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Yemen

This article is about the country in Western Asia. For other uses, see Yemen (disambiguation).
"Yemeni" redirects here. For the village in Turkey, see Yemeni, Abana. For other uses, see List of Yemen related topics.

Yemen ((); Arabic:ٱلْيَمَن‎, romanized: al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen (Arabic:ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْيَمَنِيَّةُ‎, romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah, lit.'Yemeni Republic'; Ancient South Arabian script: 𐩺𐩣𐩬), is a country in Western Asia, on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast and shares maritime borders with Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. It is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 555,000 square kilometres (214,000 square miles). The coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles). Yemen's constitutionally stated capital, and largest city, is the city of Sanaa, but the city has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015 as well as Aden, which is also controlled by the Southern Transitional Council since 2018. Its executive administration resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Republic of Yemen
ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْيَمَنِيَّةُ(Arabic)
al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah
Motto: ٱللَّهُ، ٱلْوَطَنُ، ٱلثَوْرَةُ، ٱلْوَحْدَةُ(Arabic)
Allāh, al-Waṭan, ath-Thawrah, al-Waḥdah
“God, Country, Revolution, Unity”
Anthem: "United Republic"
(Arabic:الجمهورية المتحدة‎, romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Muttaḥidah)
CapitalSana'a (De jure)
Aden (Temporary capital in exile)
Coordinates:15°20′54″N44°12′23″E /15.34833°N 44.20639°E /15.34833; 44.20639
Capital-in-exileRiyadh (presidential administration)
Largest citySana'a
Official languagesArabic
Ethnic groups
Religion
99% Islam
1% includes Christians, Hinduism, and others
Demonym(s)Yemeni
Yemenite
Government
Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi (non-resident)
Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed
Mahdi al-Mashat
Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour
Aidarus al-Zoubaidi
LegislatureParliament (de jure)
Supreme Political Council (de facto)
Shura Council
House of Representatives
Establishment

30 October 1918
Yemen Arab Republic established
26 September 1962
South Yemen independenceb

30 November 1967
22 May 1990
16 May 1991
Area
• Total
555,000 km2 (214,000 sq mi) (49th)
• Water (%)
negligible
Population
• 2021 estimate
30,491,000 (48th)
• 2004 census
19,685,000
• Density
44.7/km2 (115.8/sq mi) (160th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$73.348 billion (118th)
• Per capita
$2,380 (161st)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$28.524 billion (103rd)
• Per capita
$925 (177th)
Gini (2014)36.7
medium
HDI (2019) 0.470
low · 179th
CurrencyYemeni rial (YER)
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+967
ISO 3166 codeYE
Internet TLD.ye,اليمن.
  1. From the Ottoman Empire.
  2. From the United Kingdom.

In ancient times, Yemen was the home of the Sabaeans, a trading state that included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. Later in 275 CE, the Himyarite Kingdom was influenced by Judaism. Chistianity arrived in the fourth century. Islam spread quickly in the seventh century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the early Islamic conquests. Several dynasties emerged in the 9th to 16th centuries, such as the Rasulid dynasty. The country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires in the 1800s. The Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established after World War I before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1962. South Yemen remained a British protectorate as the Aden Protectorate until 1967 when it became an independent state and later, a Marxist-Leninist state. The two Yemeni states united to form the modern Republic of Yemen (al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah) in 1990. President Ali Abdullah Saleh was the first president of the new republic until his resignation in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Since 2011, Yemen has been in a state of political crisis starting with street protests against poverty, unemployment, corruption, and president Saleh's plan to amend Yemen's constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit. President Saleh stepped down and the powers of the presidency were transferred to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Since then, the country has been in a civil war (alongside the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi's government) with several proto-state entities claiming to govern Yemen: the Cabinet of Yemen, Supreme Political Council and the Southern Transitional Council. At least 56,000 civilians and combatants have been killed in armed violence in Yemen since January 2016. The war has resulted in a famine affecting 17 million people. The lack of safe drinking water, caused by depleted aquifers and the destruction of the country's water infrastructure, has also caused the largest, fastest-spreading cholera outbreak in modern history, with the number of suspected cases exceeding 994,751. Over 2,226 people have died since the outbreak began to spread rapidly at the end of April 2017. The ongoing humanitarian crisis and conflict has received widespread criticism for having a dramatic worsening effect on Yemen's humanitarian situation, that some say has reached the level of a "humanitarian disaster" and some have even labelled it as a genocide. It has worsened the country's already-poor human rights situation.

Yemen is a member of the Arab League, the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It belongs to the least developed country group, referring to its numerous "severe structural impediments to sustainable development". In 2019, the United Nations reported that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of humanitarian aid, about 24 million people, or 85% of its population. As of 2020, the country is placed the highest in the Fragile State Index, the second worst in Global Hunger Index, surpassed only by the Central African Republic, and has the lowest Human Development Index out of all non-African countries.

Contents

Further information: Arabia Felix, South Arabia, and Hamavaran

The term Yamnat was mentioned in Old South Arabian inscriptions on the title of one of the kings of the second Himyarite kingdom known as Shammar Yahrʽish II. The term probably referred to the southwestern coastline of the Arabian peninsula and the southern coastline between Aden and Hadramout. The historical Yemen included much greater territory than the current nation, stretching from northern 'Asir in southwestern Saudi Arabia to Dhofar in southern Oman.

