Yemen

Yemen

Overview
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to the north, the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 to the west, and Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 to the east.

Yemen has a land area of 555,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 24 million (2010). Its capital and largest city is Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

. Yemen's territory includes over 200 island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s, the largest of which is Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

, about 415 km to the south of mainland Yemen, off the coast of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

.
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Unanswered Questions
Timeline

1947   The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Yemen join the United Nations.

1965   The Yemeni Nasserite Unionist People's Organisation is founded in Taiz

1977   Egypt breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen. The move is in retaliation for the Declaration of Tripoli against Egypt.

2002   The French oil tanker ''Limburg ''is bombed off Yemen.

 
Encyclopedia
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 to the north, the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 to the west, and Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 to the east.

Yemen has a land area of 555,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 24 million (2010). Its capital and largest city is Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

. Yemen's territory includes over 200 island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

s, the largest of which is Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

, about 415 km to the south of mainland Yemen, off the coast of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. It is the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

an form of government.

In February and March 2011, an uprising
2011 Yemeni uprising
The 2011 Yemen Uprising followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution and other mass protests in the Middle East in early 2011. In its early phase, protests in Yemen were initially against unemployment, economic conditions and...

 against the government began, and clashes with police and pro-government supporters have steadily intensified.

Etymology


One etymology derives Yemen from yamin, meaning "on the right side", as the south is on the right when facing the sunrise. Another derives Yemen from yumn, meaning "felicity", as the region is fertile. The Romans called it "Arabia Felix" (Fertile Arabia) as against "Arabia Deserta" (Deserted Arabia), being northern Arabia.

History


Yemen has long existed at the crossroads of cultures; it linked some of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East by virtue of its location in South Arabia
South Arabia
South Arabia as a general term refers to several regions as currently recognized, in chief the Republic of Yemen; yet it has historically also included Najran, Jizan, and 'Asir which are presently in Saudi Arabia, and Dhofar presently in Oman...

.
Between the 12th century BC
12th century BC
-Overview:The 12th century BC is the period from 1200 to 1101 BC. Although many human societies were literate in this period, most individual persons mentioned in this article ought to be considered legendary rather than historical...

 and the 6th century, it was home of the Minaean, Sabaean, Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut, Hadhramout, Hadramawt or Ḥaḍramūt is the formerly independent Qu'aiti state and sultanate encompassing a historical region of the south Arabian Peninsula along the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea, extending eastwards from Yemen to the borders of the Dhofar region of Oman...

, Qataban
Qataban
Qataban was one of the ancient Yemeni kingdoms. Its heartland was located in the Baihan valley. Like some other Southern Arabian kingdoms it gained great wealth from the trade of frankincense and myrrh incense which were burned at altars...

, Ausan, and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

, and later came under Ethiopian
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

 and Persian rule. In the 6th century, the Himyarite king Abu-Karib Assad converted to Judaism
Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

 after expanding his kingdom to include most of the Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 and parts of East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. In the 7th century, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

s began to exert control over the area. After this caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 broke up, South Arabia came under the control of many dynasties who ruled part, or often all, of South Arabia.
Imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

s descendants of prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 also known as sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

s ruled Yemen intermittently for 980 years, establishing a theocratic political structure that flourished and covered at its pinnacle all the area south of mecca to dhoffar and salalah and all the way to Aden and the African coast of the red sea, gulf of aden and parts of the Indian ocean adjacent to the Arabian Peninsula and strongly influencing and sometimes controlling sharif
Sharif
Sharīf or Chérif is a traditional Arab tribal title given to those who serve as the protector of the tribe and all tribal assets, such as property, wells, and land. In origin, the word is an adjective meaning "noble", "highborn". The feminine singular is sharifa...

s of Hejaz. It survived until modern times.

Egyptian Shia caliphs occupied much of Yemen throughout the 11th century but were resisted by the Imams. By the 16th century and again in the 19th century, Yemen was part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 (first as the Eyalet of Yemen, later as the Vilayet of Yemen), and in some periods Imams exerted control over all Yemen.

The modern history of South Arabia
South Arabia
South Arabia as a general term refers to several regions as currently recognized, in chief the Republic of Yemen; yet it has historically also included Najran, Jizan, and 'Asir which are presently in Saudi Arabia, and Dhofar presently in Oman...

 and Yemen began in 1918 when Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. Between 1918 and 1962, Yemen was a monarchy ruled by the Hamidaddin family. There was a brief revolution in 1948 in which Imam Yahya was killed. A rival family, the Alwazirs, seized power for several weeks. Backed by the al-Saud family of Saudi Arabia, the Hamidaddins restored their rule until 1962-1970 during the North Yemen Civil War
North Yemen Civil War
The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen between royalists of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and factions of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1962 to 1970. The war began with a coup d'état carried out by the republican leader, Abdullah as-Sallal, which dethroned the newly crowned Imam...

. In 1962, North Yemen
North Yemen
North Yemen is a term currently used to designate the Yemen Arab Republic , its predecessor, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen , and their predecessors that exercised sovereignty over the territory that is now the north-western part of the state of Yemen in southern Arabia.Neither state ever...

 saw a republic rivaling the Imams with Egyptian Occupiers assistance, but Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 still had a protective area around the South Arabia port of Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

, which it had created in the 19th century. Britain withdrew in 1967 and the area became South Yemen. In 1970, the southern government adopted a Communist governmental system. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.

April 27 – July 7, 1994, a civilian war between the former North and former South Yemen ended with the conquest of the southern capital, Aden. The dissatisfaction of the people in the South with the government of Sana’a led finally to an uprising in the South in 2007. Very soon the “al-Ḥirāk as-Silmī al-Janūbī”, the Southern Peaceful Movement (South Yemen Movement) was established in the same year to unify all southern activists. The demands on equality of treatment which was ignored by Sana’a developed very soon to the retrieval of the southern state.

The 2011 Yemeni uprising
2011 Yemeni uprising
The 2011 Yemen Uprising followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution and other mass protests in the Middle East in early 2011. In its early phase, protests in Yemen were initially against unemployment, economic conditions and...

 followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution
Tunisian revolution
The Tunisian Revolution is an intensive campaign of civil resistance, including a series of street demonstrations taking place in Tunisia. The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011...

 and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

 and other mass protests in the Arab world
Arab Spring
The Arab Spring , otherwise known as the Arab Awakening, is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Saturday, 18 December 2010...

 in early 2011. The uprising was initially against unemployment, economic conditions and corruption, as well as against the government's proposals to modify the constitution of Yemen
Constitution of Yemen
The Constitution of Yemen was ratified by popular referendum on May 16, 1991. It defines the republic as an independent and sovereign Arab and Islamic country and establishes sharia, or Islamic law, as the basis of all laws...

. The protestors' demands then escalated to calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of a post-unification Yemen. He is the...

 to resign.

Geography


Yemen is in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, in the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, bordering the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

, Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

, and the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. It lies south of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 and west of Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, between latitudes 12°
12th parallel north
The 12th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 12 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 19° N
19th parallel north
The 19th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 19 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, North America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and longitudes 42°
42nd meridian east
The meridian 42° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 55° E
55th meridian east
The meridian 55° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

A number of Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 islands, including the Hanish Islands
Hanish Islands
The Hanish Islands are an island group in the Red Sea. Most of them are a part of Yemen, but before 1998–1999 they were claimed by Eritrea as well. After a long trial with an international court under the guidance of Dr...

, Kamaran
Kamaran
Kamaran Island is the largest Yemen-controlled island in the Red Sea. The island is long and wide and is strategically located at the southern end of the Red Sea....

