The Ancient Corniche/ Al-Hudaydah Castle
The Corniche/Al-Hudaidah Castle is one of the main archaeological monuments in the city of Al-Hudaydah. Located south of the old port of Hudaydah, it lies on a high hill opposite the sea. It is the only castle to survive the last 500 years and remain unaffected by partial or complete destruction. The castle was built in 946 H (1538 AD), during Ottoman rule in Yemen. It was built as a defensive garrison for the Ottomans. Towards the end of the Ottoman rule, the Castle turned into a prison and the following imams used it as a prison as well. The castle houses a museum of artifacts and antiquities, but recently, the castle turned into a government complex. On 24 October 2014, rebels stormed the castle. These rebels were involved in fierce fighting against members of the Tuhami Movement, which began in 2011 following protests against the former regime, who succeeded in stopping the attack of the armed Houthi militants. Soon after, the Houthis attacked again, more ferociously and violently this time, killing and arresting all those who opposed to, or confronted them. Backed by Saleh’s supporters, the Houthis took control of all the governmental, military and security institutions in all of Al-Hudaydah as they chased and arrested members of the resistance fighters who rejected their coup and sent them to the Corniche Castle. The Houthis turned an archaeological and historical monument that preserved the legacy and history of the city into a castle of horror and intimidation and a centre of detention and imprisoned citizens opposed to their movement where the most severe kinds of torture and forced disappearances are practised.