Did you ever heard of a Seiyun passport?

No, it’s not a fantasy or Bogus passport – it’s a real thing and pretty rare to find nowadays! Seiyun passport

The Kathiri State of Seiyun in Hadhramaut was a sultanate in the Hadhramaut region of the southern Arabian Peninsula, now part of Yemen and the Dhofari region of Oman. The Kathiri State was established in 1395 by Badr as-Sahab ibn al-Habrali Bu Tuwairik, who ruled until 1430.

In 1839 Britain captured the town of Aden (now part of Yemen) in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. Like the later seizure of Cyprus (1878) and of Egypt (1882), the occupation of Aden was a strategic rather than commercial undertaking, guarding the lines of communication with India. With British Somaliland on the ‘horn of Africa,’ Aden provided control of the Red Sea entrance.  Following the Suez Canal opening in 1869, Britain established protectorates in the hinterland of South Arabia to act as a buffer against the Ottomans who occupied Yemen. In 1937 Aden became a Crown Colony. Seiyun passport

Map from 1965

In 1916, a division occurred in Kathiri, and the Sultanate of Tarim separated from Kathiri. In 1918 a ‘long standing Qaiti-Kathiri quarrel was settled, with the assistance of the Aden Residency, by the conclusion of an agreement between the parties, by which the Kathiri agreed to accept as binding upon them the treaty of 1888 between the Qaiti and the British Government and also accepted the arbitration of the British Government in settlement of future disputes. Seiyun passport

The Kathiri State declined to join the Federation of South Arabia but remained under British protection as part of South Arabia’s Protectorate (Aden Protectorate). Al-Husayn ibn Ali, the Kathiri sultan since 1949, was overthrown in October 1967, and the following month the former sultanate became part of newly independent South Yemen. South Yemen united with North Yemen in 1990 to become the Republic of Yemen, but local sheiks in Yemen are reported to wield large de facto authority still.

Ever since they occupied Aden as a territory in 1839, British troops were subjected to attacks. From 1962, Britain was engaged in an escalating conflict in the protectorate. Using grenades, bombs, and rifles supplied by regional, and world powers, nationalist groups such as the National Liberation Front (NLF) and the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY) targeted British troops and their families. By November 1967, the situation was untenable, and Britain’s permanent garrison East of Suez’ was abandoned. Seiyun passport

The following document was offered to me via my website, but the seller wanted an extremely high price; hence it didn’t end up in my collection. But at least I can share some pictures of this curious passport of territory under British protection.

Seiyun passport
Seiyun Kathri State (Aden Protectorate) passport 1963

 

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