Conflict, Unrest and Museums in Yemen: Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016)


Written by Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016, Yemen)

Hello everyone,

Here in Yemen, conflict and unrest has resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with destruction and damage to the country.

Our museums are concerned about avoiding any further damage or vandalism, and trying to keep museums intact during wartime. Therefore, the good decision was taken three years ago to close all the museums in the entire country. At Seiyun Museum, we are further from the conflict zones, so in these circumstance we are doing special openings of the museum and receiving some audiences – especially schools and university students – with prior arrangement and careful organisation.


Last week, we received a group of about 140 students from the College of Women at Hadhramout University. The museum’s team welcomed the ladies. Usually ten people is a common number for a tour, but every institution has its way of leading tours. Here, the tour docent leads groups of 20 people, and due to the special opening of the museum, our group numbers are big and this is possible as there are no public visitors.


We were glad to follow the basic division of three within a tour or gallery talk: welcome, introduction, main body and conclusion. The very beginning of the visit was a brief to explain the purpose of the tour – to be cohesive and have a clear focus. However, the priority is always a presentation style that is informative, comfortable, cohesive and flexible, also achieving the museum’s function as a place of enjoyment and learning.