, and Perim
Perim
Perim is a volcanic island strategically located in the Strait of Mandeb at the southern entrance into the Red Sea, off the southwestern coast of Yemen, at . It has a surface area of 13 square kilometers and rises to an altitude of 65 meters. The island has a natural harbour on its southwestern...

, as well as Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

 in the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

, belong to Yemen. Many of the islands are volcanic; for example Jabal al-Tair
Jabal al-Tair Island
Jabal al-Tair Island is a roughly oval volcanic island northwest of the constricted Bab al-Mandab passage at the mouth of the Red Sea, about half way between Yemen and Eritrea...

 had a volcanic eruption in 2007 and before that in 1883.

At 527970 km² (203,850 sq mi), Yemen is the world's 50th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 and larger than the U.S. state of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. Yemen is situated at 15°N 48°E.

Until the signing of the Yemen-Saudi Arabia peace treaty in July 2000 Yemen's northern border was undefined; the Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert
The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. It occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula, with an area of...

 prevented any human habitation there.

The country can be divided geographically into four main regions: the coastal plains in the west, the western highlands, the eastern highlands, and the Rub al Khali in the east.

The Tihamah
Tihamah
Tihamah or Tihama is a narrow coastal region of Arabia on the Red Sea. It is currently divided between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In a broad sense, Tihamah refers to the entire coastline from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb Strait but it more often refers only to its southern half, starting...

 ("hot lands" or "hot earth") form a very arid and flat coastal plain along Yemen's entire Red Sea coastline. Despite the aridity, the presence of many lagoon
Lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

s makes this region very marshy and a suitable breeding ground for malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 mosquito
Mosquito
Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae . The word Mosquito is from the Spanish and Portuguese for little fly...

es. There are extensive crescent-shaped sand dunes. The evaporation in the Tihamah is so great that streams from the highlands never reach the sea, but they do contribute to extensive groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

 reserves. Today, these are heavily exploited for agricultural use. Near the village of Madar
Madar, Yemen
Madar, Yemen is a village about 48km north of Sanaa. In 2003 a local journalist noted the existence of dinosaur footprints in limestone bedrock and brought them to the attention of geologists at the University of Sanaa. The main site of the finds, located at , is approximately 3 km west off the...

 about 48 km (30 mi) north of Sana'a, dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

 footprints were found, indicating that the area was once a muddy flat.

The Tihamah ends abruptly at the escarpment
Escarpment
An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations.-Description and variants:...

 of the western highlands. This area, now heavily terraced
Terrace (agriculture)
Terraces are used in farming to cultivate sloped land. Graduated terrace steps are commonly used to farm on hilly or mountainous terrain. Terraced fields decrease erosion and surface runoff, and are effective for growing crops requiring much water, such as rice...

 to meet the demand for food, receives the highest rainfall in Arabia, rapidly increasing from 100 mm (3.9 in) per year to about 760 mm (29.9 in) in Ta'izz
Ta'izz
Ta'izz , or Taiz, is a city in the Yemeni Highlands, near the famous Mocha port on the Red Sea, lying at an elevation of about 1,400 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Ta'izz Governorate...

 and over 1000 mm (39.4 in) in Ibb
Ibb
Ibb is a city in Yemen, the capital of Ibb Governorate, situated on a mountain ridge, surrounded by fertile land and is known as "The Green City". It is located about 73 miles north-east of Mocha. Ibb was governed by a semi-autonomous emir until 1944, when the emirate was abolished...

.

Agriculture here is very diverse, with such crops as sorghum
Sorghum
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents...

 dominating. Cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 and many fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 trees are also grown, with mango
Mango
The mango is a fleshy stone fruit belonging to the genus Mangifera, consisting of numerous tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The mango is native to India from where it spread all over the world. It is also the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. While...

es being the most valuable. Temperatures are hot in the day but fall dramatically at night. There are perennial streams in the highlands but these never reach the sea because of high evaporation in the Tihamah.

The central highlands are an extensive high plateau over 2000 metres (6,562 ft) in elevation. This area is drier than the western highlands because of rain-shadow influences but still receives sufficient rain in wet years for extensive cropping. Diurnal temperature ranges are among the highest in the world: ranges from 30 °C (86 °F) in the day to 0 °C (32 °F) at night are normal. Water storage allows for irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 and the growing of wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 and barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

. Sana'a is located in this region. The highest point in Yemen is Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb
Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb
Jabal an-Nabi Shu'ayb is a mountain located in Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. It is the highest mountain of the country and the highest mountain in the Arabian Peninsula...

, at 3666 metres (12,028 ft).

Yemen's portion of the Rub al Khali desert in the east is much lower, generally below 1000 metres (3,281 ft), and receives almost no rain. It is populated only by Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 herders of camels.

The growing scarcity of water is a source of increasing international concern. See Water supply and sanitation in Yemen
Water supply and sanitation in Yemen
Water supply and sanitation in Yemen is characterized by a number of achievements and many remaining challenges. The main challenges are severe water scarcity, especially in the Highlands, and a high level of poverty, making it difficult to mobilize financing for investments to increase access or...

.

Economy


Yemen is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Arab World
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, with a formal 35% employment
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

 rate, dwindling natural resources
Natural Resources
Natural Resources is a soul album released by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1970 on the Gordy label. The album is significant for the Vietnam War ballad "I Should Be Proud" and the slow jam, "Love Guess Who"...

, a young population and increasing population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

. Yemen's economy is weak compared to most countries in the Middle-East, mainly because Yemen has very small oil reserves. Yemen's economy depends heavily on the oil it produces, and its government receives the vast majority of its revenue from oil taxes. But Yemen's oil reserves
Oil reserves
The total estimated amount of oil in an oil reservoir, including both producible and non-producible oil, is called oil in place. However, because of reservoir characteristics and limitations in petroleum extraction technologies, only a fraction of this oil can be brought to the surface, and it is...

 are expected to be depleted by 2017, possibly bringing on economic collapse. Yemen does have large proven reserves of natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

. Yemen's first liquified natural gas (LNG) plant
Yemen LNG
Yemen LNG is the first 'natural gas liquefaction project in Yemen. The LNG plant is located in Balhaf.-History:...

 began production in October 2009.

Rampant corruption
Corruption
Corruption usually refers to spiritual or moral impurity.Corruption may also refer to:* Corruption , an American crime film* Corruption , a British horror film...

 is a prime obstacle to development in the country, limiting local reinvestments and driving away regional and international capital. Foreign investments remain largely concentrated around the nation's hydrocarbon industry.

Beginning in the mid-1950s
1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 provided large-scale assistance. For example, China is involved with the expansion of the Sana'a International Airport
Sana'a International Airport
Sana'a International Airport or El Rahaba Airport is an international airport located in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. The runway is shared with a large military base with several fighter jets and transport aircraft of the Yemeni Air Force.-Airlines and destinations:*Note: All flights operate...

. In the south, pre-independence economic activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the port city of Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

. The seaborne transit trade, which the port relied upon, collapsed with the closure of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 and Britain's withdrawal from Aden in 1967.

Since unification in 1990, the government has worked to integrate two relatively disparate economic systems. However, severe shocks, including the return in 1990 of approximately 850,000 Yemenis from the Persian Gulf states, a subsequent major reduction of aid flows, and internal political disputes culminating in the 1994 civil war
1994 civil war in Yemen
The May–July 1994 civil war in Yemen was waged between the armed forces of the former Northern and Southern Yemeni states and their supporters...

 hampered economic growth.

Since the conclusion of the war, the government made an agreement with the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF) to implement a structural adjustment program. Phase one of the program included major financial and monetary reforms, including floating the currency, reducing the budget deficit, and cutting subsidies. Phase two will address structural issues such as civil service reform.

