Republic of Yemen is an Arabian country located at the south of Arabian Peninsula in the south west of Asia. Yemen territory includes about 182 Islands, the Largest is Soqotra.
Soqotra is small Archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean. The Main island of Soqotra is 3,625 km2, three smaller islands known collectively as “ the Brothers” Abd al kuri, Samhah, Darsa, and other uninhabitable rock outcrops.
Yemen was reunified in the Republic Of Yemen in 22nd May 1990 with H.E. Ali Abdulla Saleh the president of the Republic of Yemen.
Yemen is one of the oldest centers of the civilization in the world. It has a long history of international trade.
Located advantageously on the southwestern Arabian Peninsula, where the red sea joins the western Indian Ocean in the Gulf Of Aden. The country is home to an ancient culture. In Yemen settlements dating to 1500 BC have been found and the Kingdom of Sheba was formed nearly 3000years ago. Yemen was known to the Ancient Romans as Arabia Felix ( Happy Arabia) .
Yemen today seeks renewed economic growth, a law recently passed (no.22-2002) to further open the country to internal and external investment, and a commitment to scientific and development through the National Science Museum now in development.
The Yemen population today surpasses 22 million in 22 provinces covering about 555,000 Km2. with density about 40 / km2. The official language is Arabic and its Capital is Sana’a located on 15o21’N ,44o12’E.
The history of Yemen began as one of the earliest centers of ancient human civilizations. Developed civilized models flourished in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, including Sheba, Main, Hadramout, Qataban, Owsan, Hemiar, and others. Their prosperity and participation in the pursuit of human knowledge and development led the ancient Greeks and Romans to call the territory Arabia Felix. Elements of ancient Yemeni civilization can be seen in different Yemeni museums, historical and archeological sites, castles, cities royal places and historical antiques all over the country.
Yemeni culture in the Islamic era introduced new elements witnessed in important cities and capitals regions located on commerce routes and Haj routes, the most important of which were the jewels among Arab and Islamic cities, Sana’a , Shibam Hadramout and Zabid ( also named as UNESCO International human heritage cities).
The Emblem of Yemen is represented by a Falcon, Symbolizing the people's strength and soar in the Horizon of freedom, unfolding both wings on the national flag and supported by a base on which the name ( the Republic of Yemen) is writing with a drawing of Marib dam and coffee tree inscribed on it.
Republic of Yemen is located on the south end of the Arabian Peninsula in southwest Asia; Yemen is strategically located on the Bab Al-mandab Strait and has been a central shipping hub for nearly 3,000 years connecting the red sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean. Yemen is 555,000 Km2 in size, which is approximately the same size as France. The country has 2,009 Km of coastline stretching along the Arabian and Red Sea. It is borders by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the North, the Arabian sea and Indian Ocean to the south , the Sultanate of Oman to the east and the Read Sea to the west . It is considered to be one of the fifteen country that comprise the Cradle of Humanity. A number of Red Sea islands, including Hanish Islands, Zoqur, Kamaran and Perim, as well as Socotra in the Indian Ocean belong to Yemen.
The highest point in Yemen is Annabi Shu’ayb Mountain, which stand at a height of 3,760 meters. Al-Rub Al-Khali, in the East, is referred to as the empty quarter due to its lack of rainfall as a result of the lower altitude ( Generally less than 1,000m) . Yemen has three major climatic zones; namely; mountain, desert and coastal regions. The mountains enjoy a mild pleasant climate all year round with temperatures generally in the range of 25 -30oC during summer months , dropping to 5-10 oC in the winter. Twice per year during the months of March and April and then again in August and September the mountains experience monsoon. Both the costal regions and the deserts become very hot and humid in the summer months, but are more hospitable during other time of the year.
Topographically: Yemen is formed of four main regions, The Costal Plains, the Mountains Regions, the Highland Regions and The Desert (Al-Rub Al-Khali.)
