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Ibb is about 193km south of Sana’a on the Sana’a-Taiz road. Population : it reched to 2,131,861 according to final results of the population and housing census in 2004 In general Ibb is one of the most beautiful regions in Yemen. It receives the heaviest rains in the longest rain season in Yemen. It is best known for Agriculture so it is called the green province.
Sumarra Scenic Route:
Sumarra pass Road, which is about 2500 m above sea level, is considered one of the most beautiful mountainous areas of Yemen, particularly Bu-Khari and Hilyal region overlooking the western wadis of Sumarra such as Iryan and Al Qafr. Yareem-Eryan-Qafr Scenic Route This is one of the most, Beautiful roads in Ibb Governorate .It goes through a number of beautiful villages along the road like Iryan and Bani Muslim villages which are about 3000m above sea level.
The road descends to the administrative center of Al-Qafr crossing a number of green wadis until it links up with the main Sumarra highway at al Daleel near the city of Ibb, across the highlands of Al-Najd Al-Ahmar overlooking Al Sayanni and Nakhlan famed as the plains of Sahool Ibn Naji.
About 193 km from the Capital Sana’a it stands on a high hill at the western foothills of Baadan. Mountain about 1900m above sea level. It is at the heart of Ibb province and is guarded by Ba’adan mountain from the east. Ibb was well known throughout the Islamic era. It has a mosque dating back to the time of the second caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khatab. It flourished as an important administrative center during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The old city of Ibb is characterized by an architectural style similar to the general Style of the mountainous stone-built villages. Its houses consist of 4-5 floors with facades decorated with friezes and marble-covered circular windows. The old city is one of the main tourist attractions in the Governorate. It includes a number of historical and archaeological tourist sites including:
Jibla City The Capital Of The Sulaihide Dynasty:
A historical Outlook:
The sultan Abdullah Bin Al Sullaihi founded the city of Dhi Jibla in 457 Hegira i.e. 1065 AD at the order of his brother King Ali Bin Mohammad Al Sullaihi to announce it as a capital at a later date. It was named Jiblah in attribution to the name of one of the artisans who was manufacturing pottery in the area where the Sultan built the First Izz castle. Jiblah used to be called the two river city as it is on a hilltop between two flowing perennial rivers. The history of Jiblah city was liked to the Sulaihide Dynasty which ruled Yemen as from 1047 till 1138 Ad. Its founder was Ali Bin Mohammed Al Sulaihi who started his call in Jabal Masar in Haraz region. From the fort of Masar after his call prevailed he controlled all the Mikhlafs of Yemen, fortresses, citadels, towns and plains. His control was from Mecca to Hadhramawt and from Aden to Sa’adah.
The Sulaihides adopted Sana’a as his capital where he built many castles and made all the Yemeni Kings under one banner after he organized the administration of the country through equipping the important forts of Yemen with garrisons. He continued in reign for twenty years as of 1047-1067. During this period he was able to achieve stability for the establishment of the young state. After his death, his son Al Mukararm Ahmed Bin Ali Bin Mohammed Al Sulaihi took charge in running the affairs of the state and reinforced the achievements of his father after quenching all the and unified the Yemeni Currency.
At the last year of his life he was afflicted with a disease and thus became the affairs of the state within the hands of his wife Queen Arwa Bin Ahmed Al Sulaihi. With her wit she saw that jiblah was appropriate as capital for the dynasty and thus advised her husband about the transfer of the capital from Sana’a to Jiblah because it is better and more reassuring let alone the security to be obtained. The new capital is amid the main parts of Yemen. Its climate is moderate and life is rather at ease .The king was convinced by the reasons offered by his wife and thus adopted Jiblah as his Seat of Rule and Residence and lived in Dar Al Aizz Castle in Jiblah.
The disease became more serious and passed away in 1085 AD after having ruled for 18yrs. After him came the era of the rule of Queen Arwa Bin Ahmed Al Sulaihi. During her era Yemen witnessed a new age of civilization development in all walks of life for she excelled in righteousness honesty, knowledge and wit which made her run her kingdom wisely to the extent that she allured the hearts of her subjects to the extent that the Yemenites used to call her” Our lady, the Free Queen” “ in honor and respect for her. She used to be called also “ Little Bilqis” i.e. Little Queen of Sheba due to her sagacity dexterousness.
