The Situation Of Workers In Traditional Handicrafts In Yemen After The War

Conflict Damage
The city of Sanaa has been under siege since the escalation of the conflict at the beginning of the year 2015, where it was the arena for three major battles that broke out in each From the years 2014, 2011 and 2015, as well as being subjected to air raids And the explosions, which resulted in great loss of human lives and physical damage.
The fighting between different factions has caused Significant damage was caused to buildings and historical sites.
Air strikes in June 2015 destroyed many homes and historical buildings in the center of old Sana’a, 69 while an air raid caused.

Another air strike in the same month destroyed an additional number of buildings Located outside the city walls, including the accidental complex building History dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Handicraft Sector:
          Yemen is distinguished by its extensive heritage in the field of handicrafts, which is associated with Closely linked to the tourism sector, the city of Sana’a is a major center For the production of handicrafts, especially in the fields of metallurgy, leather, wood carvings, gold and silver jewellery, Hand embroideries. On the other hand, despite the results of the sector Some forms of handicrafts have vanished, but there are forms Others still exist as metal fabrication. It also led the existing conflict situation Due to a significant decrease in the level of production of some traditional industries due to Due to the high production costs in exchange for the low levels of demand for them. bonus Therefore, endeavors to obtain rapid cash support Combined with safety and security concerns, many From trade to turn to arms and ammunition at exorbitant prices

       In Bab Al-Yaman, located inside the old Sana’a, traditional industries spread, especially the silverware and Yemeni agate industry, for which the Yemenis were famous, in addition to other handicrafts. Souk al-Malh is adorned with many types of industries that Yemeni craftsmen work on, but these industries began to retreat in front of other options, and with The traditional industries are no longer a source of livelihood for some workers due to the low demand for them, but you can find from the generation of young professionals who are proud of their profession and are ready to continue in it. Crafts and handicrafts occupy a prominent position in the Yemeni society, where the craftsman and the various successive times have preserved the origins of these ancient traditional crafts and industries due to their close connection with human life and living since the stone ages until today. The global markets, and the Yemeni craftsman helped to achieve this creativity and excellence in the availability of raw materials, as each of the Yemeni regions was famous for a specific craft, according to the availability of natural raw materials and other factors and other auxiliary ingredients, represented in the talent and high artistic sense of the Yemeni man who He excelled a lot in the art of these handicrafts, which resulted in traditional handicrafts that are very beautiful and creative, in addition to their accuracy and high quality.

An important factor in combating unemployment, and these handicrafts, handicrafts and small and medium industries in general are among the most important and prominent economic factors in combating unemployment and eliminating it and thus alleviating poverty, especially in a developing country like ours, especially if we know that handicrafts, handicrafts and small industries in Yemen represent more It constitutes 95% of the total number of industrial establishments, and works in them about 41% of the total number of workers in the manufacturing sector in general. As it is known, most of these small industries are handicraft and traditional industries that Yemeni craftsmen inherited from generation to generation.

Fading Out With a single visit to the markets of these industries and handicrafts in the old Sana’a, such as the copper market, the metal market, the Janabi market, the blacksmith market, or other numerous markets for craftsmen, one notes today that many of these handicraft and creative industries are threatened with extinction despite the great role they play in reducing Unemployment and poverty alleviation, whether for craftsmen or workers selling and buying them, especially the copper industries, which have completely disappeared, and copper pots have become used by many people as decorations, considering that they are part of our Arab heritage, after they represented one of the most important necessary needs associated with The daily life of the Yemeni man since man used stones in the manufacture of stone utensils and the manufacture of weapons and knives, and everything he needed in prehistoric times.

Copper Industry
History books and archaeological excavations indicate that the copper industry appeared on a large scale in southern Arabia, according to what copper tools were found during archaeological excavations conducted in more than one Yemeni region. The researcher Ibrahim bin Nasser also refers in his book “Crafts and Industries in the Light of the Southern Musnad Inscriptions” to the most prominent copper and bronze artifacts that were found, including bronze and copper lamps found by the Austrian mission, in addition to those found in Yemeni and international museums, where a scientist mentioned Archaeologist Gorman Adolph said that the Louvre Museum in Paris keeps a Yemeni candlestick made of copper in the form of a jumping goat, and a pear-shaped copper candlestick with a semi-circular opening and its base was made of bronze, and there are many historical and archaeological evidence and evidence.

          History books also confirm that, besides gold and silver, Yemenis were extracting iron, copper, and black lead minerals, as iron and lead were known in the countries of Nehm, and also in Jabal Naqm, and donkeys were made of iron Hamyarite swords, and iron was also known in the country of Bart. As for copper and silver, it was known In Dhamar and red copper in Al-Bayda, as well as many minerals were found in many Yemeni regions.. which means that the Yemeni man had known in the past various minerals and used them in many necessary industries. Also, the books of the Greeks and the Romans talked about what the Sabaeans owned in the country of Yemen of furniture and ornaments made of gold and silver that are difficult to describe, and perhaps what the historian Abu al-Hasan al-Hamdani mentioned in his book The Two Ancient Jewels about the “lead” mine in the Nehm region and the results of the archaeological study on radiocarbon, which confirmed The mine was used between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, which confirms beyond any doubt that the Yemenis were the first to extract silver, which means that they were also the first to use it and volunteer it to serve humans.