In early 1995, the government of Yemen launched an economic, financial, and administrative reform program (EFARP) with the support of the World Bank and the IMF, as well as international donors. The First Five-Year Plan (FFYP) for the years 1996 to 2000 was introduced in 1996. The World Bank has focused on public sector management, including civil service reform, budget reform, and privatization. Additional priorities for the programs have become attracting diversified private investment, water management, and poverty-oriented social sector improvements. These programs had a positive impact on Yemen’s economy and led to the reduction of the budget deficit to less than 3% of gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP) during the period 1995-1999 and the correction of macro-financial imbalances.

In 1997, IMF and the Yemeni government began medium-term economic reform programs under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF). This program aimed to reduce dependence on the oil sector and to establish a market environment for real non-oil GDP growth and investment in the non-oil sector. Increasing the growth rate in the non-oil sector was one of the government's most important objectives. Programs also focused on reducing unemployment, strengthening the social safety net, and increasing financial stability. To achieve these reforms, the government and IMF implemented containment of government wages, improvements in revenue collection with the introduction of reforms in tax administration, and a sharp reduction in subsidies bills through increased prices on subsidized goods. As a result, the fiscal cash deficit was reduced from 16% of GDP in 1994 to 0.9% in 1997. This was supported by aid from oil-exporting countries, despite the wide-ranging fluctuations in world oil prices. The real growth rate in the non-oil sector rose by 5.6% from 1995 to 1997.

Government


Yemen is a presidential republic with a bicameral legislature. Under the constitution, an elected President, an elected 301-seat Assembly of Representatives
Assembly of Representatives of Yemen
The Assembly of Representatives is the legislature of Yemen. The Assembly has 301 members, elected for a six year term in single-seat constituencies.-See also:* List of Speakers of the Assembly of Representatives of Yemen...

, and an appointed 111-member Shura Council
Shura
Shura is an Arabic word for "consultation". The Quran and Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision....

 share power. The President
President of Yemen
The President of the Republic of Yemen is the head of state of Yemen.Under the Constitution of Yemen, the president is also the supreme commander of the armed forces and head of the executive branch of the Yemeni government....

 is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

, and the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Yemen
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Yemen is the head of government in that country. The current Prime Minister, Ali Muhammad Mujawar, has held the position since 7 April 2007. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President...

 is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

.

The constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by at least fifteen members of the Parliament. The prime minister, in turn, is appointed by the president and must be approved by two thirds of the Parliament. The presidential term of office is seven years, and the parliamentary term of elected office is six years. Suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 is universal for people age 18 and older, but only Muslims may hold elected office.

President
President of Yemen
The President of the Republic of Yemen is the head of state of Yemen.Under the Constitution of Yemen, the president is also the supreme commander of the armed forces and head of the executive branch of the Yemeni government....

 Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of a post-unification Yemen. He is the...

 became the first elected President in reunified Yemen in 1999 (though he had been President of unified Yemen since 1990 and President of North Yemen since 1978). He was re-elected to office in September 2006. Saleh's victory was marked by an election that international observers judged to be "partly free", though the election was accompanied by violence, violations of press freedoms, and allegations of fraud.

Parliamentary elections were held in April 2003, and the General People's Congress (GPC) maintained an absolute majority.

The constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sana'a. Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 is the main source of laws, with many court cases being debated according to the religious basis of law and many judges being religious scholars as well as legal authorities.

Beginning in February and March 2011, an uprising
2011 Yemeni uprising
The 2011 Yemen Uprising followed the initial stages of the Tunisian Revolution and occurred simultaneously with the Egyptian Revolution and other mass protests in the Middle East in early 2011. In its early phase, protests in Yemen were initially against unemployment, economic conditions and...

 against the government occurred, and clashes with police and pro-government supporters have steadily intensified. Many protestors demand the immediate resignation of the current leadership, and in particular that of President Saleh who resigned in November 2011.

Administrative divisions



As of February 2004, Yemen is divided into twenty governorates
Governorates of Yemen
|Yemen is divided into 21 governorates :The governorates are subdivided into 333 districts , which are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages ....

 (muhafazat) and one municipality called "Amanat Al-Asemah" (the latter containing the capital, Sana'a)
Division Capital City Population
2004 Census
Population
2006 est.
Key
'Aden
'Adan Governorate
Adan is a governorate of Yemen, including the city of Aden. At the 2004 census it had a population of 589,419. The ancient capital, the port city of Crater, was located here....

Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 
589,419 634,710 1
'Amran
'Amran Governorate
Amran is a governorate of Yemen.-Districts:*Al Ashah District*Al Madan District*Al Qaflah District*Amran District*As Sawd District*As Sudah District*Bani Suraim District*Dhi Bin District*Habur Zulaymah District*Harf Sufyan District...

'Amran  877,786 909,992 2
Abyan Zinjibar
Zinjibar
Zinjibar is a port and coastal town in south-central Yemen, the capital of Zinjibar District and the Abyan Governorate. It is located next to the Wadi Bana in the Abyan Delta. From 1962 to 1967, it was the administrative capital of the Fadhli Sultanate, although the royal residence remained at...

 
433,819 454,535 3
Ad-Dali'
Ad Dali' Governorate
Ad Dali is a governorate of Yemen.-Districts:*Ad Dhale'e District*Al Azariq District*Al Husha District*Al Hussein District*Ash Shu'ayb District*Damt District*Jahaf District*Juban District*Qa'atabah District...

Ad Dali'
Ad Dali'
Ad Dali is a capital town of Ad Dali' Governorate, southwestern Yemen. It is located at around , in the elevation of around 1500 metres....

470,564 504,533 4
Al Bayda'
Al Bayda' Governorate
Al Bayda , also spelt Al-Baidhah or Beida, is one of the 19 governorates of Yemen. It is located near the centre of the country, around the town of Al Bayda'.Its population, according to the 2004 Yemeni census, was 571,778....

Al Bayda'
Al Bayda', Yemen
Al Bayda, also transliterated as Al-Baidhah or Beida , not to be mixed with al-Bayda' in al-Jawf, the ancient Nashqum) is a town in central Yemen, in the Governorate of Al Bayda'. It is located 130 miles SE of Sanaa, at ....

 
577,369 605,303 5
Al Hudaydah
Al Hudaydah Governorate
Al Hudaydah is a governorate of Yemen. Its capital is Al Hudaydah.This governorate borders the Red Sea and is part of the narrow Tihamah region...

Al-Hudaydah  2,157,552 2,300,179 6
Al Jawf
Al Jawf Governorate
Al Jawf is a governorate of Yemen.-Districts:*Al Ghayl District*Al Hazm District*Al Humaydat District*Al Khalq District*Al Maslub District*Al Matammah District*Al Maton District*Az Zahir District*Bart Al Anan District*Khabb wa ash Sha'af District...

Al-Jawf  443,797 465,737 7
Al-Mahrah
Al Mahrah Governorate
Al Mahrah or Mahra is a governorate of Yemen in the southern Arabian Peninsula. Situated in the area of the former Mahra Sultanate, its capital is Al Ghaydah....

Al-Ghaydah  88,594 96,768 8
Al-Mahwit
Al Mahwit Governorate
Al Mahwit is one of the governorates of Yemen.-Districts:*Al Khabt District*Al Mahwait District*Al Mahwait City District*Ar Rujum District*At Tawilah District*Bani Sa'd District*Hufash District*Milhan District*Shibam Kawkaban District...