One etymology derives Yemen from ymnt, meaning "South", and significantly plays on the notion of the land to the right (𐩺𐩣𐩬).

Other sources claim that Yemen is related to yamn or yumn, meaning "felicity" or "blessed", as much of the country is fertile. The Romans called it Arabia Felix ("fertile Arabia"), as opposed to Arabia Deserta ("deserted Arabia"). Latin and Greek writers referred to ancient Yemen as "India", which arose from the Persians calling the Abyssinians whom they came into contact with in South Arabia by the name of the dark-skinned people who lived next to them, viz. the Indians.

Main article: History of Yemen

Ancient history

Ruins of the Great Dam of Marib

With its long sea border between eastern and western civilizations, Yemen has long existed at a crossroads of cultures with a strategic location in terms of trade on the west of the Arabian Peninsula. Large settlements for their era existed in the mountains of northern Yemen as early as 5000 BCE.

The Sabaean Kingdom came into existence in at least the 11th century BCE. The four major kingdoms or tribal confederations in South Arabia were Saba, Hadramout, Qataban, and Ma'in. Saba’ (Arabic:سَـبَـأ‎) is thought to be biblical Sheba and was the most prominent federation. The Sabaean rulers adopted the title Mukarrib generally thought to mean unifier, or a priest-king, or the head of the confederation of South Arabian kingdoms, the "king of the kings". The role of the Mukarrib was to bring the various tribes under the kingdom and preside over them all. The Sabaeans built the Great Dam of Marib around 940 BCE. The dam was built to withstand the seasonal flash floods surging down the valley.

Between 700 and 680 BCE, the Kingdom of Awsan dominated Aden and its surroundings and challenged the Sabaean supremacy in the Arabian South. Sabaean Mukarrib Karib'il Watar I conquered the entire realm of Awsan, and expanded Sabaean rule and territory to include much of South Arabia. Lack of water in the Arabian Peninsula prevented the Sabaeans from unifying the entire peninsula. Instead, they established various colonies to control trade routes.

A funerary stela featuring a musical scene, first century CE

Evidence of Sabaean influence is found in northern Ethiopia, where the South Arabian alphabet, religion and pantheon, and the South Arabian style of art and architecture were introduced. The Sabaean created a sense of identity through their religion. They worshipped El-Maqah and believed that they were his children. For centuries, the Sabaeans controlled outbound trade across the Bab-el-Mandeb, a strait separating the Arabian Peninsula from the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean.

By the third century BCE, Qataban, Hadramout, and Ma'in became independent from Saba and established themselves in the Yemeni arena. Minaean rule stretched as far as Dedan, with their capital at Baraqish. The Sabaeans regained their control over Ma'in after the collapse of Qataban in 50 BCE. By the time of the Roman expedition to Arabia Felix in 25 BCE, the Sabaeans were once again the dominating power in Southern Arabia. Aelius Gallus was ordered to lead a military campaign to establish Roman dominance over the Sabaeans.

The Romans had a vague and contradictory geographical knowledge about Arabia Felix or Yemen. The Roman army of 10,000 men was defeated before Marib. Strabo's close relationship with Aelius Gallus led him to attempt to justify his friend's defeat in his writings. It took the Romans six months to reach Marib and 60 days to return to Egypt. The Romans blamed their Nabataean guide and executed him for treachery. No direct mention in Sabaean inscriptions of the Roman expedition has yet been found.

After the Roman expedition – perhaps earlier – the country fell into chaos, and two clans, namely Hamdan and Himyar, claimed kingship, assuming the title King of Sheba and Dhu Raydan. Dhu Raydan, i.e., Himyarites, allied themselves with Aksum in Ethiopia against the Sabaeans. The chief of Bakil and king of Saba and Dhu Raydan, El Sharih Yahdhib, launched successful campaigns against the Himyarites and Habashat, i.e., Aksum, El Sharih took pride in his campaigns and added the title Yahdhib to his name, which means "suppressor"; he used to kill his enemies by cutting them to pieces. Sana'a came into prominence during his reign, as he built the Ghumdan Palace as his place of residence.

Himyarite King Dhamar'ali Yahbur II
A Sabaean gravestone of a woman holding a stylized sheaf of wheat, a symbol of fertility in ancient Yemen

The Himyarite annexed Sana'a from Hamdan around 100 CE. Hashdi tribesmen rebelled against them and regained Sana'a around 180 AD. Shammar Yahri'sh had not conquered Hadramout, Najran, and Tihama until 275 CE, thus unifying Yemen and consolidating Himyarite rule. The Himyarites rejected polytheism and adhered to a consensual form of monotheism called Rahmanism.

In 354 CE, Roman Emperor Constantius II sent an embassy headed by Theophilos the Indian to convert the Himyarites to Christianity. According to Philostorgius, the mission was resisted by local Jews. Several inscriptions have been found in Hebrew and Sabaean praising the ruling house in Jewish terms for "...helping and empowering the People of Israel."