Cause Of Extinction
As you wander around the copper market in the old city of Sana’a, you will find that the various copper industries in that market are imported from some brotherly and friendly countries such as China, Syria, Turkey and other countries. Its price is compared to the local product, although it is of lower quality, but it has found wide popularity in the Yemeni market due to its competitive prices. He also says: The imported copperware is characterized by its multiplicity of shapes, decoration and beauty of its appearance, due to the development of these industries greatly in such countries at a time when we still rely on the same old machines and equipment that our grandparents knew and inherited from their grandchildren. Industries in various countries of the world, too, despite the existence of a general federation for craft industries, but we still lack the required support from the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as the Ministry of Culture, which we note that it has been interested in plastic art during the past years, until the Ministry of Fine Art became at the expense of The civilizational and cultural heritage that characterizes our country.

Copper Pots
Despite the extinction of copper today as an industry, copper tools still enjoy a prominent place among Yemenis, who are keen on acquiring antiques and copper works, especially those that date back to their manufacture by a Yemeni craftsman, which flourished during the Rasulid state, which appeared in its days many household tools made of copper. Copper and decorated with many decorations, delicate inscriptions, poetic phrases, wisdom and Quranic proverbs carved on their surfaces, as is the case in lanterns that are said to have been made in the city of Sana’a similar to Egyptian models. It has a dish at the bottom to 

which wax is spread, and it has legs to stand on, and a head or cover on top, as it came in “Noor al-Ma’arif”.

             Also, there are many other copper utensils and tools still remaining today, such as perfume sprayers that are made of silver funnels that are mounted on their necks, and silver bases and drinking glasses that were made of fine, decorated and engraved copper, and “written bowls”. They are copper vessels in which noble Qur’anic verses are written inside. They are used in religious rituals, a tradition followed in most Arab countries. Copper “flowers” ​​are decorated with Islamic inscriptions, conical from the top, and circular from the bottom, and their depth is hollow. They are used to preserve bouquets of flowers and aromatic plants for a long time. In addition to dozens of copper utensils that are used in the Yemeni household, spoons, jugs, pots, coffee pots and stoves that are used to ignite charcoal for cooking, in addition to many cosmetics and cosmetics such as kohl that were made of copper, and the kohl may be double, one for black eyeliner and the other for antimony. Or on its own, and it has a base on which it stands..

Incense burners, candlesticks, and inkwells, which are long, hollow, rectangular stems, and have a side cover that can be opened and closed, and are used to store pens and important papers. Two or three containers are installed outside the cylinder. Made of copper and decorated.. Despite the disappearance of the copperware industry as a traditional craft, many of the copper tools we mentioned above are still being traded and perhaps manufactured to a limited extent with the aim of selling them to foreign tourists who frequently visit the old Sana’a markets. They are also used as decoration tools and not for use as was the case before.. These copper products are in many locations in Old Sana’a, such as in “Al Nahas brokerage”, which was previously a market for copper tools and today has turned into a center for the revival and development of traditional handicrafts.

            A lot of copper artifacts inlaid with Yemeni agate and pure silver are displayed, as the Yemeni craftsman is still creating many copper artifacts that capture the eyes for their beauty and the extreme precision in their manufacture.. as is the case, for example, in copper jugs decorated with carved writings of Arabic poetry, wisdom and proverbs taken in Most of it is from the “Imam al-Shafi’i” diwan, inlaid with onyx.. The same applies to the copper inkwell, which is a container for liquid ink, with a smaller container for powder, and the three containers are made of copper and attached to a rectangular box of copper also that opens from one side to keep messages and pens, and the inkwell is also inspired What was previously made in the thirties and forties, until the end of the fifties, and the material that was made of it differed according to the difference in its location before the invention of the pens that made this industry extinct, and what is made of it is currently used for decoration and display only. Abdullah: We learned and studied about teachers from father to grandfather, teachers from father to grandfather, we studied from them these silver works, but now for the time being we have taken it as a profession that helps us to live.

                In the copper brokerage market for silverware and traditional industries, there is a small factory to teach the origins of this profession, but this factory suffers from a lack of capabilities and the training machine has been damaged and the trainees have turned away from it because of their belief that craft professions are poor professions, even this handicraft teacher who has been working for more than 14 years Years as a trainer and goldsmith, he believes that the profession is now in real danger. Alaa: The main problem we have is the lack of supportive bodies because we do not have the ability to help. If the United Nations had previously visited this complete integrated workshop, of course, with good-level kits, now we do not have this number, now we buy the number of this Indian or type Not good, the piece will not walk with you within three or four months, to no avail.


Where dependence on the government and its support remains an assumed thing if there are no real efforts and serious investments that restore these industries to their luster.. The copper brokerage market in the heart of old Sana’a is the main center for the Yemeni silver and onyx industry, but its workers do not stop complaining about their difficult conditions, as there is the importer crowding them There is no government support. And about the difficulties faced by craftsmen in the field of traditional industries in Yemen? Ms. Amat Al-Razzaq Jahaf, a researcher specialized in the field of handicrafts, stated: The truth is that the handicraft industries in Yemen now ring a bell for danger and announce a bad situation that is deteriorating day by day. From our past.

Craftsmen do not have any advantages that allow them to obtain raw materials, exempt them from taxes, or at least help them in paying the electricity bills for their shops. The difficulties that this industry faces are many, including official neglect. The craftsmen do not have any advantages that allow them to obtain raw materials, exempt them from taxes, or at least help them pay electricity bills for their shops. From India, from China, in fierce competition with the local producer of traditional handicraft. There are 24 traditional crafts in Yemen, and our country is famous for these very old plastic industries that attract all tourists visiting Yemen, so why is there no interest?