Al-Mahweet  494,557 523,236 9
Amanat Al-Asemah
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

 
1,747,834 1,947,139 10
Dhamar
Dhamar Governorate
Dhamar , also spelt Thamar, is a governorate of Yemen. It is located to the south and southeast of Sana'a Governorate, to the north of Ibb Governorate, to the east of Al Hudaydah Governorate and to the northwest of Al Bayda' Governorate in the central highlands of Yemen...

Dhamar
Dhamar, Yemen
Dhamar is a city in southwestern Yemen. It is located at , at an elevation of around 2400 metres.-Overview:Dhamar is situated 100 km to the south of Sana'a, north of Ibb, and west of Al-Beidha, 2700 m above sea level. Its name “Dhamar” goes back to the king of Sheba and Dou-Reddan at 15-35 AD...

 
1,330,108 1,412,142 11
Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut Governorate
Hadhramaut or Hadramawt is a governorate of Yemen. Lying within the large historical region of Hadhramaut, it is the country's largest governorate.-Overview:...

Al-Mukalla  1,028,556 1,092,967 12
Hajjah
Hajjah Governorate
Hajjah is a governorate of Yemen. Bordered by the Red Sea, it has its capital in Hajjah.-Overview:Claims have been made that this region along with Sa'dah and Al Hudaydah legally belong to Saudi Arabia due to irregularities in the Treaty of Taif and the fact that it was once part of Asir that was...

Hajjah
Hajjah
Hajjah is the capital city of Hajjah Governorate in northwestern Yemen. It is located 127 kilometres northwest of Sana'a, at an elevation of about 1800 metres. As of 2003, the Hajjah City District had a population of 53,887 inhabitants....

 
1,479,568 1,570,872 13
Ibb
Ibb Governorate
Ibb is a governorate of Yemen. It is located in the inland south of the country with Ta'izz Governorate to the southwest, Ad Dali' Governorate to the southeast, Dhamar Governorate to the north, and short borders with Al Bayda' Governorate to the east and Al Hudaydah Governorate to the west...

Ibb
Ibb
Ibb is a city in Yemen, the capital of Ibb Governorate, situated on a mountain ridge, surrounded by fertile land and is known as "The Green City". It is located about 73 miles north-east of Mocha. Ibb was governed by a semi-autonomous emir until 1944, when the emirate was abolished...

 
2,131,861 2,238,537 14
Lahij
Lahij Governorate
Lahij is a governorate of Yemen.-Districts:*Al Hawtah District*Al Had District*Al Madaribah Wa Al Arah District*Al Maflahy District*Al Maqatirah District*Al Milah District*Al Musaymir District*Al Qabbaytah District*Habil Jabr District...

Lahij
Lahij
Lahij or Lahej is a city and an area located between Ta'izz and Aden in Yemen. From the 18th to the 20th century, its rulers were of the Al-Abdali family who with Al-Sallami, Al-Ramada, Al-Sindi and al-Aqrabi, claims relation to Ahl al-Bayt...

 
722,694 761,160 15
Ma'rib
Ma'rib Governorate
Ma'rib is a governorate of Yemen. Its centre, Ma'rib, was established after the discovery of oil deposits in 1984. Ma'rib's population in 2004 was 241,619.-Districts:*Al Abdiyah District*Al Jubah District*Bidbadah District*Harib District...

Ma'rib
Ma'rib
Ma'rib or Marib is the capital town of the Ma'rib Governorate, Yemen and was the capital of the Sabaean kingdom, which some scholars believe to be the ancient Sheba of biblical fame. It is located at , approximately 120 kilometers east of Yemen's modern capital, Sana'a...

 
238,522 251,668 16
Raymah
Raymah Governorate
Raymah is a governorate of Yemen.It was established in January 2004.-Districts:*Al Jabin District*Al Jafariyah District*As Salafiyah District*Bilad At Ta'am District*Kusmah District*Mazhar District...

Kosmah  394,448 418,659 17
Sa'dah
Sa'dah Governorate
Saada is a governorate located in the north of Yemen on the border with Saudi Arabia. As of February 2004, the province had a population of 695,033 inhabitants, around 3.67% of the total population of Yemen and have an area of 11,375 square kilometers.. It is one of the most inaccessible areas of...

Sa`dah  695,033 746,957 18
Sana'a
Sana'a Governorate
San‘a’ is a governorate of Yemen. Its capital is San‘a’, which is also the national capital. However, the city of San‘a’ is not part of the Governorate but instead forms the separate district of Amanat Al-Asemah. The Governorate covers an area of 13,850 km²...

Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

 
919,215 957,798 19
Shabwah
Shabwah Governorate
Shabwah is a governorate of Yemen. Its main town is Ataq.-Districts:*Ain District*Al Talh District*Ar Rawdah District*Arma District*As Said District*Ataq District*Bayhan District*Dhar District*Habban District*Hatib District...

Ataq
Ataq
Ataq , alternately spelled Attaq, is a small city and the capital of Shabwah Governorate in Yemen. Ataq is 458 km south east of Sana'a. The difference in elevation of the city is about 70 m with generally partially flat topography with altitudinal variation in the range of 1120–1190 m.a.s.l....

 
470,440 494,638 20
Taiz
Ta'izz Governorate
Ta'izz is a governorate of Yemen. The governorate's capital is Ta'izz, which is the third largest city in Yemen. Other major towns include Al Sawa, Juha and the famous coffee port of Mocha. It has a total population of just over three million and an area of 10,677km².For such a small area, Ta'izz...

Taiz  1,121,000 2,513,003 21



The governors are subdivided into 333 districts
Districts of Yemen
||The governorates of Yemen are divided into 333 districts . The districts are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages...

 (muderiah), which are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages (as of 2001).

Foreign relations


Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 was occupied by the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 between 1513 and 1538, and again from 1547 to 1548. In between those Portuguese occupations, Aden was ruled by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

; it ruled Aden again from 1548 to 1645. After Ottoman rule, it was ruled by the Sultanate of Lahej, under suzerainty of the Zaidi Imams of Yemen. In 1838, Sultan Muhsin bin Fadl of the nearby state of Lahej ceded 194 km² (75 sq mi) including Aden to the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. On 19 January 1839, the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 landed Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 at Aden to occupy the territory and stop attacks by pirates against British shipping to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

The geography and ruling Imams of North Yemen
North Yemen
North Yemen is a term currently used to designate the Yemen Arab Republic , its predecessor, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen , and their predecessors that exercised sovereignty over the territory that is now the north-western part of the state of Yemen in southern Arabia.Neither state ever...

 kept the country isolated from foreign influence before 1962. The country's relations with Saudi Arabia were defined by the Taif Agreement of 1934, which delineated the northernmost part of the border between the two kingdoms and set the framework for commercial and other intercourse. The Taif Agreement has been renewed periodically in 20-year increments, and its validity was reaffirmed in 1995. Relations with the British colonial authorities in Aden
Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

 and the south were usually tense.

The Soviet and Chinese Aid Missions established in 1958 and 1959 were the first important non-Muslim presence in North Yemen. Following the September 1962 revolution, the Yemen Arab Republic
Yemen Arab Republic
The Yemen Arab Republic , also known as North Yemen or Yemen , was a country from 1962 to 1990 in the western part of what is now Yemen...

 became closely allied with and heavily dependent upon Egypt. Saudi Arabia aided the royalists in their attempt to defeat the Republicans and did not recognize the Yemen Arab Republic until 1970. At the same time, Saudi Arabia maintained direct contact with Yemeni tribes, which sometimes strained its official relations with the Yemeni Government. Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis found employment in Saudi Arabia during the late 1970s and 1980s.

