning in the 1500s, Shibam Kawkaban was a stronghold of the Alid Sharaf al-Din dynasty, which produced two Zaydi Imams of Yemen.[1]

In the early 20th century, the mountain village was visited by German explorer and photographer Hermann Burchardt, who wrote in May 1902: "Kawkaban, a now completely deserted town that still 40 years ago counted 30,000 inhabitants, but now hardly holds a few hundred; [it] also has its Jewish quarter, where still some families live."[5] The renowned Jewish poet, Zechariah Dhahiri, was a resident of the city.

As of the 1975 census, Shibam Kawkaban was home to about 2,000 people.[1]

In February 2016 as part of the Yemeni Civil War, fighter jets from U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition struck the town citadel, killing seven residents and destroying the historic gateway as well as the 700-year-old houses.[6]

^ a b c Cite error: The named reference Robin 1997 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Smith, G. R. (2012-04-24). "Yuʿfirids". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. ^ زبارة, محمد بن محمد بن يحيى اليمني/الصنعاني (1998-01-01). نيل الوطر من تراجم رجال اليمن في القرن الثالث عشر 1-2 ج1 (in Arabic). Dar Al Kotob Al Ilmiyah دار الكتب العلمية. ISBN 978-2-7451-2623-8. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Gazetteer was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Hermann Burchardt, Die Juden in Yemen, in: "Ost und West", Berlin 1902, p. 340. ^ ‘Why is the world so quiet?’ Yemen suffers its own cruel losses, far from Aleppo.
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