Jahaf says: First, of the crafts that were famous in the city of Sanaa until the forties, only 34 remained, the 24 crafts that were documented and surveyed through the survey conducted by the Social Fund for Development and the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums. There are crafts that are threatened with loss of identity, the most important of which are silver and onyx works, the Janabi industry, the dragonfly industry, the carpentry craft, many crafts now subject to distortion and distortion of their cultural identity, there.. Products that are highly demanded by tourism, and in return workers do not receive sufficient attention and sufficient training. I mean, why is this condoning such an industry that can generate millions of dollars for the country? Jahaf affirms: that for more than 14 years we have been raising our voices in order to draw the attention of the interested parties in the state to the reality of these crafts and to the economic income they can bring to Yemen, in terms of reducing unemployment among young men and women, reviving an important cultural heritage, As it will constitute an important source of the national income in the country through the marketing of products and tourism marketing. Yemen is a country with a very ancient heritage in this field. However, so far this sector has not received any attention, and even when the state began to pay attention and a sector was established in the Ministry of Culture, a person who does not belong to the Ministry of Culture was appointed. this sector..

24 traditional crafts left in Yemen, how can they be preserved and what are the mechanisms?

Jahaf states: First, financial capabilities must be provided, legal protection support must be provided, and a mechanism must be found to help artisans continue their crafts by helping them obtain the raw materials needed for their production by helping them to find specialized training curricula based on a cultural identity And a scientific reference in training new youth, so that we do not deprive young people who are trained in this field and preserve the traditional character of the craft, also by imposing taxes on foreign importers in order to protect the traditional national industry as long as we cannot stop this torrent flowing into our markets.. We hope that our traditional industries will flourish, as they are an industrial, economic, tourist tributary that can generate gold if properly exploited. The cultural heritage in Yemen suffers from many difficulties and challenges that made it captive, unable to find its proper place, and directly contribute to influencing social and economic life. Yemeni handicrafts and traditional industries come on top of those traditional resources that played a major role in Yemeni life. In the past, the Yemeni person was a producer who provided his needs by himself and did not depend on anyone. However, these traditional crafts and industries are facing many challenges, as many industries and crafts have to retreat and decline because they lacked the survival factors that the state and its various institutions should have provided for them. Craftsmen and artisans are in places other than their own, searching for livelihoods that they lost in their inherited profession. Are there appropriate solutions for the concerned authorities to preserve these crafts, and can we return the crafts and industries that have vanished, or is time lost, and why was the Cabinet’s decision to prevent importation not implemented? Products that can be manufactured and produced locally since 2008, questions seeking answers in the Ministry of Culture and the General Administration of Handicrafts.

When will the government implement its decision to ban the import of craft products?
Ms. Doaa Al-Wasei, President of the Throne Belqis Foundation for Tourism and Heritage, confirms that the Ministry of Culture is not the only party concerned with preserving traditional crafts and industries, as there are other parties that should participate with it in the preservation process. She says changing handicrafts and traditional handicrafts is an important part of the cultural landscape of our country and is essential in introducing the civilization and the stages it passed through, as well as the historical, political and social changes that Yemen experienced. In preserving this important heritage and pulling it out of the situation it reached and making it a general state and directing the various state agencies and institutions, there is no doubt that the Ministry of Culture worked to establish a general administration for handicrafts and special centers for it, although the center is more present, but these movements remain faint and do not satisfy the need The urgent need to preserve these crafts, but hopes remain that the government will take the issue of handicrafts and traditional industries as an important strategic issue that serves and benefits the country and is a title for its civilization.

On the possibility of returning the crafts and industries that have disappeared, she explained that this issue needs a survey and a field visit to the various Yemeni regions and the search for people who used to practice these crafts or provide those industries and support and encourage them financially and morally to return to their professions and train others on them and thus can change these crafts and industries The traditional way to life again, and most importantly, is to maintain its continuity and continuity. She called on craftsmen and artisans to present their ideas and visions that they deem appropriate to revive crafts and industries or to carry out the survey process. In their role in the civil society cultural organizations, they will work to discuss the best visions and submit them as a project to the Council of Ministers for approval and endeavor to implement it. And (Al-Samat), the Executive Director of the Throne Belqis Foundation, says: The traditional crafts and industries in our country have gone from bad to worse and with the passage of time Yemen loses a craft or an industry, and so if a survey is conducted of the vanished industries and crafts, the outcome may be very shameful and the existing crafts and traditional industries are much less than those that have vanished due to neglect and lack of The attention and encouragement that the state is supposed to give to those behind these crafts and industries.

Al-Sammat criticized the fact that some craftsmen and artisans import products from abroad and promote them as being of Yemeni origin and identity. He added: The biggest problems that confront us and prevent us from preserving handicrafts and industries are represented in two aspects, the first being material, which occupies the largest share, and the second legislative, and that is why the Ministry of Culture seeks to extract a republican decision to establish a national center for crafts and handicrafts that enjoys complete independence, complete and sufficient parallel to play its role in Preserving and taking care of crafts, and a creation law was prepared that includes the tasks and works that the center must perform. For this purpose, a ministerial committee was formed to review the construction law from the relevant authorities of the civil service, financial and legal affairs. 

