Ta‘izz, Yemen

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ta‘izz, Yemen

Region: Ta‘izz


Geographic Coordinates: 13.578900, 44.021900
Climate: Hot and dry with little precipitation.
Population: 615467
Language: Arabic

Ta’izz is a city located in southwestern Yemen and is the third-largest city in the country. It sits on a plateau at an altitude of 1, 400 meters above sea level, Surrounded by mountains that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The city has been an important cultural and economic center for centuries and has played a significant role in Yemen’s history. The name Ta’izz comes from the Arabic word ta’azzaza, Which means to be fortified or strengthened. This name reflects the city’s strategic location along ancient trade routes connecting Sana’a to Aden and Mocha to Mecca.

Ta’izz was once known as the gate of Yemen due to its location at the crossroads of these important trading routes. The old city of Ta’izz is one of Yemen’s most beautiful and well-preserved historic centers. It features narrow alleys lined with colorful buildings made from adobe bricks, Intricate wooden balconies, And ornate stucco decorations. The old city also boasts several impressive mosques, Including Al-Ashrafiyyah Mosque, Which dates back to the 14th century. One of Ta’izz’s most famous landmarks is its medieval citadel, Known as Al-Qahira Castle or simply Taiz Castle.

Built during the 12th century by Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi on top of a hill overlooking the old town, It served as both a military fortress and residence for local rulers throughout history. Another notable attraction in Ta’izz is its bustling souq (market), Where visitors can find everything from traditional handicrafts such as pottery and textiles to spices, Jewelry, And fresh produce. The souq also offers an opportunity to experience daily life in Yemen up close while sampling local delicacies such as bint al-sahn (a sweet bread) or sambusa (a savory pastry).

Despite being one of Yemen’s most historically and culturally significant cities, Ta’izz has been severely impacted by the ongoing conflict in Yemen. The city has experienced intense fighting, And many of its historic buildings have been damaged or destroyed. However, Despite these challenges, Ta’izz remains a resilient city with a rich cultural heritage that continues to attract visitors from around the world. Ta’izz is a fascinating city that offers visitors a glimpse into Yemen’s rich history and culture.

Its stunning architecture, Vibrant markets, And strategic location make it an essential stop for anyone interested in exploring this part of the world. While the ongoing conflict has undoubtedly taken its toll on the city and its people, Ta’izz remains a testament to Yemen’s enduring spirit and resilience.



Important Landmarks

  1. Al-Qahira Castle: A historic castle located on a hill overlooking Ta’izz city.
  2. Al-Mudhaffar Mosque: One of the oldest mosques in Yemen, known for its beautiful architecture and intricate decorations.
  3. Bab Al-Kabir: The Great Gate of Ta’izz, a historic entrance to the old city.
  4. Jibla Palace: A former royal palace turned museum that showcases traditional Yemeni architecture and culture.
  5. Sabir Mountain: A scenic mountain range that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  6. Ashrafiya Mosque: A beautiful mosque with a large dome and minarets that is considered one of the most important religious sites in Ta’izz.
  7. Al-Janad Mosque: Another historic mosque with stunning architecture and intricate decorations.
  8. National Museum of Ta’izz: A museum dedicated to preserving Yemeni history and culture through artifacts, exhibits, and educational programs.
  9. Souq Al-Milh Market: An ancient market known for its spices, textiles, jewelry, pottery, and other traditional goods.
  10. Al-Ashrafia Park: A public park with lush greenery and scenic views that is popular among locals and tourists alike.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
  2. Textile manufacturing
  3. Food processing
  4. Small-scale industries such as metalworking and carpentry
  5. Commercial markets selling a variety of goods such as spices, clothing, electronics, and household items
  6. Tourism (emerging industry due to historical sites and scenic landscapes)

However, the ongoing conflict in Yemen has greatly impacted the economy of the city and has led to a decline in business activities.


