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Kathiri State of Seiyun in Hadhramaut
ٱلدَّوْلَة ٱلْكَثِيْرِيَّة ٱلْحَضْرَمِيَّة فِي سَيْؤُوْن
ٱلْكَثِيْرِي al-Kathīrī
State of the Protectorate of South Arabia
14th century 1379–2 October 1967

Flag of Kathiri

Location of Kathiri
Map of the Protectorate of South Arabia 1965
Capital Say'un
Coordinates: 17°10′N 50°15′E / 17.167°N 50.250°E / 17.167; 50.250
Government Sultanate
HRH Sultan Al Husayn ibn Ali
Historical era 20th century
 •  Established 14th century 1379
 •  Disestablished 30 November 2 October 1967
Today part of  Yemen
 Saudi Arabia

Kathiri (Arabic: ٱلْكَثِيْرِي‎, romanizedal-Kathīrī), officially the Kathiri State of Seiyun in Hadhramaut (Arabic: ٱلسَّلْطَنَة ٱلْكَثِيْرِيَّة - سَيْؤُوْن - حَضْرَمَوْت‎, romanizedal-Salṭanah al-Kathīrīyah - Sayʾūn - Ḥaḍramawt) was a sultanate in the Hadhramaut region of the southern Arabian Peninsula, in what is now part of Yemen and the Dhofari region of Oman.


A postage stamp of 1942 depicts the sultan and the capital city

The Kathiris once ruled much of Hadhramaut, but their power was truncated by the rival Qu'aitis in the 19th and 20th centuries, losing Al-Mukalla in the process.[1] The Kathiris were eventually restricted to a small inland portion of Hadhramaut with their capital at Seiyun (Say'un).[2] The sultanate entered into treaty relations with the British in the late 19th century and became a part of the Aden Protectorate. The Kathiri State declined to join the Federation of South Arabia, but remained under British protection as part of the Protectorate of South Arabia. Al-Husayn ibn Ali, Kathiri sultan since 1949, was overthrown in October 1967, and the following month the former sultanate became part of newly independent South Yemen.[3]

South Yemen united with North Yemen in 1990 to become the Republic of Yemen, but local sheikhs in Yemen are reported to still wield large de facto authority.[citation needed]

The first Prime Minister in the history of East Timor, Mar'ī al-Kathīrī, is a third generation descendant of immigrants from Kathiri, part of a significant migration of Hadhramis to Southeast Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is reflected in his name 'Alkatiri'. The Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib is also a descendant of immigrants from the Kathiris.[citation needed]


Sultans of Alkathiri
1395 – 1430 Badr as-Sahab ibn al-Habrali Bu Tuwairik
ca. 1430 – ca. 1450 Muhammad ibn 'Ali
bis ca. 1493 Dscha'far ibn 'Abdallah
ca. 1516 – ca. 1565 Badr ibn 'Abdallah
ca. 1565 – 17th century unknown Sheikhs
1670 – 1690 Dscha'far ibn 'Abdallah al-Kathir
1690 – 1707 Badr ibn Dscha'far al-Kathir
1707 – 1725 'Abdllah ibn Badr al-Kathir
1725 – 1760 'Amr ibn Badr al-Kathir
1760 – 1800 Ahmad ibn 'Amr al-Kathir
1800 – 1830 Muhsin ibn Ahmad al-Kathir
1830 – 1880 Ghalib ibn Muhsin al-Kathir
1880 – May 1929 al-Mansur ibn Ghalib al-Kathir
May 1929 – 1938 'Ali ibn al-Mansur al-Kathir
1938 – 24 April 1949 Dscha'far ibn al-Mansur al-Kathir
April 1949 – 2 October 1967 al-Husain ibn 'Ali al-Kathir


  1. ^ McLaughlin, Daniel (2008). "11: Hadhramawt". Yemen. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 214. ISBN 978-1-8416-2212-5.
  2. ^ Stark, Freya. The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut.
  3. ^ Oron, Yitzhak, ed. (1960), Middle East Record, 1

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