She began to take interest in creating convenient infrastructure for civilization development in RY Educational Affairs, through construction of schools in all the parts and granted her subjects the freedom of belief and built mosques and religious schools and for the sake of knowledge spends huge amount of money. She paid attention to commerce and agriculture as she leveled roads and was the first to level roads in Yemen so as to facilitate the affairs of agriculture and the transport of the crops. In Military domains she revamped the Sulaihide forts in the summits of the Yemenite Mountains, widened them constructed fortress and enlarged seaports, the main of which was Aden. She created a fully fledged civilization State extracting its strength and permanence from the power of its economy which was achieved under her successful management of the affairs of her Kingdom. She was also attentive to putting many of the Kingdom endowments for the service and repair of Knowledge school and assistance of those involved in schooling whether teachers as students. Thus the Yemenite history in the medieval era turned an illuminating page which still illuminating all over the Yemenite territory and mind represented in the period of her rule which continue for more than fifty three Years beginning in 1085 AD-1138 AD. The reign of the Sullaihydes as an independent state showing allegiance in name to the Fatimides in Egypt. Jiblah is distinguished for its architectural style like that of old Ibb. It further prospered as a center of science and thought for many centuries like Zabid, Sana’a, Tareem Sa’adah and Dhamra etc. Many of its surrounding fertile land are an endowment property for those involved in Islamic schooling, teachers and students. One of the schools of Jiblah is still standing as subordinate of the queen’s mosque which houses her tomb.
About 40km west of the city center of Ibb. It is a beautiful tourist place interspersed with fertile wadis, the most Important of which is Wadi Al-Dour. Dhafar Al –Mawlk (capital of the Himyarite Dynasty)
A Historical Outlook:
The trade route as frankincense road his reached its boom during the second and first Centuries BC and the richness of the Yemenite state was considerable and its interest was directed towards the commercial activity and thus agriculture did not get its full attention. The campaign was rife amongst those states and they are Sheba, Maeen, Qataban and Hadhramaout. During that period another state emerged and it is the Himyarite Dynasty not from the east of Yemen on the bank of a Wadi but from Raidan Mount in Qa’a Al Haql “ Known as land of Yahsob” as of 115 BC and that is the beginning of the second era of ancient Yemen. While Himyar was not a powerful state except after the ancient state demised each after the other due to the transfer of trade route from land in eastern Yemen to the sea, followed by strife for the seizure of reign of Sheba between Marib and Dhofar till some Aqyals were amid the plateau became ambitious to rule like Bani Hamdan in Na’et, Bani Bata’a in Haz, Bani Marthad in Shibam , Dhu Jarah in Na’adh . After the maritime commercial route became successful and the Yemenite seaports prospered, Axum coveted (basically an outlying settlement of Yemenites in Abyssinia i.e. Ethiopia and lasted for centuries). Axum entered into campaigns with ancient Yemenite states and he period of campaigning expired by establishing a central government divided half and half between Marib and Dhofar.
Hence Sha’ar Awtar Bin A’alhan Nahfan was dubbed “ King of Sheba and Dhu Raidan “ and his capital was Marib towards the late years of the second century AD after he extended his influence to Hadhramout. During the last quarter of 3rd century AD Shamar Yaha’arash unified the two entities of Marib and Dhofar and established a strong state springing from the capital Dhofar. He then carried the title of King of Sheba, Dhi Raidan, Hadhramout and Yamnat. Phalanges of his troops waged wars outside the areas of his influence till he reached the capital of the Sassanides in Mesopotamia and Tanukh in Hira, The campaigns of the Himyarites continued to Yamamah, Bahrain and Oman.
It would seem that the influence of Shamar Yahar’ash did not cover all the fringes of the country till the advent of Abu Karib Asa’ad Al Kamil who controlled all Greater Yemen and hence carried the big title “ King of Sheba, Dhi Raidan, Hadhramout, Yamnat, and their nomads on the mountains and in the plains as well as the Sea Isles. It is told that he passed be Yathrib and embraced Judaism and passed by Mecca and Clothed the Holy Qa’abah. Raids and Campaigns were not the main activities of the Himyarites but they did pay a lot of their attention to other great affairs, probably, the most important of which are the dams, to the extent that the number of dams in Yahsob amounted to Eighty Dams.. They carved tunnels that collected waiters from a valley to another and leveled roads in addition to cisterns in mountains and water dyke, let alone towns and castles.
The relics of Himyarites are many in Dhofar, Baynun, An-Nakhlah Al Hamra, Ghalman etc.. The traditional books attributed to them all the great feats till it was known what actually belongs to them and what not through modern scientific research. The rule of the Himyarites lasted till the year 525AD and that is the date when Yemen fell under the domination of the Abyssinians during the rule of Yousef Athar “ Dhu Nawas” the last Himyarite King. It is told that he embraced Judaism and to him is attributed the trench event which was mentioned in Al-Birooj Surah in the Holy Koran.
