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Arabic: dhamār

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Region of Dhamar, Yemen.
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Region of Dhamar, Yemen.

City in Yemen with 140,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), in the Yemen Highlands, in a valley 2,400 metres above sea level, between two volcanic peaks.
Dhamar is a trade and administrative centre for the surrounding agriculture, which specializes in grain. Raising of thoroughbred horses is also of importance, and is an activity that has given Dhamar much fame. There are also some small and middle-sized handicraft industries.
Dhamar is connected with other urban centres by the highway that connects Mukha or Aden with San'a. San'a is 100 km north, Ibb 100 km south and Ta'izz 200 km south.
Dhamar consists of two sections that are divided by a zone of irrigated market gardens. Dhamar has some of the typical Yemeni multi-story houses, but most people live in one-story mud-brick houses. The city also has a number of fine mosques.
Dhamar's main reason for fame is having been the leading centre of the Zaydi Shi'i Islam orientation, which has been the leading religious orientation in Yemen for centuries. The city is the home of a famous school of Islamic theology.

Local historians claim that the history of Dhamar goes back to 1st millennium BCE.
Around 1200 CE: Dhamar is mentioned in an historical document for the first time. It was already then praised for its nice buildings and rich agriculture.
20th century: Dhamar becomes the seat of an independent emirate ruled by the Wazir family.
1944: The emirate of Dhamar is abolished by the king.

By Tore Kjeilen