In February 1989, North Yemen joined Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in forming the Arab Cooperation Council
Arab Cooperation Council
The Arab Cooperation Council was founded in February 1989 by North Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt.The ACC was created partly in response to the four countries being left out of the Gulf Cooperation Council , partly out of a desire to foster closer economic cooperation and integration among its...

 (ACC), an organization created partly in response to the founding of the Gulf Cooperation Council and intended to foster closer economic cooperation and integration among its members. After unification, the Republic of Yemen was accepted as a member of the ACC in place of its YAR predecessor. In the wake of the Persian Gulf crisis, the ACC has remained inactive. Yemen is not a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

British authorities left southern Yemen in November 1967 in the wake of an intense rebellion. The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen — also referred to as South Yemen, Democratic Yemen or Yemen — was a socialist republic in the present-day southern and eastern Provinces of Yemen...

, the successor to British rule, had diplomatic relations with many states, but its major links were with the Soviet Union and other communist countries. Relations between it and the conservative Arab states of the Arabian Peninsula were strained. There were military clashes with Saudi Arabia in 1969 and 1973, and the PDRY provided active support for the Dhofar
Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

 rebellion against the Sultanate of Oman. The PDRY was the only Arab state to vote against admitting new Arab states from the Persian Gulf area to the United Nations and the Arab League. The PDRY provided sanctuary and material support
Providing material support for terrorism
Providing material support for terrorism is a provision of the USA PATRIOT Act which prohibits material support to groups designated as terrorists. The four types of support described are “training,” “expert advice or assistance,” “service,” and “personnel.” In June 2010 the United States Supreme...

 to various insurgent groups around the Middle East.

Yemen is a member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and also participates in the nonaligned movement. The Republic of Yemen accepted responsibility for all treaties and debts of its predecessors, the YAR and the PDRY. Yemen has acceded to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

The Persian Gulf crisis dramatically affected Yemen's foreign relations. A long-time ally of Saddam Hussein, Yemen's President, Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of a post-unification Yemen. He is the...

 was quick to back Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1990. As a member of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 (UNSC) for 1990 and 1991, Yemen continued to abstain on a number of UNSC resolutions concerning Iraq and Kuwait and voted against the "use of force resolution." Western and Gulf Arab states reacted by curtailing or canceling aid programs and diplomatic contacts. At least 850,000 Yemenis were expelled from Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Arab states. Saudi Arabia has begun construction of a separation barrier
Saudi-Yemen barrier
The Saudi–Yemen barrier is a physical barrier constructed by Saudi Arabia along part of its border with Yemen. It consists of a network of sandbags and pipelines, three metres high, filled with concrete and fitted with electronic detection equipment.When construction of the barrier began in...

 between its territory and Yemen to prevent the unauthorized movement of people and goods into and out of the kingdom.

Subsequent to the liberation of Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, Yemen continued to maintain high-level contacts with Iraq. This hampered its efforts to rejoin the Arab mainstream and to mend fences with its immediate neighbors. In 1993, Yemen launched an unsuccessful diplomatic offensive to restore relations with its Gulf Arab neighbors. Some of its aggrieved neighbors actively aided the south during the 1994 civil war. Since the end of that conflict, tangible progress has been made on the diplomatic front in restoring normal relations with Yemen's neighbors. The Omani-Yemeni border has been officially demarcated. In the summer of 2000, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed an International Border Treaty settling a 50 year old dispute over the location of the border between the two countries. Yemen settled its dispute with Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 over the Hanish Islands
Hanish Islands
The Hanish Islands are an island group in the Red Sea. Most of them are a part of Yemen, but before 1998–1999 they were claimed by Eritrea as well. After a long trial with an international court under the guidance of Dr...

 in 1998.

After the departure from the Gulf Arab states, as many as 15,000 Yemenis migrated to the U.S. Many Yemenis can be found in the south of Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan
-Economy:Ford Motor Company has its world headquarters in Dearborn. In addition its Dearborn campus contains many research, testing, finance and some production facilities. Ford Land controls the numerous properties owned by Ford including sales and leasing to unrelated businesses such as the...

. In the early 1990s, Yemenis went in search of manufacturing jobs. They continue to work in the U.S. and routinely send money back to their families.

Kidnapping
Kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

 of foreign tourists by tribes has been an ongoing problem throughout the modern period. In many instances, the kidnappers attempted to use hostage taking to gain leverage in negotiations with the government. One victim of kidnapping was former German Secretary of State Jürgen Chrobog
Jürgen Chrobog
Jürgen Chrobog is a German jurist, diplomat, and German Ambassador to the United States from 1995 to 2001.-Life:...

, a man who himself had conducted negotiations with kidnappers while in office. In June 2009, a group of nine foreign tourists were kidnapped near the city of Saada. Seven were killed and two children survived.

Yemen has historically enjoyed good relations with Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, its neighbour to the south and fellow Arab League member. Ethnic Somalis
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 for the most part blend in well with Yemeni society, as they share centuries of close religious, commercial and social ties. Following the outbreak of the civil war
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

 in Somalia, Yemen unconditionally opened its borders to Somali asylum seekers. The World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, estimates that 110,600 Somali refugees lived in Yemen in 2007, which is a fraction of the estimated 700,000-strong Somali nationals already living and working in Yemen. There are also many Somalis who have received Yemeni citizenship due to marriage with Yemenis as well as through service to the nation over the years. In addition, Yemen and Somalia have a long history of trade and inter-action, with many of Somalia's Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

s, such as Yusuf Ali Kenadid and Gerad Ali Dable
Gerad Ali Dable
-Biography:Dable was born in the historical city of Las Khorey in northern Somalia, where he lived until the age of five.A rebellion within the Warsangali Sultanate then took place, with the Awramale sub-clan of the Warsangali Darod assuming leadership...

, often being exiled to and recruiting troops from Yemen's Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut, Hadhramout, Hadramawt or Ḥaḍramūt is the formerly independent Qu'aiti state and sultanate encompassing a historical region of the south Arabian Peninsula along the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea, extending eastwards from Yemen to the borders of the Dhofar region of Oman...

 region. Somalia has also over the centuries seen successive waves of immigration from Yemen, with Hadhrami settlers being instrumental in helping to consolidate the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 community in the coastal Benadir
Benadir
Benadir is a coastal region of Somalia. It covers most of the Indian Ocean coast of the country, from the Gulf of Aden to the Juba River, containing the capital of Mogadishu. The name comes from Persian bandar, which means port , a fact that reflects the region's importance to Persian and Arab...

 region in particular. During the colonial period, disgruntled Yemenis from the Hadhrami wars additionally sought and received asylum in various Somali towns.

Yemen also maintains good relations with Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

, its other predominantly Somali neighbor to the west across the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. With a rapidly expanding economy, a stable government, huge investments from fellow Persian Gulf Arab states, and a strategic maritime location in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
The Gulf of Aden is located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide....

, Djibouti stands as an important ally. While Djibouti is largely inhabited by Somalis, it is separate from the Somali Republic and holds its own seats in the United Nations and the League of Arab States. On February 22, 2008, the BBC reported that a company owned by Tarek bin Laden
Tarek bin Laden
Tarek bin Mohammed bin 'Awad bin Laden, is a half-brother of Osama bin Laden, and a noted member of the Saudi-Arabia business community....

 was planning to build a bridge across the Bab el Mandeb, linking Yemen with Djibouti.