The materials were actually reviewed and comments were made. The ministerial committee met and approved the law and notes and submitted them to the Prime Minister. The last stage, and if this center is established and given the necessary legal, legislative and financial status, it will work to extricate the handicrafts from the bad situation in which the crafts are located, encourage craftsmen and train them, and provide the requirements and needs of craftsmen. It is true that the center exists, but it lacks the construction decision and law, as well as the appropriate operational budget The center is paralyzed and unable to exercise The role entrusted to it is to preserve the crafts and handicrafts. Nevertheless, the center was able to implement training courses in the fields of precious stones, weaving, sewing and embroidery, and was unable to continue the courses or expand to other fields due to the scarcity of capabilities.

Pointing out that it is possible to restore the crafts and industries that have disappeared if there is interest from the state to achieve this and there are sincere and sincere intentions and directions, as it should be quickly communicated with the old craftsmen and craftsmen who are still alive and they are few and provide the necessary capabilities for them to teach these crafts and industries for generations after them In this regard, the state must move and not delay in communicating with these craftsmen before it is too late, and fate will be faster than them, and thus miss the chances of reviving these crafts again. He explained: The decision is not important, there are more important alternatives than the decision and its implementation. It is possible that there is an infrastructure that is concerned with training and rehabilitating a large number of craftsmen from various Yemeni crafts and providing them with the necessary capabilities of machines, shops and workshops in order to produce in large numbers

and thus provide Yemeni craft products in huge numbers and set their prices It is appropriate and therefore we eliminate the product coming from beyond the border because everyone realizes that the Yemeni product is stronger and better, but the price is sometimes high, but if we provide the appropriate machinery and climate for production and we provide the qualified craftsman, production will inevitably increase, prices will decrease and the demand for the local product will increase at the expense of the importer. If we look at the positive side of traditional crafts and industries and the social and cultural impact of these crafts on some peoples, we find that they have gone beyond this general human aspect to contribute distinctively to strengthening economic development bonds, as they have become an essential tributary to the economy of those societies.

Yemen is considered one of the most famous countries in the world in the field of traditional crafts since ancient times, as these crafts have become an integral part of its civilizational, historical and cultural heritage. Yemen was famous for many handicrafts that Yemenis inherited from generation to generation. It is still of particular interest to some of them, as it is a source of livelihood that provides them with all their living needs, as these crafts constitute one of the most important means to confront unemployment and find a source of work for the unemployed through training them in specialized handicraft centers, which will lead to reviving the economic

development movement. In our country, and restores Yemen’s position and fame and contributes to its promotion, because these crafts are closely linked to tourism activity and as one of the most important tourism products, as traditional industries are the oldest industries that have arisen in our Arab region as a result of the availability of the necessary raw materials and the fertile environment of this country and the suitability of its climate and geological composition to such These industries, which have become subject to neglect and extinction, craft after craft, as many of these

traditional crafts have vanished and another percentage of them are on their way to becoming We will be destroyed unless they are taken care of, preserved and developed. Despite the importance occupied by craft industries in the Yemeni society and economy, they need an infrastructure to develop and improve these industries because they have not yet reached the level that befits them and their economic, social and historical importance. The Ministry of Culture has worked hard to establish a center for handicrafts to be followed by many centers, and this is represented in the National Center for Crafts and Handicrafts (Dar Al-Hamad). Handicrafts (copper brokerage), and the Women’s Handicraft Center “Old Sana’a”.

The Pottery Industry is an ancient Yemeni profession that faces the risk of collapse When Muhammad Sinan left his hometown of Hays in the Hodeidah governorate about two and a half years ago, fleeing the war and battles that were fiercely raging in the western coastal regions of Yemen, he thought that he had managed to save his family and his career, to start a new and better life in the capital, Sanaa, to which he was displaced, like everyone else. Of the residents of these areas who were displaced in scattered areas that the war in Yemen did not reach. Sinan and his family settled in a small shop in the Al-Hasaba area, north of Sanaa. From Yemen, which is witnessing continuous clashes and tensions, as it is a contact area between the two warring parties.

Sinan and his family settled in a small shop in the Al-Hasaba area, north of Sanaa. From Yemen, which is witnessing continuous clashes and tensions, as it is a contact area between the two warring parties. Sinan says that he was shocked from the first moment that he went to the markets, carrying some utensils and household needs, to market them to centers and shops working in the sale of utensils, supplies and household utensils. His pottery products in his shop were very weak, as is the case in the commercial markets.

Despite this, Sinan insists not to leave his profession, which he does not master, and which is inherited in his family and many families in his area, stressing that the war has cost him his life, his area, and his pottery workshop, but he is still resisting losing his profession. Yemeni research centers document the pottery industry as the oldest handicraft work in Yemen, which dates back to the sixteenth century, according to the discoveries of foreign missions and studies of the Archeology Department at Sana’a University. The pottery made is used for practical purposes to a large extent, as it includes pots with a soft texture to conserve water, pots for cooking, and cups that take a variety of sizes and shapes. Among the most important places famous for the pottery industry in Yemen are Tihama, such as Hais, Zabid, Al-Jarrahi, and Bait Al-Faqih, followed by Atma, Sabeen, Raymah, Al-Hajaria, and many areas of Sana’a and Hadramout.

