Brief Facts About Yemen

Yemen, a country located on the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing a border with Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Yemen is part of the Arab League.Yemen prides itself as the only republic in the Arab peninsula. The rest are kingdoms and emirates ruled by one family and one ruler.
Capital: Sanaa
Population: 28,036,829 (July 2017 est.)
Ethnic groups: Predominantly Arab, also Afro-Arab, South Asian and European
Religions: Muslim (99.1%) and small numbers of Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Baha’i
Area: 527,968 sq km
GDP (purchasing power parity): $69.19 billion (2016 est.
Yemen does not have many natural resources and is the poorest nation in the middle east

GDP per capita: $2,400 (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 27% (2014 est.)

The history of Yemen dates back to the Minaean (1200–650 B.C. ) and Sabaean (750–115 B.C. ) kingdoms. Ancient Yemen (centered around the port of Aden) engaged in the lucrative myrrh and frankincense trade. It was invaded by the Romans (1st century A.D. ) as well as the Ethiopians and Persians (6th century A.D. ).
In A.D. 628 it converted to Islam and in the 10th century came under the control of the Rassite dynasty of the Zaidi sect, which remained involved in North Yemeni politics until 1962. The Ottoman Turks nominally occupied the area from 1538 to the decline of their empire in 1918. The northern portion of Yemen was ruled by imams until a pro-Egyptian military coup took place in 1962. The junta proclaimed the Yemen Arab Republic, and after a civil war in which Egypt’s Nasser and the USSR supported the revolutionaries and King Saud of Saudi Arabia and King Hussein of Jordan supported the royalists, the royalists were finally defeated in mid-1969.
The southern port of Aden, strategically located at the opening of the Red Sea, was colonized by Britain in 1839, and by 1937, with an expansion of its territory, it was known as the Aden Protectorate. In the 1960s the Nationalist Liberation Front (NLF) fought against British rule, which led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen on Nov. 30, 1967. In 1979, under strong Soviet influence, the country became the only Marxist state in the Arab world.
The Republic of Yemen was established on May 22, 1990, when pro-Western Yemen and the Marxist Yemen Arab Republic merged after 300 years of separation to form the new nation. The poverty and decline in Soviet economic support in the south was an important incentive for the merger. The new president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was elected by the parliaments of both countries.

Yemen is part of Biblical tales and legends. Noah knew it as “the land of milk and honey.” The Three Wise Men presented the infant Jesus with myrrh and frankincense from its mountains, and some claim it is the Queen of Sheba’s home.

Yemen was once divided into North and South Yemen. South Yemen was a communist state, while its neighbor, North Yemen was republic. The country was unified in 1990.

Yemenis take much pride in their wedding traditions. An average wedding feast lasts 21 days.

Yemen is an ultraconservative Muslim country. Homosexual behavior is punishable by death, and it is forbidden to take pictures of women.

Tourists are expected to give pens (referred to as qalam or galam) for the local school. Sweets are also acceptable.

Alcohol is banned in Yemen due to strict Islamic religious policies

Zabid’s domestic and military architecture and its urban plan make it an outstanding archaeological and historical site. Besides being the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, the city played an important role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university.

It is customary for Yemeni males to bring a jambiya (a short, curved dagger) in public. Not only does the handle of the jambiya show the social status of a person, but the dagger, by tradition, also helps keep people from picking fights with one another.


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