11 May, 2009

Sights from Seiyoun, Wadi Hadhramaut

Seiyoun (Arabic: سيئون‎), some times spelt Seiyun, with a population of about 100,000, is the largest urban center and capital of Wady Hadhramout. It's famous for its splendid, intricately built mud bricked houses; and its palm trees and wonderful souqs in narrow streets, where: frankincense, myrrh, antique silver and authentic Hadhramy souvenirs are sold. On a recent visit, I took these pictures:

Wadi Hadhramaut is one of the most fertile places on Earth, and has plenty of fresh water. Wherever one goes in Seiyoun, one is surrounded by palms and greenery. Many houses in Seiyoun are on large areas and are enclosed within mud bricked walls.

All main streets, now, in Seiyoun are paved and wide; most of the narrow streets that wind around the city, are paved too.

This is the new stadium being constructed in Seiyoun. Probably it's meant for the Gulf 20 Final Cup which will be hosted by Yemen next year.

Above and below, are photos of the Al'Habshy tomb and mosque. Al'Habshy, a renowned preacher and scholar, lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After his death, his followers established an annual pilgrimage to his tomb and mosque, which to this day continues during the 17th to the 20th days in the Islamic month of Rabi'i Thani. His followers gather and reenact his burial, read Quran Al Kareem, Hadiths and poetry; some beat drums and sing praises for Al'Habashy. Many, weep too.

The Al'Habshy tomb and mosque, are in the center of Seiyoun.

On the outskirts of Seiyoun, there are many such beautiful, small, neat mud bricked houses as the one above. Many are used by wealthy land owners as retreats during weekends, especially during the hot summer seasons. Most such houses are completely surrounded by date palms and cultivated land. Most have their own boreholes, water pumps and small electric generators.