According to Islamic traditions, King As'ad the Perfect mounted a military expedition to support the Jews of Yathrib. Abu Kariba As'ad, as known from the inscriptions, led a military campaign to central Arabia or Najd to support the vassal Kingdom of Kindah against the Lakhmids. However, no direct reference to Judaism or Yathrib was discovered from his lengthy reign. Abu Kariba died in 445 CE, having reigned for almost 50 years. By 515 AD, Himyar became increasingly divided along religious lines and a bitter conflict between different factions paved the way for an Aksumite intervention. The last Himyarite king Ma'adikarib Ya'fur was supported by Aksum against his Jewish rivals. Ma'adikarib was Christian and launched a campaign against the Lakhmids in southern Iraq, with the support of other Arab allies of Byzantium. The Lakhmids were a Bulwark of Persia, which was intolerant to a proselytizing religion like Christianity.

After the death of Ma'adikarib Ya'fur around 521 CE, a Himyarite Jewish warlord named Yousef Asar Yathar rose to power with the honorary title of Yathar (meaning, "to avenge"). Yemenite Christians, aided by Aksum and Byzantium, systematically persecuted Jews and burned down several synagogues across the land. Yousef avenged his people with great cruelty. He marched toward the port city of Mocha, killing 14,000 and capturing 11,000. Then he settled a camp in Bab-el-Mandeb to prevent aid flowing from Aksum. At the same time, Yousef sent an army under the command of another Jewish warlord, Sharahil Yaqbul, to Najran. Sharahil had reinforcements from the Bedouins of the Kindah and Madh'hij tribes, eventually wiping out the Christian community in Najran.

Yousef or Dhu Nuwas (the one with sidelocks) as known in Arabic literature, believed that Christians in Yemen were a fifth column. Christian sources portray Dhu Nuwas (Yousef Asar) as a Jewish zealot, while Islamic traditions say that he threw 20,000 Christians into pits filled with flaming oil. Dhu Nuwas left two inscriptions, neither of them making any reference to fiery pits. Byzantium had to act or lose all credibility as a protector of eastern Christianity. It is reported that Byzantium Emperor Justin I sent a letter to the Aksumite King Kaleb, pressuring him to "...attack the abominable Hebrew." A tripartite military alliance of Byzantine, Aksumite, and Arab Christians successfully defeated Yousef around 525–527 CE and a client Christian king was installed on the Himyarite throne.

Esimiphaios was a local Christian lord, mentioned in an inscription celebrating the burning of an ancient Sabaean palace in Marib to build a church on its ruins. Three new churches were built in Najran alone. Many tribes did not recognize Esimiphaios's authority. Esimiphaios was displaced in 531 by a warrior named Abraha, who refused to leave Yemen and declared himself an independent king of Himyar.

Emperor Justinian I sent an embassy to Yemen. He wanted the officially Christian Himyarites to use their influence on the tribes in inner Arabia to launch military operations against Persia. Justinian I bestowed the "dignity of king" upon the Arab sheikhs of Kindah and Ghassan in central and northern Arabia. From early on, Roman and Byzantine policy was to develop close links with the powers of the coast of the Red Sea. They were successful in converting[clarification needed] Aksum and influencing their culture. The results concerning to Yemen were rather disappointing.

A Kendite prince called Yazid bin Kabshat rebelled against Abraha and his Arab Christian allies. A truce was reached once the Great Dam of Marib had suffered a breach. Abraha died around 570CE; Sources regarding his death are available from the qur'an and hadith. The Sasanid Empire annexed Aden around 570 CE. Under their rule, most of Yemen enjoyed great autonomy except for Aden and Sana'a. This era marked the collapse of ancient South Arabian civilization since the greater part of the country was under several independent clans until the arrival of Islam in 630 CE.

Middle Ages

Advent of Islam and the three dynasties

The interior of the Great Mosque of Sana'a, the oldest mosque in Yemen

Muhammad sent his cousin Ali to Sana'a and its surroundings around 630 CE. At the time, Yemen was the most advanced region in Arabia. The Banu Hamdan confederation was among the first to accept Islam, second only to the Somalis, Afar and Habesha. Muhammad sent Muadh ibn Jabal, as well to Al-Janad, in present-day Taiz, and dispatched letters to various tribal leaders. The reason behind this was the division among the tribes and the absence of a strong central authority in Yemen during the days of the prophet.

Major tribes, including Himyar, sent delegations to Medina during the "year of delegations" around 630–631 CE. Several Yemenis accepted Islam before the year 630, such as Ammar ibn Yasir, Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami, Miqdad ibn Aswad, Abu Musa Ashaari, and Sharhabeel ibn Hasana. A man named 'Abhala ibn Ka'ab Al-Ansi expelled the remaining Persians and claimed he was a prophet of Rahman. He was assassinated by a Yemeni of Persian origin called Fayruz al-Daylami. Christians, who were mainly staying in Najran along with Jews, agreed to pay jizyah (Arabic:جِـزْيَـة‎), although some Jews converted to Islam, such as Wahb ibn Munabbih and Ka'ab al-Ahbar.

Yemen was stable during the Rashidun Caliphate. Yemeni tribes played a pivotal role in the Islamic expansion of Egypt, Iraq, Persia, the Levant, Anatolia, North Africa, Sicily, and Andalusia. Yemeni tribes who settled in Syria, contributed significantly to the solidification of Umayyad rule, especially during the reign of Marwan I. Powerful Yemenite tribes such as Kindah were on his side during the Battle of Marj Rahit.

