Amiriya Madrasa

Al-Amiriya (Arabic: المدرسة العامرية‎) is a 16th-century madrasa (educational institution) located in Rada, Yemen. It is under consideration for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1] It was built in 1504 and is an example of the architecture of Tahirids, Yemen. The monument was in poor condition until 1978 when Iraqi-born archaeologist Selma Al-Radi saw it and enlisted financial help from foreign missions to restore it in a more than twenty-year effort which she led.[1][2]

The Amiriya School


This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on July 8, 2002, in the Cultural category.[1]

The restoration process revived the art of qadad, a form of waterproof interior and exterior plastering. In 2004 a documentary film, Qudad, Re-inventing a Tradition, was made on the subject by the filmmaker Caterina Borelli (preview).[3]

Close-up of part of the restored Amiriya Complex, showing white qadad

The restoration of the Amiriya Complex was awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c The Madrasa Amiriya of Rada - UNESCO World Heritage Centre Retrieved 2009-03-25.
  2. ^ "Selma Al-Radi, Restored Historic Madrasa, Dies at 71" "New York Times", 14 Oct 2010 [1]
  3. ^ "Qudad, Re-inventing a Tradition". Documentary Educational Resources.
  4. ^ Aga Khan Award website


  • Al-Radi, S.; Barnes, R.; Al-Nasiri, Y.; Porter, V.; Hillenbrand, R. (1997). The 'Amiriya in Rada' : the history and restoration of a sixteenth-century madrasa in the Yemen. Title of Series: Oxford studies in Islamic art; 13. Oxford: Oxford University Press, for the Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. ISBN 0-19-728023-4