Since 2004, a civil war
Sa'dah insurgency
The Shia Insurgency in Yemen, also known as the Houthi rebellion, Sa'dah War or Sa'dah conflict is a civil war in Northern Yemen. It began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Shia Zaidiyyah sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government...

 has been fought in Northern Yemen between Yemeni forces and Shiite Houthi rebels. In 2009, the war spilled over into the neighboring border region of Saudi Arabia. This conflict is increasingly becoming a danger to regional stability, according to news reports by CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 and the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, as various countries are said to be involved, e.g. Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and UNDP Yemen report a growing problem of civilians fleeing from the region. Yemen is said to have more than 60 million guns. The South Yemen insurgency has further destabilized the country.

Some news reports have suggested that, on orders from United States President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, US warplanes fired cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s at what officials in Washington claimed were Al Qaeda training camps in the provinces of Sana’a and Abyan on December 17, 2009. Other reports suggest that the airstrikes were carried out by Yemeni Mig-29 aircraft, probably helped by US intelligence, or that cruise missiles were launched from warships offshore. Officials in Yemen said that the attacks claimed the lives of more than 60 civilians, 28 of them children. Another airstrike was carried out on December 24.

On January 3, 2010, the U.S. and British embassies in Yemen closed for security reasons after the failed plot to bomb a plane in Detroit and after reports of eight individuals planning an attack on the embassy itself. One was arrested with a suicide vest, while three others were killed. Four remained at large as of January 4, 2010.

Despite these tensions between the US and Yemen, as well as increasing worries about terrorism in Yemen, President Obama has stated that he has no plans to introduce US military forces into the country, a sentiment that was echoed by US General David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

. However, the terrorism worries seemed justified as a foiled terrorist plot was apparently conceived in Yemen. Instead of military intervention, the US government intends to increase military aid to $140 million in 2010.

The geopolitical significance of Yemen (primarily its straits and oil fields) keeps this country in the sphere of U.S. strategic interests. Control over the Aden port - the "gate to Asia" - brings huge benefits to the USA and opens infinite possibilities for maneuvering in front of them. However, America is not the only nation to be interested in Yemen. China is trying hard to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 by associating with countries across the region including Yemen.

Demographics


The population of Yemen was about 24 million according to June 2011 estimates, with 46% of the population being under 15 years old and 2.7% above 65 years. In 1950, it was 4.3 million. By 2050, the population is estimated to increase to about 60 million.

Yemen has one of the world's highest birth rates; the average Yemeni woman bears five children. Although this is similar to the rate in Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 to the south, it is roughly twice as high as that of Saudi Arabia and nearly three times as high as those in the more modernized Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 states. Yemen's population is increasing by 700,000 every year.
Yemenis are mainly of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 origin. Arabic is the official language, although English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is increasingly understood by citizens in major cities. In the Mahra area (the extreme east) and the island Soqotra, several ancient south-Arabic Semitic languages are spoken. When the former states of north and south Yemen were established, most resident minority groups departed. Yemen is still a largely tribal society. In the mountains of northern Yemen live some 400 Zaydi tribes. The Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n-descended group known as Al-Akhdam
Al-Akhdam
Al-Akhdam or Akhdam is a social group in Yemen distinct from the majority by their more African features. They are considered to be at the very bottom of the social ladder in Yemen...

 form a kind of hereditary caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 in Yemen. Yemen officially abolished slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in 1962.
Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

 once formed a sizable Jewish minority in Yemen with a distinct culture. They also occupied key industries including silversmiths, and their influence on Yemeni culture is still discussed within the souks. However, most of them emigrated to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the mid 20th century, following the Jewish exodus from Arab lands
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s...

 and Operation Magic Carpet
Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen)
Operation Magic Carpet is a widely-known nickname for Operation On Wings of Eagles , an operation between June 1949 and September 1950 that brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the new state of Israel. British and American transport planes made some 380 flights from Aden, in a secret operation that was...

. In the early 20th century, they had numbered about 50,000; they currently number only a few hundred individuals and reside largely in Sana'a. The original Jewish village, popularly called Bait-baws, has since been left abandoned.

Arab traders have long operated in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, trading in spices, timber, and textiles. Most of the prominent Indonesians
Indonesians
Indonesians may be:*any nation or ethnic group of Indonesia**see Demographics of Indonesia**see Overseas Indonesians**see Ethnic groups in Indonesia**see Native Indonesians...

, Malaysians, and Singaporeans of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 descent are Hadhrami people
Hadhrami people
The Hadhrami or Hadharem are people from the Hadhramaut and their descendants in diaspora communities around the world. They speak Hadhrami Arabic....

 with origins in southern Yemen in the Hadramawt coastal region. As many as 4 million Indonesians
Indonesians
Indonesians may be:*any nation or ethnic group of Indonesia**see Demographics of Indonesia**see Overseas Indonesians**see Ethnic groups in Indonesia**see Native Indonesians...

 are of Hadrami
Hadrami
The Hadrami Sheikdom , Maktab Al Hadharem , or Al Hadharem , is one of the five sheikdoms of Upper Yafa. The Hadrami sheikdom was divided into four quarters: Sinaani , Bal Hay , Thuluthi , and Marfadi . The capital of the sheikdom is the village of Al-Shibr , which is located in the Sinaani quarter....

 descent. and today there are almost 10,000 Hadramis in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. The Hadramis emigrated not only to Southeast Asia but also to East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 and the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. Maqil
Maqil
The Maqil were an Arabian nomadic tribe that emigrated to the Maghreb region, with the Banu Hillal and Banu Sulaym tribes, in the 11th century. They mainly settled in and around Morocco's Saharan wolds and oases; in Tafilalet, Wad Nun , Draa and Taourirt...

 were a collection of Arab Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 tribes of Yemeni origin who migrated westwards via Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

. Several groups of Yemeni Arabs turned south to Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

, and by the end of the 17th century century, they dominated the entire country. They can also be found throughout Morocco and in Algeria as well as in other North African Countries.

According to the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Yemen hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 124,600 in 2007. Refugees and asylum seekers living in Yemen were predominantly from Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 (110,600), Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 (11,000), and Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 (2,000). There are also about 70,000 Iraqis presently living in Yemen. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

 (UNHCR) estimates that in 2008 more than 50,000 Somalis reached Yemen. Yemen's civil war
Sa'dah insurgency
The Shia Insurgency in Yemen, also known as the Houthi rebellion, Sa'dah War or Sa'dah conflict is a civil war in Northern Yemen. It began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Shia Zaidiyyah sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government...

 has forced at least 175,000 Yemenis to flee their homes.

The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, where between 70,000 and 80,000
Yemeni British
Yemenis in the United Kingdom include citizens and non-citizen immigrants in the United Kingdom of Yemeni ancestry, as well as their descendants...

 Yemenis reside; just over 15,000 to 20,000 Yemenis reside in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and 2,000 live in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 expelled 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 to punish Yemen for its opposition to the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 against Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

Religion



Religion in Yemen consists primarily of two principal Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic religious groups; 53% of the Muslim population is Sunni and 45% is Shi'a according to the UNHCR. Sunnis are primarily Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

 but also include significant groups of Maliki
Maliki
The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

s and Hanbali
Hanbali
The Hanbali school is one the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. The jurisprudence school traces back to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal but was institutionalized by his students. Hanbali jurisprudence is considered very strict and conservative, especially regarding questions of dogma...

s. Shi'is are primarily Zaidis and also have significant minorities of Twelver Shias and Musta'ali Western Isma'ili Shias (see Shia Population of the Middle East).

The Sunnis are predominantly in the south and southeast. The Zaidis are predominantly in the north and northwest whilst the Ismailis are in the main centers such as Sana'a and Ma'rib. There are mixed communities in the larger cities. Less than 2% of Yemenis are non-Muslim, adhering to Hinduism
Hinduism in Arab states
There are many Hindus in Arab states, many due to the migration of Indians to the oil-rich states around the Persian Gulf.Hindu temples have been built in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen and Oman....

