Historic landmark in Old Sana’a is disappearing

National Yemen

Old city

By Tamjid Alkohali

While walking at Salt Market at the old city of Sana’a , a very high and huge castle stops you: Muhammad ibn al-Hasan Brokerage in old Sana’a. It’s  very old and dates back more than three centuries. It was beautiful for many years, but now, it is facing neglect. The situation has become more difficult because of inheritance.

“Once, the security authorities sent a group of policemen to get back the brokerage and guard it.”

The brokerage is now in a terrible state, with the third floor being impossible to entire. Culture Minister Abdullah Aubl says that it is an important landmark in general, and emphasized plans to restore it along with the rest of the Old City.

“We must restore this brokerage before summer and heavy rains which may lead to its destruction completely. Therefore, the Culture Ministry in cooperation with the Public Authority to maintain the historic cities prepare to an evaluation study in order to know what the brokerage needs to stand strongly again.”

Undersecretary of the General Auhtority to Preserve Historical Cities Amt al-Rzaq Jhab expressed her sadness at the state of the building.

“In 1948, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan Brokerage suffered a massive fire and it was then restored, but it was once again exposed to looting and fire during the revolution, and even after the revolution the police used it to restore order.”

Architect Yassin Ghalib, who specializes in historical cities, emphasizes that we shouldn’t lose hope, because restoration can even make the brokerage house better than it was, however work needs to start before rainy season when it gets difficult.