Several emirates led by people of Yemeni descent were established in North Africa and Andalusia. Effective control over entire Yemen was not achieved by the Umayyad Caliphate. Imam Abdullah ibn Yahya Al-Kindi was elected in 745 CE to lead the Ibāḍī movement in Hadramawt and Oman. He expelled the Umayyad governor from Sana'a and captured Mecca and Medina in 746. Al-Kindi, known by his nickname "Talib al-Haqq" (seeker of truth), established the first Ibadi state in the history of Islam but was killed in Taif around 749.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Ziyad founded the Ziyadid dynasty in Tihama around 818 CE. The state stretched from Haly (in present-day Saudi Arabia) to Aden. They nominally recognized the Abbasid Caliphate but were ruling independently from their capital in Zabid. The history of this dynasty is obscure. They never exercised control over the highlands and Hadramawt, and did not control more than a coastal strip of Yemen (Tihama) bordering the Red Sea. A Himyarite clan called the Yufirids established their rule over the highlands from Saada to Taiz, while Hadramawt was an Ibadi stronghold and rejected all allegiance to the Abbasids in Baghdad. By virtue of its location, the Ziyadid dynasty of Zabid developed a special relationship with Abyssinia. The chief of the Dahlak islands exported slaves, as well as amber and leopard hides, to the then ruler of Yemen.

The first Zaidi imam, Yahya ibn al-Husayn, arrived in Yemen in 893 CE. He was the founder of the Zaidi imamate in 897. He was a religious cleric and judge who was invited to come to Saada from Medina to arbitrate tribal disputes. Imam Yahya persuaded local tribesmen to follow his teachings. The sect slowly spread across the highlands, as the tribes of Hashid and Bakil, later known as "the twin wings of the imamate," accepted his authority.

Yahya established his influence in Saada and Najran. He also tried to capture Sana'a from the Yufirids in 901 CE but failed miserably. In 904, the Isma'ilis under Ibn Hawshab and Ali ibn al-Fadl al-Jayshani invaded Sana'a. The Yufirid emir As'ad ibn Ibrahim retreated to Al-Jawf, and between 904 and 913, Sana'a was conquered no less than 20 times by Isma'ilis and Yufirids. As'ad ibn Ibrahim regained Sana'a in 915. Yemen was in turmoil as Sana'a became a battlefield for the three dynasties, as well as independent tribes.

The Yufirid emir Abdullah ibn Qahtan attacked and burned Zabid in 989, severely weakening the Ziyadid dynasty. The Ziyadid monarchs lost effective power after 989, or even earlier than that. Meanwhile, a succession of slaves held power in Zabid and continued to govern in the name of their masters, eventually establishing their own dynasty around 1022 or 1050 according to different sources. Although they were recognized by the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad, they ruled no more than Zabid and four districts to its north. The rise of the Isma'ili Sulayhid dynasty in the Yemeni highlands reduced their history to a series of intrigues.

Sulayhid Dynasty (1047–1138)

Main article: Sulayhid dynasty
Jibla became the capital of the dynasty. Featured is the Queen Arwa Mosque.

The Sulayhid dynasty was founded in the northern highlands around 1040; at the time, Yemen was ruled by different local dynasties. In 1060, Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Sulayhi conquered Zabid and killed its ruler Al-Najah, founder of the Najahid dynasty. His sons were forced to flee to Dahlak. Hadramawt fell into Sulayhid hands after their capture of Aden in 1162.

By 1063, Ali had subjugated Greater Yemen. He then marched toward Hejaz and occupied Makkah. Ali was married to Asma bint Shihab, who governed Yemen with her husband. The Khutba during Friday prayers was proclaimed in both her husband's name and hers. No other Arab woman had this honor since the advent of Islam.

Ali al-Sulayhi was killed by Najah's sons on his way to Mecca in 1084. His son Ahmed Al-Mukarram led an army to Zabid and killed 8,000 of its inhabitants. He later installed the Zurayids to govern Aden. al-Mukarram, who had been afflicted with facial paralysis resulting from war injuries, retired in 1087 and handed over power to his wife Arwa al-Sulayhi. Queen Arwa moved the seat of the Sulayhid dynasty from Sana'a to Jibla, a small town in central Yemen near Ibb. Jibla was strategically near the Sulayhid dynasty source of wealth, the agricultural central highlands. It was also within easy reach of the southern portion of the country, especially Aden. She sent Ismaili missionaries to India, where a significant Ismaili community was formed that exists to this day. Queen Arwa continued to rule securely until her death in 1138.

Arwa al-Sulayhi is still remembered as a great and much-loved sovereign, as attested in Yemeni historiography, literature, and popular lore, where she is referred to as Balqis al-sughra ("the junior queen of Sheba"). Although the Sulayhids were Ismaili, they never tried to impose their beliefs on the public. Shortly after Queen Arwa's death, the country was split between five competing petty dynasties along religious lines. The Ayyubid dynasty overthrew the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt. A few years after their rise to power, Saladin dispatched his brother Turan Shah to conquer Yemen in 1174.