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Judaism
Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

.
In Aden, Yemen there is still a significant population of Hindus however some have left due to the current conflict in Yemen. In the 1980s 44% of people in Aden were Hindus however this has rapidly decreased to most probably 10%.

Health


According to 2009 estimates, life expectancy in Yemen is 63.27 years.

Health care


Despite the significant progress Yemen has made to expand and improve its health care system over the past decade, the system remains severely underdeveloped. Total expenditures on health care in 2004 constituted 5% of gross domestic product. In that same year, the per capita expenditure for health care was very low compared with other Middle Eastern countries—US$34 per capita according to the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

. According to the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, the number of doctors in Yemen rose by an average of more than 7% between 1995 and 2000, but as of 2004 there were still only three doctors per 10,000 persons. In 2005 Yemen had only 6.1 hospital beds available per 10,000 persons.
Health care services are particularly scarce in rural areas; only 25% of rural areas are covered by health services, compared with 80% of urban areas.
Most childhood deaths are caused by illnesses for which vaccines exist or that are otherwise preventable. According to 2009 estimates, life expectancy in Yemen is 63.27 years.

Human rights


Yemen's human rights record is seriously marred by substantial inconsistencies between its obligations under International Human Rights instruments (ratified by Yemen) and legal practice under the Shari'a and tribal law/habits.

Yemen's national human rights record was presented – for the first time – in the Human Rights Council in Geneva under the so-called Universal Periodic Review (UPR) between May and September 2009. Yemen accepted over one hundred recommendations by Council Members. While it promised to achieve progress on the establishment of a national Human Rights Commission and on legislation setting a minimum age for marriages (still highly controversial within the Yemeni tribal society), it squarely rejected the abolition of the death penalty.

The government and its security forces, often considered to suffer from rampant corruption, have been responsible for torture, inhumane treatment, and extrajudicial executions. There are arbitrary arrests of citizens, especially in the south, as well as arbitrary searches of homes. Prolonged pretrial detention is a serious problem, and judicial corruption, inefficiency, and executive interference undermine due process. Freedom of speech, the press, and religion are all restricted.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 reported on discrimination and violence against women as well as on the abolition of the minimum marriage age of fifteen for women. The onset of puberty
Puberty
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of reproduction, as initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads; the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy...

 (interpreted by some to be as low as the age of nine) was set as a requirement for marriage instead. Publicity about the case of ten-year old Yemeni divorcee Nujood Ali
Nujood Ali
Nujood Ali is a figure of Yemen's fight against forced marriage. At the age of ten, she obtained a divorce, breaking with the tribal tradition. In November 2008, U.S. women's magazine Glamour designated Nujood Ali and her lawyer Shada Nasser as Women of the Year...

 brought the child marriage issue to the fore not only in Yemen but worldwide.

Forms of hostile prejudice directed towards disabled people and religious minorities have also been reported. Censorship is actively practiced, and in 2005 legislation was passed requiring journalists to reveal their sources under certain circumstances. The government has raised the start-up costs for newspapers and websites significantly. In violation of the Yemeni constitution, the security forces often monitor telephone, postal, and Internet communications. Journalists who tend to be critical of the government are often harassed and threatened by the police.

Since the start of the Sa'dah insurgency
Sa'dah insurgency
The Shia Insurgency in Yemen, also known as the Houthi rebellion, Sa'dah War or Sa'dah conflict is a civil war in Northern Yemen. It began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Shia Zaidiyyah sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government...

 many people accused of supporting Al-Houthi have been arrested and held without charge or trial. According to the U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report 2007, "Some Zaydis reported harassment and discrimination by the Government because they were suspected of sympathizing with the al-Houthis. However, it appears the Government's actions against the group were probably politically, not religiously, motivated".

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is an international advocacy and domestic refugee resettlement organization, headquartered in Washington, DC...

 reported several violations of refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

 and asylum seekers' rights in the organization's 2008 World Refugee Survey. Yemeni authorities reportedly deported numerous foreigners without giving them access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

, despite the UN’s repeated requests. Refugees further reported violence directed against them by Yemeni authorities while living in refugee camps. Yemeni officials reportedly raped and beat camp-based refugees with impunity in 2007.

Languages



The official language is Modern Standard Arabic. Yemeni Arabic
Yemeni Arabic
Yemeni Arabic is a cluster of Arabic varieties spoken in Yemen, southwestern Saudi Arabia, and northern Somalia...

 is spoken in several regional dialects.

Yemen is one of the main homelands of the South Semitic
South Semitic
South Semitic is a commonly accepted branch of the Semitic languages. Semitic itself is a branch of the larger Afro-Asiatic language family found in Africa and Asia....

 family of languages, which includes the non-Arabic language of the ancient Hemiari. Its modern Yemeni descendants are closely related to the modern Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 languages of Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 and Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

. However, only a small remnant of those languages exists in modern Yemen, notably on the island of Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

 and in the back hills of the Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut, Hadhramout, Hadramawt or Ḥaḍramūt is the formerly independent Qu'aiti state and sultanate encompassing a historical region of the south Arabian Peninsula along the Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea, extending eastwards from Yemen to the borders of the Dhofar region of Oman...

 coastal region. Modern South Arabian languages spoken in Yemen include Mehri
Mehri language
Mehri or Mahri is a Modern South Arabian language, a branch of the greater Semitic language family, and is spoken by minority populations in isolated areas of the eastern part of Yemen and western Oman. It is a remnant of the ancient indigenous language group spoken in the southern Arabian...

, with 70,643 speakers, Soqotri
Soqotri language
Soqotri, or Socotri, is the language of the native population of the island of Socotra, and Abd al Kuri and Samhah islands of the Socotra archipelago off the southern coast of the Republic of Yemen...

, with an estimated 43,000 speakers in the Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

 archipelago (2004 census) and 67,000 worldwide, Bathari
Bathari language
Bathari is an endangered Semitic language spoken in a small area of Yemen and Oman....

 (with an estimated total of only 200 speakers), and Hobyót language.

Foreign language in public schools is taught from grade seven onwards, though the quality of public school instruction is low. Private schools using a British or American system teach English and produce proficient speakers, but Arabic is the dominant language of communication. The number of English speakers in Yemen is small compared to other Arab countries such as Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

.

There is a significant number of Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 speakers, originating from Yemeni-Russian cross-marriages occurring mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. A small Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

-speaking community is found in the capital city of Sana'a, originating from Yemeni immigrants expatriated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

A small yet rising number of ethnic Chinese
Ethnic Chinese
Ethnic Chinese may refer to:*Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macao, the Republic of China and Singapore....

 in Sana'a brought the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 to the country, a byproduct of historic Chinese immigration. Also there are South Asian Languages spoken by the small but present South Asian community, most notably Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

 and Marathi language
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

s.

Culture




Yemen is a culturally rich country with influence from many civilizations, such as the early civilization of Sheba
Sheba
Sheba was a kingdom mentioned in the Jewish scriptures and the Qur'an...

.

Cinema


The Yemeni film industry is in its early stages; only two Yemeni films have been released as of 2008. In 2005, A New Day in Old Sana'a
A New Day in Old Sana'a
A New Day in Old Sana'a is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Bader Ben Hirsi, a British playwright and director of Yemeni ancestry, and produced by Ahmed Abdali. It was shot in San‘a’, the capital of Yemen, and was the first Yemeni film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival...

deals with a young man struggling between whether to go ahead with a traditional marriage or go with the woman he loves.