The Costal Plains run generally parallel to the red sea in the west extended southward from Saudi Arabia along the read sea is Tihama with 25-40Km wide and along the Gulf Of Aden with 8-16 Km wide extended east to the Omani Borders with some discontinuous. The evaporation in Tihamah is so great that streams from the highlands never reach the sea, but they do contribute to extensive groundwater reserves; which are heavily exploited for agricultural use. This area, now heavily terraced to meet the demand for food, receives the highest rainfall in Arabia, rapidly increasing from 100 mm per year to about 760 mm in Ta'iz and over 1,000 mm in Ibb. Agriculture here is very diverse, with sorghum, cotton and many fruit trees including mangoes. Temperature rises considerably in the day but falls dramatically at night.
The Mountains Regions, L-shaped mountainous chains starting from the north of the country extending towards the south until Bab Al-Mandab, then bending towards the east by the Arabian Sea to end at Al-Mahra. The region had undergone many formation movements that resulted in major and minor fractures some of them are parallel with the Red Sea and the other are parallel with Aden Gulf which turn resulted in the formation of high plateaus within which some mountainous basins were formed which are called Fields or basins. The region is rich with surfaces valleys that shape it into sharp sloping blocks, thus serve as mountainous wall overlooking Tihama Plain with sloping cliffs and peaks. These mountains are the highest elevation in the Arabian Peninsula, the extensive high plateau which reaches over 2,000 metres in elevation. The capital city Sana'a is located in this region.
The highest point in Yemen reaches 3,760 meters in Annabi Shu'ayb mountain.
The Highlands Regions This region has mountainous plains and basins located in the Mountain Highlands. These areas lies to the east and north of the mountainous heights going in parallel to the heighest towards the desert area The Main Highlands are Sana’a, Al Jouf, Shabwa, Hadhramout and Mahra.
The Desert ( Al Rub Al-Khali) Yemeni desert area located to the north of Hadhramout highlands, and to the south of the western heights. This area consists of desert plains covered with gravel, sand and sandy dunes involving in some parts desert plants and vast oases, that were formed due to the collection of the seasonal water. It is inhabited by the wandering nomads because of its pastoral land.
Demographics & Religions
Islam is the religion of the country. Yemenis are almost entirely sedentary and live in small villages and towns scattered throughout the highlands and coastal regions. The population is almost Islamic religious. Less than 1% of the population consist of Yemenis Jews.
Arabic is the official language. While the national language is Arabic (spoken in several regional dialects), Yemen is one of the main homelands of the South Semitic family of languages, which includes the non-Arabic language of the ancient Sabaean Kingdom. Its modern Yemeni descendants are closely related to the modern Semitic languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia. However, only a small remnant of those languages exists in modern Yemen, notably on the island of Soqotra and in the back hills of the Hadhramaut coastal region. Modern South Arabian languages spoken in Yemen include Mehri, with 70,643 speakers, Soqotri, with an estimated 43,000 speakers in the Soqotra archipelago and 67,000 worldwide, and Bathari with an estimated total of only 200 speakers.
Foreign language in public schools is taught from grade seven on. Private schools using a British or American system teach English, but Arabic is the dominant language of communication. Private schools have also started to teach French alongside Arabic and English.
Mineral Resources and Industry
Mineral resources in Yemen have not yet been accurately assessed or fully exploited, but are thought to be large. Copper deposits were found near Ta'iz in 1969 and oil was discovered in 1972. It is known that further rich mineral deposits exist, chiefly of zinc, iron, lead, gold, silver, copper, sulphur, cobalt and nickel.
In Yemen Early history mainly , iron deposits were utilized in a primitive way for local uses such as making of swords and knives. Today, salt is mined at Al-Salif area, where deposits are estimated to be of 25 million tones.
Manufacturing industries in this locality are few to rare. These industries produce cement, paints, metal and cotton products. Other local industries consist of tanning, spinning, weaving and handicrafts.
Exports & imports
The Yemen's main exports during the 1980s were coffee, hides and skins, salt and foodstuffs. Main imports were consumer goods, machinery, chemicals, iron and steel. At the time the country was heavily dependent on financial aid from abroad.
The tower, made of stone or brick with a height of 4-6 sp. natural to accommodate an extended family, is popular in the highlands. The ground floor is used for storage and housing domestic animals. The first floor stores household items and the second floor usually contains a reception room for guests. Bedrooms and kitchen are located on the top two or three floors. The kitchen usually has a well, which passes through the lower storeys and into the ground. The top floor contains a large room called mafraj, where the owner of the house meets his friends in the afternoons.