Zabid is a town with an urban
population of around 23,000 persons on Yemen's western coastal plain. The town,
named after Wadi Zabid, the wadi (or valley) to its south, is one of the oldest
towns in Yemen. It was the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century
and a center of the Arab and Muslim world due in large part to its famed
University of Zabid and being a center of Islamic education. It was the capital
of the Ziyadid dynasty from 819–1018 and the Najahid dynasty from 1022–1158.
Today, however, it is at the intellectual and economic margins of