Many types of locally manufactured pottery products are accumulated in the old Sana’a markets, part of which is produced by workshops in craft industries working in these markets, which also produce many other types of handicrafts and craftsmanship that characterize these antique markets not only in Sana’a, but in many Yemeni cities and regions. The stagnation in this field and other industries is causing heavy losses to Yemen, as the war caused a wide cumulative contraction in real GDP, which an official report estimated at about 46.1% for the period between 2014 and 2019.

Merchant Ali Al-Matari, who is the owner of one of the workshops operating in the handicraft industries in Sana’a, attributes the reason for the decline of this historical profession and the decrease in its sales to the ongoing conflict in the country, and the decrease in the purchasing capabilities of Yemenis with the deterioration of living conditions and the loss of sources of income, and the accompanying change of interests to meet as much as possible from Daily essential sustenance

Al-Matari points to another reason for harming this profession and craft industry, which is the imported products that are brought to Yemeni markets, which the war could not stop with the arrival of this dumping of pottery, which is one of the most important crafts that characterize Yemenis. The government economic, in cooperation with UNICEF and the World Bank, estimated that the cumulative loss in real GDP would reach about $181 billion if the war in Yemen continued for two more years.

Pottery worker Mansour Al-Wafi explains in his interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that dirt and sand are the most important component of pottery materials, which are mixed with water to turn into a clay substance after soaking, filtering and pelleting, so that it becomes like a soft dough that can be molded into several masterpieces of different purposes and sizes. He adds: Then they are dried in sunlight before being placed in special ovens that light a fire for varying periods. After that, the tools and their quality are determined to start making pottery products according to the quality, size and purpose of each shape.

Many professionals working in this industry insist not to abandon it, stressing that they are doing their best to maintain this profession and its products that Yemenis need, as some of them still find their way to Yemeni pottery products, which they prefer over imported products such as water pots, which In Yemen, they are called “cones”, pottery stoves and some other items that are very much requested in Yemeni kitchens and restaurants that serve the famous Yemeni meal “Al-Saltah”. 

Businesses and craft and professional industries in Yemen are suffering from the consequences of the war and the ongoing conflict in the country with the absence of the simplest production materials and equipment they need, as well as catastrophic repercussions for the situation of local markets, which are flooded with counterfeit and imported goods and materials, which affected some businesses, professions and crafts that printed part of the A large part of the Yemeni society, which depends on such crafts as the only source of income. 

The community of craftsmen and professionals in Yemen lacks interest in their products and their lack of raw materials on which their work is based, which has caused a large percentage of them to gradually stop since the beginning of the war about six years ago.

A member of the Yemeni Federation of Craft Industries, Adel Tamish, explains to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that these industrial crafts have been neglected and not cared for, and their importance in combating unemployment and poverty, pointing out that a limited activity is focused on extracting, processing and selling building materials such as limestone, which is commercially exploited. For the cement industry and some other various industrial uses, while only rock salt is commercially exploited in the local market and for export

The Traditional Ma’awiz Weaving in Yemen Suffers Economically Amid The War

The Needy Industry
A Yemeni craftsman weaves Al-Moaz Al-Lahji inside his workshop in Sana’a. Faisal Al-Dram The continuation of the war in Yemen has negatively affected the continuation of the production of traditional costumes, or what is known as “ma’awiz”, according to what traders and artisans confirmed to Al-Mashareq website. Various challenges and setbacks, including the lack of government support and the halting of support activities from financial institutions.
 In this context, Hani Qassem, who works in the tailoring of the poor, told Al-Mashareq that “the knitting of the poor is a profession that requires high craftsmanship, and we are continuing it in light of the low demand and crowding out of imported products.” similar to it.”

         Qassem pointed out that “Yemeni Mawzas are of various types as varied as the regions of Yemen, but Al-Baydani, Al-Hadhrami and Lahji are the most popular and are in great demand before the war.” He added that “the country’s preoccupation with the war and living conditions forced people to take care of providing food for their family members.” Qassem pointed out that weaving Al-Maawaz Al-Baydani takes two days, and its price is high, and its prices start from 15,000 riyals (60 US dollars) and may reach 50 thousand riyals (200 dollars).

He added, “The Hadrami destitute comes second and takes less time than the white destitute.” As for Hajji, “it is possible to sew two Ma’awiz al-Haji in one day, and accordingly their prices are suitable for customers, and they are more in demand than customers and are more popular in the provinces where Ma’awiz is spread as a traditional dress.” Among those are the southern governorates such as Aden, Lahj, Abyan, and Shabwa, in addition to the northern governorates such as Taiz, Ibb, Hodeidah and others, according to what he indicated.

For his part, the demand for the poor has declined. Ishaq al-Saidi, a merchant, said that the Yemeni war forced many businesses to suspend their work. Hundreds of workers were laid off and salaries stopped, which affected people’s ability to purchase and thus reduced customers’ demand for all products, as he continued. “The turnout for hand-woven Ma’auz has fallen to less than half its size before the war,” and the prices of the threads used in weaving and making traditional Ma’auz have more than doubled compared to the pre-war period. Al-Saidi added that the high demand for traditional goods occurs during Ramadan and the period before Eid al-Adha, which is a period in which the community’s demand for buying clothes increases. He went on to say, “The Beidan and Hadrami Ma’awiz are in lower demand than the rest, with their high prices.” Al-Saidi pointed out that the traditional ma’awz are of high quality, as the poor in coastal governorates such as Hadhramaut and Abyan were soaked in sea water in order to reduce their weight.

Lack Of Support
Al-Saidi pointed out that “the donor’s lack of interest in craft projects has caused a decline in the production of traditional goats of high quality.

