SANA’A, July 19 (Saba)- The US$111,000 restoration of the Dar al-Diyafa historic building in Zabid, Hodeidah, has been successfully completed, the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a said on Monday in a press release.
The historic building of Dar al-Diyafa, one of Yemen's rich cultural heritage, was constructed in 1914 by one of the most famous masons of Yemen, Osta Salem Shami. It is considered one of the most important landmarks in the historical city, famed for an architectural style unique to Zabid and for its historic use as a guesthouse for official Arab and foreign visitors.
The restoration of the Dar al-Diyafa building began in 2007 with an US$111,000 endowment from the U.S. Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation, in cooperation with the Social Fund for Development.
‘’The project included a complete restoration of the two-story building's 14 large rooms, two kitchens and two bathrooms; provision of equipment for continuing conservation work; and onsite conservation training for local experts’’, the embassy explained.
The embassy pointed out that the Dar al-Diyafa building will soon be open to the public.
‘’In addition to serving as a guesthouse for local and foreign scholars visiting Zabid, it will house a collection of historic manuscripts which has been relocated from Zabid's Al-Asha'ir Mosque’’.
Zabid’s cultural heritage spans more than 3000 years of history. Zabid is situated in the western lowlands of Hodiedah province of Yemen, about ten miles from the Red Sea.
Dating back to 820, Zabid is one of the oldest urban settlements in Yemen. The Great Mosque of Zabid was constructed in the same year and its madrasa soon became an international center for Sunni teaching, attracting scholars from all over the Islamic world.
The historic city of Zabid was designated a World Heritage Site in 1993.