Ayyubid conquest (1171–1260)

Main article: Ayyubid Dynasty

Turan Shah conquered Zabid from the Mahdids in May 1174, then marched toward Aden in June and captured it from the Zurayids. The Hamdanid sultans of Sana'a resisted the Ayyubid in 1175, and the Ayyubids did not manage to secure Sana'a until 1189. The Ayyubid rule was stable in southern and central Yemen, where they succeeded in eliminating the ministates of that region, while Ismaili and Zaidi tribesmen continued to hold out in several fortresses.

The Ayyubids failed to capture the Zaydis stronghold in northern Yemen. In 1191, Zaydis of Shibam Kawkaban rebelled and killed 700 Ayyubid soldiers. Imam Abdullah bin Hamza proclaimed the imamate in 1197 and fought al-Mu'izz Ismail, the Ayyubid Sultan of Yemen. Imam Abdullah was defeated at first but was able to conquer Sana'a and Dhamar in 1198, and al-Mu'izz Ismail was assassinated in 1202.

Abdullah bin Hamza carried on the struggle against the Ayyubid until his death in 1217. After his demise, the Zaidi community was split between two rival imams. The Zaydis were dispersed and a truce was signed with the Ayyubid in 1219. The Ayyubid army was defeated in Dhamar in 1226. Ayyubid Sultan Mas'ud Yusuf left for Mecca in 1228, never to return. Other sources suggest that he was forced to leave for Egypt instead in 1223.

Rasulid Dynasty (1229–1454)

Main article: Rasulid dynasty
Al-Qahyra (Cairo) Castle's Garden in Taiz, the capital of Yemen during the Rasulid's era

The Rasulid Dynasty was established in 1229 by Umar ibn Rasul, who was appointed deputy governor by the Ayyubids in 1223. When the last Ayyubid ruler left Yemen in 1229, Umar stayed in the country as caretaker. He subsequently declared himself an independent king by assuming the title "al-Malik Al-Mansur" (the king assisted by Allah). Umar established the Rasulid dynasty on a firm foundation and expanded its territory to include the area from Dhofar to Mecca

Umar first established himself at Zabid, then moved into the mountainous interior, taking the important highland centre Sana'a. However, the Rasulid capitals were Zabid and Taiz. He was assassinated by his nephew in 1249. Omar's son Yousef defeated the faction led by his father's assassins and crushed several counter-attacks by the Zaydi imams who still held on in the northern highland. Mainly because of the victories he scored over his rivals, he assumed the honorific title "al-Muzaffar" (the victorious).

After the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 1258, al-Muzaffar Yusuf I appropriated the title of caliph. He chose the city of Taiz to become the political capital of the kingdom because of its strategic location and proximity to Aden. al-Muzaffar Yusuf I died in 1296, having reigned for 47 years. When the news of his death reached the Zaydi imam Al-Mutawakkil al-Mutahhar bin Yahya, he commented,

The greatest king of Yemen, the Muawiyah of the time, has died. His pens used to break our lances and swords to pieces.

A 13th-century slave market in Yemen

The Rasulid state nurtured Yemen's commercial links with India and the Far East. They profited greatly by the Red Sea transit trade via Aden and Zabid. The economy also boomed due to the agricultural development programs instituted by the kings who promoted massive cultivation of palms. The Rasulid kings enjoyed the support of the population of Tihama and southern Yemen, while they had to buy the loyalty of Yemen's restive northern highland tribes.

The Rasulid sultans built numerous Madrasas to solidify the Shafi'i school of thought, which is still the dominant school of jurisprudence amongst Yemenis today. Under their rule, Taiz and Zabid became major international centres of Islamic learning. The kings themselves were educated men in their own right, who not only had important libraries but also wrote treatises on a wide array of subjects, ranging from astrology and medicine to agriculture and genealogy.

The dynasty is regarded as the greatest native Yemeni state since the fall of the pre-Islamic Himyarite Kingdom. They were of Turkic descent. They claimed an ancient Yemenite origin to justify their rule. The Rasulids were not the first dynasty to create a fictitious genealogy for political purposes, nor were they doing anything out of the ordinary in the tribal context of Arabia. By claiming descent from a solid Yemenite tribe, the Rasulids brought Yemen to a vital sense of unity in an otherwise chaotic regional milieu.

They had a difficult relationship with the Mamluks of Egypt because the latter considered them a vassal state. Their competition centred over the Hejaz and the right to provide kiswa of the Ka'aba in Mecca. The dynasty became increasingly threatened by disgruntled family members over the problem of succession, combined by periodic tribal revolts, as they were locked in a war of attrition with the Zaydi imams in the northern highlands. During the last 12 years of Rasulid rule, the country was torn between several contenders for the kingdom. The weakening of the Rasulid provided an opportunity for the Banu Taher clan to take over and establish themselves as the new rulers of Yemen in 1454 CE.

Tahiride Dynasty (1454–1517)

Main article: Tahirids (Yemen)
Portuguese Viceroy Afonso de Albuquerque failed twice to conquer Aden, though the Portuguese Empire managed to rule Socotra until 1511.

The Tahirids were a local clan based in Rada'a. While they were not as impressive as their predecessors, they were still keen builders. They built schools, mosques, and irrigation channels, as well as water cisterns and bridges in Zabid, Aden, Rada'a, and Juban. Their best-known monument is the Amiriya Madrasa in Rada' District, which was built in 1504.