” Faiza Al-Sulaimani, Communications and Relations Officer at the Small Industries Support Agency, told Al-Mashareq, “There are still women’s associations specializing in handicrafts to support and adopt families producing such crafts.” These handicrafts are associated with the heritage of Yemen.” Al-Sulaimani added that despite the fact that these associations operate in several governorates, there is a decline in interest in such authentic Yemeni crafts, including Ma’awiz weaving.

“I think the most important reason is that artisans do not have marketing skills to sell their products,” Al-Sulaimani said, noting that many people sell their products very cheaply to wholesalers, which has led some to abandon this profession. This is in addition to “the weak role of craft associations in supporting this industry and opening high-quality markets for small craftsmen,” according to Al-Sulaimani. Al-Sulaimani stressed that the absence of government agencies concerned with the sector of craft organizations worsened the situation, while the craftsmen did not organize themselves or establish specialized associations. She pointed out that the donors’ support programs are currently focused on emergency projects due to the war. Al-Sulaimani suggested “supporting the handicraft associations in the future that adopt the weaving of Ma’awiz”, and helping them to continue their work even despite challenges and amidst conflicts.


The effects of the war raging in Yemen for 7 years were not limited to human and social losses only, but also affected Yemeni industries for which our country has been famous throughout the ages, such as the handicraft industry, especially in the Tihamiyah areas in the Hodeidah Governorate in western Yemen, which are witnessing violent battles and are considered handicraft industries. Traditional handicrafts and folklore are one of the most important professions and works that the Tuhami inherited, generation after generation, and part of the formation and social fabric of the Tuhami community, which resulted in traditional handicrafts that are considered very beautiful and wonderful. Mats, koufs and bases, which are designated for sitting, along with “baskets, oysters, and party” that are used to preserve food, in addition to the “mohafa” that is used as a fan to reduce the heat in the summer, not to mention making pottery, such as pottery, for food and drink purposes, according to the assurances of craftsmen in Tihama. Among them is the craftsman Abdo Nahari.

From Al-Zaydiyah District in Al-Hodeidah Governorate, who spent 20 years making handicrafts, he told Al-Mashhad, stressing that the areas that were characterized by distinguished handicraft products, such as wicker industry, pottery production, palm-frond formations and tree trunk carvings in Al-Hudaydah governorate, and the war affected them in a way Kamel, she is: “Al-Tahita, Al-Durayhimi and Hayes,” but it stopped due to the war that swept these areas, and their residents fled their hell, he says. The traditional handicrafts in Tihama are facing an unknown fate in light of the war that swept several areas of the Tihama coast, and caused the displacement of residents to other governorates, cities and countryside, prompting some artisans to take up other jobs to provide a living, under harsh living conditions, during which unemployment rates rose And poverty to great levels, according to craftsmen. And handicrafts provided a reasonable income for thousands of Tuhami citizens, with which they managed their lives, but the war that devastated everything and destroyed many of their trades and professions, while the majority of them suffer from low income to the extent that they find themselves in a daily struggle with providing the requirements of life and the necessary family obligations, as well.
Nahari says, stressing that the damage rate of handicrafts exceeded 70% as a result of the war and its repercussions, which led to the suspension of their export to Saudi markets after the closure of the Al-Twal border port in Haradh, Hajjah Governorate, where the Jazan region represented the large market for its disposal, in addition to the reluctance of the people to buy it due to High prices due to high costs. Craftsmen and owners cross The traditional industries in Tihama expressed their grumbling about the decline of these industries due to the difficulty of obtaining materials and the high costs of transportation, in addition to the enrollment of many young craftsmen on the battlefronts, and the displacement of others to remote areas, leaving behind professions that struggle for survival. The ongoing battles in Al Hudaydah Governorate have displaced more than 17,350 families (121,000 people) from 6 different areas in Al Hudaydah Governorate, since the beginning of last June, according to a statement issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen. The population of Hodeidah Governorate constitutes 11% of the total population of Yemen. They live a primitive life and lack services, and the majority of its population is classified among the poor, and they are small farmers, artisans, shepherds and fishermen, according to a report issued by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The ongoing battles in the Hodeidah governorate threaten about 3 million people with more hunger and poverty, and the destruction of livelihoods, and the remaining sources of livelihood. The battles have transformed the districts of Hays, Al-Tahita, and Al-Durayhimi and their traditional markets, which were teeming with different types of handicrafts, into ghost towns, according to craftsmen. The battles led to the suspension of projects to support poor groups, which were implemented by the Social Welfare Fund and local organizations, in those directorates, with the aim of pushing the poor groups to learn craft and productive skills that free them from poverty, through the establishment of small projects that generate income for them, such as the palm fronds industry project, which is one of the The most important projects with economic returns to the beneficiaries. Nahari feels a great pain, as a result of the decrease in the number of craftsmen in the Hodeidah governorate, where some of its districts are witnessing violent battles, expressing his fear of the extinction of the traditional industries that they inherited from their fathers and grandfathers, because there is no one to work in them. Many obstacles and challenges face the Tihami handicrafts in light of the difficulties that threaten their continuity and the passing of their techniques and arts to the younger generations, due to the war that brought them to the brink of extinction as a result of the artisans’ interruption from their activities due to the conflict that led to the closure of their workshops, and the destruction of some of them.
Handicrafts in Yemen..a tourist treasure threatened with extinction

            The Salt Market in the historical city of Sana’a oozes originality and fragrant history as it narrates the stories of the happy country of Yemen and what the traditional Yemeni handicraft product has been known for over hundreds of years of features that distinguish it from others. The traditional Yemeni handicraft product is shaped with a few pseudo-modern touches, but its essence is all that is strange and perhaps provocative, and it has been overshadowed by the fragility and poor quality of material and workmanship, thinness, lack of experience and skill, modesty of manufacture and cheap costs, which lost the authentic craftsmanship of its luster, splendor, beauty and reputation.

