“IRCICA Heritage Talks” online lecture: Architect Abdulhakim Qasem Al-Sayaghi

"Preservation in Times of War in Yemen"


Architect Abdulhakim Qasem Al-Sayaghi, Restorer and Conservation Planner from Yemen was the guest speaker of the IRCICA Heritage Talks online lecture on 18 April 2024, for a comprehensive presentation titled “Preservation in Times of War in Yemen”. The highly instructive, amply illustrated lecture broadcast via online connection with the lecturer is accessible on YouTube. It produced a rich reference on the outstanding cultural and architectural heritage treasures of Yemen, their state of preservation, the damage and destruction caused by wars and armed conflicts, neglect due to the deterioration of economic conditions, lack of means, as well as climate change and environmental degradation.

In the first part of his talk, the lecturer introduced some of the numerous invaluable historical cities, sites and monuments of Yemen, giving information about each of them. In the second part of the talk, he gave statistics of damage and destruction caused by wars and conflicts. The third part of the lecture focused on the authorities and administrations dealing with architectural heritage, including the Cultural Heritage Unit of the Social Fund for Development of Yemen under his direction, outlining their aims, activities, capacities, and international cooperation projects for the restoration and conservation of sites and monuments.

Architect Al-Sayaghi served in for 35 years in the cultural heritage sector including as General Director of International Relations & Technical Cooperation and General Director of Projects at the General Organization for Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY) during 1988-2004. He designed and managed a large number of restoration projects of historic sites and monuments of Yemen including the Great Mosque- Old City of Sana’a and Al-Ashrafiya Mosque & Madrasa in Ta’izz; worked as expert and leader in conservation projects of Sana’a, Shibam, Zabid and the historic area of Aden in collaboration with local and international organizations, and in the project on preservation curricula for Yemeni universities.

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