Noteable History

  1. The city was founded in the 6th century AD by the Himyarite dynasty.
  2. In the 10th century, Ta’izz became the capital of the Yemeni state under the Sulayhid dynasty.
  3. During the 16th century, Ta’izz was ruled by Tahirid dynasty.
  4. Imam Ahmad bin Yahya Hamidaddin (1869-1948) was a prominent leader and ruler of Yemen who had his headquarters in Ta’izz.
  5. In 1962, a revolution led by Abdullah al-Sallal overthrew Imam Muhammad al-Badr’s regime in North Yemen and established a republic with its capital in Sanaa; however, fighting continued for several years between republican forces based in Sana’a and royalist forces based in Ta’izz.
  6. Ali Abdullah Saleh (1942-2017), former President of Yemen from 1990 to 2012, hailed from Bayt al-Ahmar near Ta’izz city.
  7. The University of Science and Technology (UST), one of Yemen’s leading universities located near Ta’izz city center has been considered as one of its landmarks since it was established back in 1994.
  8. The Great Mosque or Al-Mudhaffar Mosque is one of many historical mosques located within Ta’izz which dates back to around AD1000s.
  9. In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition that launched air strikes against Houthi rebels who had taken control over much of northern Yemen including Sana’a forcing them to retreat towards southern regions including Ta‘iz where they continue to hold significant areas up until today despite several attempts to dislodge them by local resistance groups supported by coalition forces.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Ta‘izz National Museum: This museum exhibits the history and culture of Yemen through an impressive collection of artifacts.
  2. Al-Qahira Castle: Located on a hilltop that overlooks the city of Ta‘izz, this historic castle provides stunning views.
  3. Al-Ashrafiyyah Mosque: This mosque is one of the largest in Yemen and features intricate architecture and design.
  4. Bab al-Kabir Gate: One of the main entrances to the old city of Ta‘izz, this ancient gate is a popular spot for tourists to take photos.
  5. Al-Mudhaffar Mosque: Another impressive mosque in Ta‘izz that showcases intricate decoration and design.
  6. Jibla Palace: Once home to rulers of Yemen, this palace now serves as a museum showcasing traditional Yemeni architecture and culture.
  7. Al-Saleh Mosque: A modern mosque with impressive architectural design elements such as stained glass windows – it’s also one of the largest mosques in Yemen.
  8. The Great Dam of Ma’rib: Located just outside Ta’izz, this ancient dam was built over 2,500 years ago by Sabaeans and played an important role in their civilization’s prosperity.
  9. The Old City Market (Souq): Explore this bustling market filled with local crafts, spices, textiles, jewelry pottery items along with food stalls serving traditional dishes like Mandi rice or Lahoh bread.
  10. The Shamsan Castle: An imposing fortress situated atop Jabal Sabir mountain range overlooking breathtaking views across Tihama plain towards Red Sea coast, it’s also known for its historical significance during 16th century AD when it was used as military base by Ottoman Empire forces against Portuguese invaders.


Sports Teams

  1. According to my research, Ta’izz in Yemen lacks organized sports teams due to the ongoing conflict and political instability in the region.
  2. Most sports activities are informal and limited to individual training or small groups playing football (soccer) or basketball.
  3. The absence of professional sports teams in Ta’izz is also attributed to the lack of infrastructure and resources.


Cultural Events

  1. Eid al-Fitr: A religious festival celebrated after the end of Ramadan.
  2. Eid al-Adha: Another religious festival celebrated to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
  3. Mawlid al-Nabi: A celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.
  4. National Day: Celebrated on May 22nd every year to mark Yemen’s unification.
  5. Al-Sanabani Festival: A traditional music and dance festival held annually in Ta’izz.
  6. Al-Qahwa Festival: A coffee festival that celebrates Yemeni coffee culture with various activities such as coffee tasting, roasting demonstrations, and traditional dances.
  7. Al-Madraj Festival: An annual event held at the top of Jabal Sabir Mountain where people gather for food, music, and traditional dances while enjoying a panoramic view of Ta’izz city below.

Please note that many cultural events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely due to ongoing conflicts in Yemen for safety reasons.


Cuisine

  • Mandi – a traditional Yemeni dish made with rice and meat (usually chicken or lamb) cooked in a tandoor oven.
  • Saltah – a stew-like dish made with vegetables, meat (usually lamb), and spices.
  • Aseed – a porridge-like dish made with wheat flour and served with meat or vegetables.
  • Bint al-Sahn – a sweet pastry made with layers of dough and honey.
  • Al-Madina Restaurant – known for its traditional Yemeni dishes such as mandi, saltah, and grilled meats.
  • Al-Rayan Restaurant – famous for its seafood dishes including fish curry and shrimp biryani.
  • Al-Khayam Restaurant – serves authentic Yemeni cuisine including mandi, saltah, and Aseed.
  • Al-Ahram Restaurant – specializes in Middle Eastern cuisine including shawarma wraps and falafel sandwiches.
  • Al-Tazaj restaurant- known for it’s grilled chicken dishes served along side breads like khubz.
  • Saba Hotel restaurant- serves traditional yemeni breakfast consisting of fuul medames(fava bean dip), hummus,breads etc.

Please note that due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen the availability of these foods may be limited or restricted in certain areas at times.


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