It is noteworthy that such counterfeit and forged traditional craft products that invaded the Yemeni market from the People’s Republic of China and others, and entered into a confrontation with the authentic Yemeni craft product and threatened many products with demise and others with extinction, are popular with the public according to the manufacturers because of the cheapness of their cost, unlike many of the The traditional Yemeni handicraft products that the lack of interest in, lack of support and high cost have kept them in their place and are nothing more than a “heritage from the ancient and perhaps beautiful past.”

Yemeni handicrafts and traditional industries are trying to protect heritage and create job opportunities for thousands of families after a major attack from imported industries, especially from China, in light of the recession and weak tourism movement.

Those working in these industries affirm their quest to confront the unfair competition from the counterfeit and imported goods that invade the Yemeni market, despite the issuance of a government decision two years ago to limit their import, but it did not bring the desired result.

Where a number of measures must be taken to protect and care for the handicraft product and traditional handicrafts, including banning the import of imitation handicraft products of national products, which are agate and related products, national handicrafts, national cotton quilts, towels and handicrafts, napkins, gabions, shades, playing cards, bamboo, dyed national flasks, ceramics and pottery. And incense for a year to protect the national product.

The questionnaire included a 25 percent rate on imports of handicraft products, which include traditional iron and wooden locks, traditional swords and their sheaths, weaving, traditional leather belts, household copper, decorative wooden and metal boxes for gifts and ornaments, and traditional embroidered national costumes.

The decision obligated ministries, government agencies and institutions to purchase gifts presented to Yemeni guests from Yemeni craft products in support of these traditional crafts and handicrafts. Craftsmen participating in the questionnaire from the Capital Municipality and a number of governorates indicated a decline in sales from one year to another due to the decline in tourism as a result of the conditions and conditions in the country, as the main customers for acquiring craft industries are foreign and Gulf tourists.

Fathi Al-Shami from Marib Governorate says, “Yemen is amassing various bounties and riches and is rich in many handicrafts and handicrafts, and Ma’rib governorate is one of the governorates that has a great cultural and heritage treasure…there are silver belts and Bedouin carpets that characterize the governorate and are used in weddings and occasions.”

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Concerning the contemporary challenges that affect the Marabian folklore, he indicated that there is an update of handicrafts, especially during the tourist seasons in the Bedouin burqas and Sheila, but it does not harm the authentic traditional heritage, considering that it includes the technical aspects only by using cheap Chinese beads or Chinese handicrafts due to its invasion of local markets at nominal prices. Compared to the local product, which is currently more expensive.

With regard to the disappearance of traditional crafts, Al-Shami pointed out that there are traditional crafts and handicrafts that are about to disappear, such as leather goods, water sieves, shoes and wood tools that were previously used for food. While he called on the concerned authorities to support local products, preserve and document them from damage and extinction, he called on the government to prevent the import of foreign products that negatively affect the local product.

He pointed out that the state’s neglect and discouragement of local and artisanal products contributes to the extinction of the authentic Yemeni product, which forces everyone to bear their responsibility.. He stressed that providing security in Marib will provide the public treasury with millions of dollars, as five million tourists visit Marib annually, which has contributed to the decline in tourism. For his part, Hassan Bahshwan from Hadramawt Al-Wadi Governorate considered Yemeni folklore as a special, unique and distinguished model because it contains aspects of the life of the Yemeni human being.

He said, “There are many types of handicrafts in Hadhramaut, there is ancient silver and the adored necklace that the groom gives to his fiancée, as well as the hyena necklace that a person wears to protect him from hyenas, and many Hadrami products and old handicrafts with a modern character.” He added, “There are patterns of silver jewelry in the desert that men and women wear and fall within the framework of adornment and from the eye of envy and diseases, while women’s fashion in Hadramout has a special character whose images are still evident in the villages and are popular despite the progress and development of life, but its aesthetic character and mastery of its manufacture makes it a treasure that It cannot be obliterated, and among those fashions is the al-Daw’ani garment, the al-Mashqasi garment, the stone garment, the al-Minhali garment.” perpetuates the extent eternity

He stressed that the Hadrami heritage product is disappearing as a result of people’s tendency to gold and silver and gold jewelry… justifying the reason for this extinction due to the lack of their manufacture and production as a local resource, as well as the people’s lack of interest in them at present.

Meanwhile, the Director of Social Relations at the Al-Khansa Association, Najat Qaid Jarallah, reviewed the folklore presented at the festival, including “handbags, trousers, abayas, galabiyas, and accessories of locally made handicrafts with a modern and contemporary traditional character.”I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

She pointed out that the Yemeni folklore continues to maintain its originality despite the introduction of modifications and updates to it with the external product, which has become available, easy and cheap.. Pointing out that the external product actually harms the reputation of the local heritage product.

In turn, Fouad Saeed Farea, owner of the Badhan Palace jewelry store, confirms that the foreign product completely hit the local product, considering that the materials offered are foreign and the manufacture is local.