The Tahiride were too weak either to contain the Zaydi imams or to defend themselves against foreign attacks.

Realizing how rich the Tahiride realm was, they decided to conquer it. The Mamluk army, with the support of forces loyal to Zaydi Imam Al-Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad-Din, conquered the entire realm of the Tahiride but failed to capture Aden in 1517. The Mamluk victory was short-lived. The Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt, hanging the last Mamluk Sultan in Cairo. The Ottomans had not decided to conquer Yemen until 1538. The Zaydi highland tribes emerged as national heroes by offering stiff, vigorous resistance to the Turkish occupation. The Mamluks of Egypt tried to attach Yemen to Egypt and the Portuguese led by Afonso de Albuquerque, occupied the island of Socotra and made an unsuccessful attack on Aden in 1513.

Modern history

The Zaydis and Ottomans

Al Bakiriyya Ottoman Mosque in Sana'a, was built in 1597
Ottoman soldiers and Yemeni locals

The Ottomans had two fundamental interests to safeguard in Yemen: The Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and the trade route with India in spices and textiles—both threatened, and the latter virtually eclipsed, by the arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in the early 16th century. Hadım Suleiman Pasha, The Ottoman governor of Egypt, was ordered to command a fleet of 90 ships to conquer Yemen. The country was in a state of incessant anarchy and discord as Hadım Suleiman Pasha described it by saying:

Yemen is a land with no lord, an empty province. It would be not only possible but easy to capture, and should it be captured, it would be master of the lands of India and send every year a great amount of gold and jewels to Constantinople.

Imam al-Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad-Din ruled over the northern highlands including Sana'a, while Aden was held by the last Tahiride Sultan 'Amir ibn Dauod. Hadım Suleiman Pasha stormed Aden in 1538, killing its ruler, and extended Ottoman authority to include Zabid in 1539 and eventually Tihama in its entirety. Zabid became the administrative headquarters of Yemen Eyalet. The Ottoman governors did not exercise much control over the highlands. They held sway mainly in the southern coastal region, particularly around Zabid, Mocha, and Aden. Of 80,000 soldiers sent to Yemen from Egypt between 1539 and 1547, only 7,000 survived. The Ottoman accountant-general in Egypt remarked:

We have seen no foundry like Yemen for our soldiers. Each time we have sent an expeditionary force there, it has melted away like salt dissolved in water.

The Ottomans sent yet another expeditionary force to Zabid in 1547, while Imam al-Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad-Din was ruling the highlands independently. Imam al-Mutawakkil Yahya chose his son Ali to succeed him, a decision that infuriated his other son al-Mutahhar ibn Yahya. Al-Mutahhar was lame, so he was not qualified for the imamate. He urged Oais Pasha, the Ottoman colonial governor in Zabid, to attack his father. Indeed, Ottoman troops supported by tribal forces loyal to Imam al-Mutahhar stormed Taiz and marched north toward Sana'a in August 1547. The Turks officially made Imam al-Mutahhar a Sanjak-bey with authority over 'Amran. Imam al-Mutahhar assassinated the Ottoman colonial governor and recaptured Sana'a, but the Ottomans, led by Özdemir Pasha, forced al-Mutahhar to retreat to his fortress in Thula. Özdemir Pasha effectively put Yemen under Ottoman rule between 1552 and 1560. He was considered a competent ruler given Yemen's notorious lawlessness, garrisoning the main cities, building new fortresses, and rendering secure the main routes. Özdemir died in Sana'a in 1561 and was succeeded by Mahmud Pasha.

Unlike Özdemir's brief but able leadership, Mahmud Pasha was described by other Ottoman officials as a corrupt and unscrupulous governor. He used his authority to take over several castles, some of which belonged to the former Rasulid kings. Mahmud Pasha killed a Sunni scholar from Ibb. The Ottoman historian claimed that this incident was celebrated by the Zaydi Shia community in the northern highlands. Disregarding the delicate balance of power in Yemen by acting tactlessly, he alienated different groups within Yemeni society, causing them to forget their rivalries and unite against the Turks. Mahmud Pasha was displaced by Ridvan Pasha in 1564. By 1565, Yemen was split into two provinces, the highlands under the command of Ridvan Pasha and Tihama under Murad Pasha. Imam al-Mutahhar launched a propaganda campaign in which he claimed that the prophet Mohammed came to him in a dream and advised him to wage jihad against the Ottomans. Al-Mutahhar led the tribes to capture Sana'a from Ridvan Pasha in 1567. When Murad tried to relieve Sana'a, highland tribesmen ambushed his unit and slaughtered all of them. Over 80 battles were fought. The last decisive encounter took place in Dhamar around 1568, in which Murad Pasha was beheaded and his head sent to al-Mutahhar in Sana'a. By 1568, only Zabid remained under the possession of the Turks.