In August 2008, Yemen’s Interior Minister Mutahar al-Masri supported the launch of a new feature film to educate the public about the consequences of Islamist extremism. The Losing Bet was produced by Fadl al-Olfi. The plot follows two Yemeni jihadis, who return from years living abroad.

Education



In the strategic vision for the next 25 years since 2000, the government has committed to bring significant changes in the education system, thereby reducing illiteracy to less than 10% by 2025. Although Yemen’s government provides for universal, compulsory, free education for children ages six through 15, the U.S. Department of State reports that compulsory attendance is not enforced. The government developed the National Basic Education Development Strategy in 2003 that aimed at providing education to 95% of Yemeni children between the ages of six and 14 years and also at decreasing the gap between males and females in urban and rural areas.

A seven year project to improve gender equity and the quality and efficiency of secondary education, focusing on girls in rural areas, was approved by the World Bank in March 2008. Following this, Yemen has increased its education spending from 4.5 % of GDP in 1995 to 9.6 % in 2005.

Sport



Yemen's mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor sports, such as biking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

, rock climbing
Rock climbing
Rock climbing also lightly called 'The Gravity Game', is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling...

, hill climbing
Hill climbing
In computer science, hill climbing is a mathematical optimization technique which belongs to the family of local search. It is an iterative algorithm that starts with an arbitrary solution to a problem, then attempts to find a better solution by incrementally changing a single element of the solution...

, skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, mountain jumping, and more challenging mountain climbing. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Sarawat Mountains
Sarawat Mountains
The Sarawat Mountains or the Sarat is a mountain range running parallel to the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula and is among the Peninsula's most prominent geographical features. The Sarawat start from the border of Jordan in the north to the Gulf of Aden in the south, running through Saudi...

 and the Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb
Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb
Jabal an-Nabi Shu'ayb is a mountain located in Sana'a Governorate, Yemen. It is the highest mountain of the country and the highest mountain in the Arabian Peninsula...

, including the 5,000 m peaks in the region, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies.

Football is a popular sport. The Yemen national football team
Yemen national football team
The Yemen national football team , is the national team of Yemen and is controlled by the Yemen Football Association.When the nation was split into North Yemen and South Yemen before 1990, two national teams existed. After unification, the Yemen national football team is considered the successor of...

 competes in the FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 and AFC
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

 leagues. It also hosts many football clubs.

The coast of Yemen and Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

 island also provide many opportunities for water sports, such as surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

, bodyboarding
Bodyboarding
Bodyboarding is a surface water sport . The average board consists of a small, rectangular piece of hydrodynamic foam, sometimes containing a ridged spine called a 'stringer'...

, sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

, and beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

. Socotra island is home to some of the best surfing destinations in the world, from north to south of the island, located 200 to 300 km off the coast of Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

. Surfing tours in Socotra are seasonally organized by local and international water sporting agencies.

Camel jumping is popular among the Zaraniq tribe on the west coast of Yemen on the desert plain by the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

. Camels are rounded up and placed side to side. Athletes jump from a running start to achieve height and length in the air. The jumpers train year round for competitions. Tribesmen tuck their robes around their waists to reduce impediment while running and leaping.

Yemen's biggest sports event was hosting the 2010 Gulf Cup of Nations in Aden and Abyan in the southern part of the country on November 22, 2010. Yemen was thought to be the strongest competitor, but was defeated in the first three matches of the tournament.

The Yemeni national team has never won a championship, though it includes many renowned Arab players.

World Heritage sites



Among Yemen’s natural and cultural attractions are four World Heritage sites.

The Old Walled City of Shibam
Shibam
Shibam is a town in Yemen with about 7,000 inhabitants. The first known inscription about the city dates from the 3rd century AD...

 in Wadi Hadhramaut, inscribed by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 in 1982, two years after Yemen joined the World Heritage Committee, is nicknamed "Manhattan of the Desert" because of its "skyscrapers." Surrounded by a fortified wall made of mud and straw, the 16th-century city is one of the oldest examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction.

The ancient Old City of Sana’a, at an altitude of more than 7000 feet (2,133.6 m), has been inhabited for over two and a half millennia and was inscribed in 1986. Sana’a became a major Islamic centre in the 7th century, and the 103 mosques, 14 hammams (traditional bath houses), and more than 6,000 houses that survive all date from before the 11th century.

Close to the Red Sea Coast, the Historic Town of Zabid
Zabid
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 to its south, is one of the oldest towns in Yemen...

, inscribed in 1993, was Yemen’s capital from the 13th to the 15th century, and is an archaeological and historical site. It played an important role for many centuries because of its university, which was a center of learning for the whole Arab and Islamic world. Algebra is said to have been invented there in the early 9th century by the little-known scholar Al-Jaladi.

The latest addition to Yemen’s list of World Heritage Sites is the Socotra
Socotra
Socotra , also spelt Soqotra, is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. It lies some east of the Horn of Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through...

 Archipelago. Mentioned by Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

 in the 13th century, this remote and isolated archipelago consists of four islands and two rocky islets delineating the southern limit of the Gulf of Aden. The site has a rich biodiversity. Nowhere else in the world do 37% of Socotra’s 825 plants, 90% of its reptiles and 95% of its snails occur. It is home to 192 bird species, 253 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of crab and lobster, as well as a range of Aloe
Aloe
Aloe , also Aloë, is a genus containing about 500 species of flowering succulent plants. The most common and well known of these is Aloe vera, or "true aloe"....

s
and the Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari
Dracaena cinnabari
Dracaena cinnabari, the Socotra Dragon Tree or Dragon Blood Tree, is a Dragon Tree native to the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is so called due to the red sap that the trees produce.-Taxonomy:...

). The cultural heritage of Socotra includes the unique Soqotri language
Soqotri language
Soqotri, or Socotri, is the language of the native population of the island of Socotra, and Abd al Kuri and Samhah islands of the Socotra archipelago off the southern coast of the Republic of Yemen...

.

See also



  • Arab diaspora
    Arab diaspora
    Arab diaspora refers to Arab immigrants, and their descendants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands and now reside in non-Arab countries, primarily in Latin America, and Europe, as well as North America and South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West...

  • Arab Singaporean
    Arab Singaporean
    The majority of the Arabs in Singapore are Hadhramis tracing their ancestry from the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula called Hadhramaut, which is now part of the Republic of Yemen. The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen PDRY was formed on 30 November 1967 when it achieved independence...

  • Jambiya
    Jambiya
    Janbiya, also spelt janbia, jambiya, and jambia, , is the Arabic term for dagger, but it is generally used to describe a specific type of dagger with a short curved blade that is worn on a belt. Although the term jambiya is also used in other Arab countries, it is mostly associated with people of...

    , the Yemeni dagger
  • List of newspapers in Yemen
  • Lists of Yemenis
  • Military of Yemen
    Military of Yemen
    The armed forces of Yemen include the Yemen Army , Navy , Yemen Air Force . A major reorganization of the armed forces continues. The unified air forces and air defenses are now under one command. The navy has concentration in Aden...


Wars involving Yemen
  • Water crisis
    Water crisis
    Water crisis is a general term used to describe a situation where the available water within a region is less than the region's demand. The term has been used to describe the availability of potable water in a variety of regions by the United Nations and other world organizations...

  • Yemen Observer
    Yemen Observer
    The Yemen Observer is an English-language, triweekly newspaper published in the Republic of Yemen. It was founded in 1996 by Faris Sanabani, aide and press secretary of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Its editors include Editor-in-Chief, Mohammed al-Kibsi...

  • Yemen Times
    Yemen Times
    The Yemen Times is unified Yemen's first and most widely-read independent English-language newspaper. The paper is published twice-weekly and has its own printing press, advertising associates and news service....


External links