He explained that some of the Yemeni heritage, such as the old clothes of the nerves, belts, and bats, are threatened with extinction as a result of the invasion of the foreign product to the local market and the presence of counterfeit materials at cheap prices, which makes it easy for everyone to buy them without cost.

According to Farea, the demand for the local product is currently weak, which suggests that many traditional crafts and handicrafts are threatened with extinction and requires the state and the government to pause and reconsider this vital cultural and heritage aspect.

Meanwhile, Jamil Ahmed Bilal, director of the First Center for Yemeni Abayas and Agate, says that the state does not care about tourism promotion of local products, in addition to the lack of manpower, which negatively affected the local product and helped degrade its quality and status compared to foreign heritage.

He pointed out that the local product of rings, agates, bracelets, women’s sets and swimming pools are made by Yemeni hands and materials and are of high quality, but their prices are high, which makes the Yemeni society turn to the foreign product because of its cheapness, which has harmed the status and quality of the local product and its quality.

With regard to the extinction of some crafts and handicrafts, he indicated that the lack of special laboratories for handicrafts and handicrafts and the support of manpower contributed to their extinction.

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Ahmed Al-Shami, owner of a handicraft shop in the festival, differs from others in that the external product harms the local product, given that the local product retains its authentic heritage, but warns against the extinction of the local heritage.

He says: The lack of factories and local hands makes us have to import some materials to add them to the local product, and this does not mean that we have obliterated the Yemeni heritage, but rather we have preserved its traditional character by modern and advanced means due to the lack of them in the local market. Al-Shami expressed his hope that the state would put an end to the import of foreign products and return to the revival of the folklore and the local product, which is distinguished from others by its quality, originality, and its historical and heritage status through the ages.

In this regard, Minister of Culture Abdullah al-Kibsi says, “The authentic Yemeni heritage will remain a symbol and a title for Yemen and its heritage, civilization and fragrance, and that no matter how foreign products are imported to Yemen, the Yemeni product will continue to maintain its quality.” He pointed out that what is imported from foreign products to Yemen comes from the ease of obtaining them, licensing them and selling them to the public at prices, especially Chinese products that entered the Yemeni and Arab markets and at nominal costs.

Tasks and goals

– Protecting and developing traditional craft industries and handicrafts, and setting the necessary programs to preserve, develop and publicize them. – Carrying out field surveys to inventory, document, compile, classify and document data and information about handicrafts and traditional industries and their areas of spread and presence, in order to achieve the project of the National Register of Crafts Heritage. Introducing the craft heritage and its antiquity through the publication of practical and artistic studies. – Supervising the existing craft centers and proposing the establishment of new centers to revive handicrafts and traditional industries in various rural cities and working to perpetuate them through designing and diversifying training programs and activating their economic role in the life of society. – Work to create the conditions for the advancement of the fields of handicrafts and traditional industries, technically and culturally. Coordination with the concerned authorities and social development programs to contribute to supporting the ministries’ activities in this field. – Organizing local exhibitions of crafts and handicrafts, participating in international exhibitions, and organizing cultural and artistic seminars to introduce the importance of preserving handicrafts. – Promoting and marketing handicraft products and suggesting appropriate mechanisms to achieve this. – Carrying out awareness campaigns to publicize the importance of preserving cultural heritage in order to revive it and to attract young people to engage in work and production of handicrafts and traditional industries. Organizing programs geared towards preparing skills that organize the development of handicrafts. – Organizing conferences, seminars and workshops for the purpose of promoting the performance of this activity. The National Center for Crafts and Handicrafts and its affiliated centers are currently training and rehabilitating craftsmen, whether former practitioners of crafts or new youth of both sexes who have not previously practiced craft industries. The training depends on two axes: the academic dimension And the craftsmanship dimension in training. The center has implemented craft training courses through training programs that depend on developing curricula based on the cultural reference of the Yemeni civilizational heritage and through highly qualified and experienced trainers, in addition to attracting Indian experts to train craftsmen in the field of semi-precious gemstones, as well as organizing exhibitions of products Craftsmanship and handicrafts, participation in internal and external exhibitions, and in order for these centers to carry out their duties so that they are able to meet all ambitions in this aspect, it is necessary to provide adequate financial support for these centers

Difficulties and Obstacles

           Yemeni traditional crafts and industries face many obstacles that prevent their development and advancement, including: The state’s lack of interest in preserving handicrafts and traditional industries. – Some traders import poor quality products, in addition to participating in handicraft fairs with Chinese and Indian products as Yemeni products, which offends our real traditional products and affects Yemen’s reputation in general. The lack of infrastructure, laboratories, machinery and equipment necessary to develop traditional industries and supply local markets with them to keep pace with other countries The scarcity of financial resources that do not optimally meet the development of traditional industries. The lack of laws and regulations necessary to preserve crafts and handicrafts. Overlapping specializations and lack of coordination between the authorities concerned with the historical heritage, which would preserve handicrafts and traditional industries.

Suggestions and Recommendations

              Providing the necessary infrastructure, laboratories, machinery and equipment for the development of traditional industries. Enact laws and legislations necessary to preserve handicrafts and handicrafts. Providing the financial resources necessary for the advancement of these traditional industries and handicrafts.. Encouraging craftsmen by holding competitions for the best handicraft products and traditional industries.. Activating the decision of the Council of Ministers to prevent the import of foreign products for locally manufactured materials