Ruins of Thula fortress in 'Amran, where al-Mutahhar ibn Yahya barricaded himself against Ottoman attacks

Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Syria, was ordered by Selim II to suppress the Yemeni rebels. However, the Turkish army in Egypt was reluctant to go to Yemen due to their knowledge of the hegemony of the northern Yemenis. Mustafa Pasha sent a letter with two Turkish shawishes hoping to persuade al-Mutahhar to give an apology and confirm that Mustafa Pasha did not promote any act of aggression against the Ottoman army, and state that the "ignorant Arabian" according to the Turks, acted on their own. Imam al-Mutahhar refused the Ottoman offer. When Mustafa Pasha sent an expeditionary force under the command of Uthman Pasha, it was defeated with great casualties. Sultan Selim II was infuriated by Mustafa's hesitation to go to Yemen. He executed a number of sanjak-beys in Egypt and ordered Sinan Pasha to lead the entire Turkish army in Egypt to reconquer Yemen. Sinan Pasha was a prominent Ottoman general of Albanian origin. He reconquered Aden, Taiz, and Ibb, and besieged Shibam Kawkaban in 1570 for seven months. The siege was lifted once a truce was reached. Imam al-Mutahhar was pushed back, but could not be entirely overcome. After al-Mutahhar's demise in 1572, the Zaydi community was not united under an imam; the Turks took advantage of their disunity and conquered Sana'a, Sa'dah, and Najran in 1583. Imam al-Nasir Hassan was arrested in 1585 and exiled to Constantinople, thereby putting an end to the Yemeni rebellion.

The Zaydi tribesmen in the northern highlands particularly those of Hashid and Bakil, were ever the Turkish bugbear in all Arabia. The Ottomans who justified their presence in Yemen as a triumph for Islam, accused the Zaydis of being infidels. Hassan Pasha was appointed governor of Yemen and enjoyed a period of relative peace from 1585 to 1597. Pupils of al-Mansur al-Qasim suggested he should claim the imamate and fight the Turks. He declined at first, but the promotion of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence at the expense of Zaydi Islam infuriated al-Mansur al-Qasim. He proclaimed the imamate in September 1597, which was the same year the Ottoman authorities inaugurated al-Bakiriyya Mosque. By 1608, Imam al-Mansur (the victorious) regained control over the highlands and signed a truce for 10 years with the Ottomans. Imam al-Mansur al-Qasim died in 1620. His son Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad succeeded him and confirmed the truce with the Ottomans. In 1627, the Ottomans lost Aden and Lahej. 'Abdin Pasha was ordered to suppress the rebels, but failed, and had to retreat to Mocha. Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad expelled the Ottomans from Sana'a in 1628, only Zabid and Mocha remained under Ottoman possession. Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad captured Zabid in 1634 and allowed the Ottomans to leave Mocha peacefully. The reason behind Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad's success was the possession of firearms by the tribes and their unity behind him.

Mocha was Yemen's busiest port in the 17th and 18th centuries

In 1632, Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad sent an expeditionary force of 1,000 men to conquer Mecca. The army entered the city in triumph and killed its governor. The Ottomans were not ready to lose Mecca after Yemen, so they sent an army from Egypt to fight the Yemenites. Seeing that the Turkish army was too numerous to overcome, the Yemeni army retreated to a valley outside Mecca. Ottoman troops attacked the Yemenis by hiding at the wells that supplied them with water. This plan proceeded successfully, causing the Yemenis over 200 casualties, most from thirst. The tribesmen eventually surrendered and returned to Yemen. Al-Mu'ayyad Muhammad died in 1644. He was succeeded by Al-Mutawakkil Isma'il, another son of al-Mansur al-Qasim, who conquered Yemen in its entirety, from Asir in the north to Dhofar in the east. During his reign, and during the reign of his successor, Al-Mahdi Ahmad (1676–1681), the imamate implemented some of the harshest discriminatory laws (ghiyar) against the Jews of Yemen, which culminated in the expulsion of all Jews (Exile of Mawza) to a hot and arid region in the Tihama coastal plain. The Qasimid state was the strongest Zaydi state to ever exist. See Yemeni Zaidi State for more information.

During that period, Yemen was the sole coffee producer in the world. The country established diplomatic relations with the Safavid dynasty of Persia, Ottomans of Hejaz, Mughal Empire in India, and Ethiopia, as well. Fasilides of Ethiopia sent three diplomatic missions to Yemen, but the relations did not develop into a political alliance, as Fasilides had hoped, due to the rise of powerful feudalists in his country. In the first half of the 18th century, the Europeans broke Yemen's monopoly on coffee by smuggling coffee trees and cultivating them in their own colonies in the East Indies, East Africa, the West Indies, and Latin America. The imamate did not follow a cohesive mechanism for succession, and family quarrels and tribal insubordination led to the political decline of the Qasimi dynasty in the 18th century. In 1728 or 1731, the chief representative of Lahej declared himself an independent sultan in defiance of the Qasimid dynasty and conquered Aden, thus establishing the Sultanate of Lahej. The rising power of the fervently Islamist Wahhabi movement on the Arabian Peninsula cost the Zaidi state its coastal possessions after 1803. The imam was able to regain them temporarily in 1818, but new intervention by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt in 1833 again wrested the coast from the ruler in Sana'a. After 1835, the imamate changed hands with great frequency and some imams were assassinated. After 1849, the Zaidi polity descended into chaos that lasted for decades.

