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A campaign to save Shibam from cement invasion

A campaign to save Shibam from cement invasion

Poetry News Agency | Mohamed el-Sayed

Buildings of the marvellous town of Shibam, often referred to as Shibam Hadhramaut, in Yemen, are struggling to survive after its mud buildings started to disappear due to cement invasion.
A media campaign under the name “Save Manhattan of the Desert” kicked off.
Hassan Aideed Taha, director general of the Preservation of Historic Cities Authority in Shibam, has confirmed that preserving this town is everyone’s duty.

Taha confirmed that the government and international organizations have to interfere to save the city before reconstructing the buildings with cement erodes it beauty.

Shibam is a home to about 16,000 people, it is located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the small town was once a stopping point for traders traveling along the frankincense and spice routes. Its houses were built 600 years ago.
The tower houses of the city, however, are not immune to damage, as fresh layers of mud must be applied to the walls of the buildings regularly to replace what was eaten by wind and rain.

The city was heavily affected by flooding in 2008. The foundations of many of the buildings in the city were compromised by the flood waters, eventually leading to their collapse. It was also the target of an Al Qaeda attack in 2009.
Shibam is considered the oldest skyscraper city in the world and is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction.

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