On the anniversary of September 26, the Houthis launched two ballistic missiles at the home of Sheikh Sultan Al-Arada in Marib. It did not take long for Al-Arada to come out himself, like a genie, speaking from the rubble of his house. The man appeared with his full body, with indifferent features that did not reveal any emotion, confusion, or fear.
Sultan Al-Arada, in name, appearance and style of speech, belongs to the luxurious Sabaean period when Marib was the base of Yemen, the center of his political existence, and the pillar of his elegant palace. Al-Arada, with his gigantic royal presence, compels you to go beyond the reticence one must display when speaking of the virtues of the living.
What Marib says on the lips of Al-Arada, and from the rumors of guns on the fronts, is that Marib is more than just a governorate; It is the promised land of the Yemenis and their Jerusalem, where the broken temple and the buried beam. The sands and rocks of Marib store the genetic code of the Yemeni civilization.
Marib today is no longer just a handful of sand on a barren land inhabited by a few people, as it was a hundred years ago, but ten years ago. It has become a big city, shining with lights, frequented by Yemenis in their different regions, origins and political beliefs.
Sanaa is not the one attacking Marib, even if the Houthis, or their supporters, falsely called their lumpy legions “Sana’a forces.” They hide their impurity under the name Sanaa. The one attacking Ma’rib today is the enemy of Sana’a, the Sheba’a, before it was the enemy of the motherland of Sheba. These dark hordes have always swept Sanaa and ravaged it.
They are ignorant of the fact that Sana’a is basically an ancient Sabaean city, and its central role in the political history of Yemen is about one thousand five hundred years behind the Sabean centrality of Ma’rib.
It was Marib that delegated this role to Sanaa on its behalf.
Perhaps today, Sana’a has returned once again to be a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of Ma’rib. Marib has always been the cherished mother of Yemen, and of Sanaa in particular. Historical inscriptions and theories say that the site of Sanaa was chosen by the kings of Sheba in ancient times.
According to the great Yemeni Hadrami historian Muhammad Abd al-Qadir Bafaqih, the collapse of the state of the Himyarites at the beginning of the sixth century AD and the emergence of Dhi Nawas Yusuf Asar, whom his supporters call the “king of all peoples,” caused Ghamdan, without other palaces, to be the only palace, and Sana’a, Without other cities, it is the single central capital.
But Bafqih immediately adds, wondering: “Did anything of this happen to Khald (Amr ibn Karb al-Watar Yahn’am, King of Sheba and Dhi Raydan in the middle of the first century AD) when he planned to Sana’a and settled groups from his tribe in it, inspired by the strategy set by his predecessors, perhaps before Eli’s distress? Chord – the carburetor?”. (Mohammed Abdel-Qader Bafaqih, “Al-Rahba and Sana’a in the Sheba’s State Building Strategy”, Al-Ikleel Magazine, October 1988).
Bafqih’s question can be formulated in another phrase: Were those Sabaean kings consciously preparing Sanaa to become a central capital in the absence of Ma’rib?
It is not new for Ma’rib to be a political, social and cultural center for Yemen. This experience is rooted in the clay of the place, its memory, and its air, and it runs in the blood of every respected benefactor. From Marib, the first political unification of Yemen was launched. The southern Arabian Peninsula, based on the conquests of the Shebaan king, Karp El Watar, from Ma’rib in the eighth century BC, has become a continuous cultural and political field.
And when the star of Marib faded, the star of Yemeni civilization fell. And Ma’rib was absent from the scene for nearly two thousand years. And here it is resuming that pioneering formative role of Yemen as a nation and as a civilization.
Whatever the fate of the current battle in Marib, this will not change at all the fact that Marib has established again for its glorious and victorious return to the forefront of the central action in the course of Yemeni history, the history from which it withdrew centuries ago under the pressure of many compelling factors, political, economic and natural, including: This includes the unfair climatic and natural changes that affected Yemen and the eastern part of it in particular.
This time Sanaa does not stand alone in the face of the Imamate. So, when Marib is fighting today, it is not fighting in defense of itself, but rather on behalf of Sanaa, the hostage of the Imamate. Just as Sanaa has many experiences in forcibly harboring imams, it has, on the other hand, many experiences in killing them.
A few times when the Zaydi imams made Sanaa the capital of their semi-states, they were not a state at all. As for many imams, they made their capitals in marginal areas. For example, but not limited to: Imam al-Mu’ayyad bin al-Qasim bin Muhammad (Shahara), Imam al-Mutawakkil Isma’il (Duran Anas), Imam al-Mahdi, the possessor of talents (in talents), and Imam Ahmad Hamid al-Din took Taiz as his headquarters and residence after his father was killed in Sana’a with the rifle of Ibn Ma’rib, the outstanding fighter Ali Nasser Al-Qard’i, and before them all, the founder of the Zaidi state, Al-Hadi Al-Rasi, who left Sana’a wounded and chased towards Saada. Only a group of Knights of Daylam, Tabaristan and Iraq defended him in Sana’a.
Even the French orientalist Franck Mermier went on to say that “Sana’a has become a shining beacon in which all attempts aimed at establishing a stable Imamate state will collapse.”
And now, Marib (the original) itself ransomed the slain Sanaa (the branch).
And in those lands, full of the vital energy of great and daring action, a new national destiny for Yemen is now written in the face of the Zaydi Imamate, with the sweat and blood of brave men.