The current status of the Archaeological, historical and tourist Features:
Dhofar Al Mawlk-Yareem:
It can be reached from kitab area at 140 km on the Sana’a –Taiz road. It stands on Dhofar mountain, controlling the land of Yahsob south-east of Kitab. The unpaved road is about a half hour drive. There are several areas called Dhofar like Dhofar Theebayn and Dhofar Al-Mawlk (Dhofar Yareem), the capital of the Himyarite Dynasty which ruled from 115 BC until 525 AD. It replaced Marib as capital of Sheba Kingdom. It was an Important way-station on the ancient trade route starting from Aden passing through Dhofar Sana’a via the plateau as far as Mecca and Yathrib (Known as Assad Route). Dhofar was the seat of the Himyarite King Al-Tuba’ Abu Kareb Asaad, Known as Asaad Al –Kamil. His famous palace “ Raydan Palace”, was built there. There also stood Dhofar town. Nothing remains of the palace and the town but a few meters of walls Still, There are several antiquities showing the greatness of the Himyarites and their civilization such as the dams. Historians tell us that there were 80 dams, cisterns and a number of water reservoirs carved in rock in the green stretch of Ardh Yahsob (land of Yahsob). There are many cisterns around Dhofar mountain in addition to stone tombs on the western side of the mountain, which can be reached through the village of Dhofar. They are wide rooms connecting with each other deep in the rock by gates “openings” each room, with a platform to lay the bodies of the dead.
The most important cisterns, carved in the rock, are by the road leading to Bayt Al-Ashwal. They were carved at the end of the flow gate of an ancient dam at the mouth of the wadi east of Dhofar Mountain.
A modest museum at the entrance of present day Dhofar village. It includes a valuable group of antiquities and relics recently found by the people of the village.
A few kilometers southeast of Dhofar. Although an ordinary Yemeni village, it is built with stones taken from the historical town of Dhofar. The houses are high, with a lot of inscriptions and sculptured pictures on their facades. This turns the village of Bait Al-Ashwal into an open museum exhibiting glimpses of the loftiness and greatness of the ancient town of Dhofar town. Some of these houses were built 200 years ago.
Science Route down Wadi Bana;
It is one of the largest and most fertile wadis in Yemen. Its catchments area is Yarim and Qaa’ Al-Haql, it flows in a winding narrow gully surrounded by a lot of beautiful villages such as Yareem, Al-Saddah Al-Naderh, Al Misqah and Al-Dhadri, that enhance the beauty of the landscape with their unique building styles.
Citadels and Forts:
In Ibb province, there are a number of historical citadels and fortresses, which occupied distinguished places in the history of Yemen. Habb Citadels (Husn) which stands stop Baadan mountain. Al-Taa’kr Citadels which was a stronghold for the Sulayhides south of Jibla .Unug Al Ghazal Fort: which stands atop Sumara mountain.
There are several hot mineral springs in different areas of Ibb province. Some of them are in Al-Qafr and Iryan but the famous spas of Damt in Wadi Bana are the most important hot mineral springs in Yemen. The place is frequented by people in search of recovery from skin diseases, Rheumatism, diseases of digestive system, eyes and others. The most famous mountains and forts in Ibb Governorate: -Yareem Mountains, the most famous of which are the Bani Moslems Mountains which 3000m above sea level at the west of Yareem. -Dhofar Mountain to the south east of Yareem, the most important of which is Shakhab Amar, Kohlan.
Badan Mountain a toothed mountain from the south to the north and has the Habb fort. -Al Manar Mountain, Hubaish Mountain, Mashorah Mountains situated to the south of Hubaish and overlooks Udayn from the eastern directions. -Taakar Mountain: It is located to the south of Ibb and has got ancient relics and was the stronghold of the Sulaihides and the guard of Jiblah the Capital of the Sulaihides and its 3230m above sea level. =Alkhadra Mountain: It overlooks Al Sayani from the east. -Sohban Mountains, Al Awd Mountains to the east of Badan. -Mirais Mountains situated to the east of Qatabah. -Bani Awadh Mountains and they are westerly mountains of Ibb to the north of Udayn. Al Shihari Mountains: situated to the south east of Udayn. -Mudhaikhirah Mountains the capital of Ali Bin Fadl Al Khanafri. -Himyar Mountains, Qaraad Mountain and they are extended chain