Great Britain and the Nine Regions

The building of the Legislative Council of Aden, built by the English in the 19th century as St. Mary's Church, was converted into the building of the Legislative Council in the 1960s, and is now a museum

The British were looking for a coal depot to service their steamers en route to India. It took 700 tons of coal for a round-trip from Suez to Bombay. East India Company officials decided on Aden. The British Empire tried to reach an agreement with the Zaydi imam of Sana'a, permitting them a foothold in Mocha, and when unable to secure their position, they extracted a similar agreement from the Sultan of Lahej, enabling them to consolidate a position in Aden. An incident played into British hands when, while passing Aden for trading purposes, one of their sailing ships sank and Arab tribesmen boarded it and plundered its contents. The British India government dispatched a warship under the command of Captain Stafford Bettesworth Haines to demand compensation.

Haines bombarded Aden from his warship in January 1839. The ruler of Lahej, who was in Aden at the time, ordered his guards to defend the port, but they failed in the face of overwhelming military and naval power. The British managed to occupy Aden and agreed to compensate the sultan with an annual payment of 6,000 riyals. The British evicted the Sultan of Lahej from Aden and forced him to accept their "protection." In November 1839, 5000 tribesmen tried to retake the town but were repulsed and 200 were killed. The British realised that Aden's prosperity depended on their relations with the neighbouring tribes, which required that they rest on a firm and satisfactory basis.

The British government concluded "protection and friendship" treaties with nine tribes surrounding Aden, whereas they would remain independent from British interference in their affairs as long as they do not conclude treaties with foreigners (non-Arab colonial powers). Aden was declared a free zone in 1850. With emigrants from India, East Africa, and Southeast Asia, Aden grew into a world city. In 1850, only 980 Arabs were registered as original inhabitants of the city. The English presence in Aden put them at odds with the Ottomans. The Turks asserted to the British that they held sovereignty over the whole of Arabia, including Yemen as the successor of Mohammed and the Chief of the Universal Caliphate.

Ottoman return

See also: Yemen Vilayet

The Ottomans were concerned about the British expansion from India to the Red Sea and Arabia. They returned to the Tihama in 1849 after an absence of two centuries. Rivalries and disturbances continued among the Zaydi imams, between them and their deputies, with the ulema, with the heads of tribes, as well as with those who belonged to other sects. Some citizens of Sana'a were desperate to return law and order to Yemen and asked the Ottoman Pasha in Tihama to pacify the country. Yemeni merchants knew that the return of the Ottomans would improve their trade, for the Ottomans would become their customers. An Ottoman expedition force tried to capture Sana'a, but was defeated and had to evacuate the highlands. The Opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, strengthened the Ottoman decision to remain in Yemen. In 1872, military forces were dispatched from Constantinople and moved beyond the Ottoman stronghold in the lowlands (Tihama) to conquer Sana'a. By 1873, the Ottomans succeeded in conquering the northern highlands. Sana'a became the administrative capital of Yemen Vilayet.

The Ottomans learned from their previous experience and worked on the disempowerment of local lords in the highland regions. They even attempted to secularize the Yemeni society, while Yemenite Jews came to perceive themselves in Yemeni nationalist terms. The Ottomans appeased the tribes by forgiving their rebellious chiefs and appointing them to administrative posts. They introduced a series of reforms to enhance the country's economic welfare. However, corruption was widespread in the Ottoman administration in Yemen. This was because only the worst of the officials were appointed because those who could avoid serving in Yemen did so. The Ottomans had reasserted control over the highlands for a temporary duration. The so-called Tanzimat reforms were considered heretic by the Zaydi tribes. In 1876, the Hashid and Bakil tribes rebelled against the Ottomans; the Turks had to appease them with gifts to end the uprising.

The tribal chiefs were difficult to appease and an endless cycle of violence curbed Ottoman efforts to pacify the land. Ahmed Izzet Pasha proposed that the Ottoman army evacuate the highlands and confine itself to Tihama, and not unnecessarily burden itself with continuing military operation against the Zaydi tribes. The hit-and-run tactics of the northern highlands tribesmen wore out the Ottoman military. They resented the Turkish Tanzimat and defied all attempts to impose a central government upon them. The northern tribes united under the leadership of the House of Hamidaddin in 1890. Imam Yahya Hamidaddin led a rebellion against the Turks in 1904; the rebels disrupted the Ottoman ability to govern. The revolts between 1904 and 1911 were especially damaging to the Ottomans, costing them as many as 10,000 soldiers and as much as 500,000 pounds per year. The Ottomans signed a treaty with imam Yahya Hamidaddin in 1911. Under the treaty, Imam Yahya was recognized as an autonomous leader of the Zaydi northern highlands. The Ottomans continued to rule Shafi'i areas in the mid-south until their departure in 1918.

Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen

Imam Yahya Hamid Ed-Din's house near Sana'a

Imam Yahya hamid ed-Din al-Mutawakkil was ruling the northern highlands independently from 1911. After the Ottoman departure in 1918, he sought to recapture the lands of his Qasimid ancestors. He dreamed of Greater Yemen stretching from Asir to Dhofar. These schemes brought him into conflict with the de facto rulers in the territories claimed, namely the Idrisids, Ibn Saud, and the British government in Aden. The Zaydi imam did not recognize the Anglo-Ottoman border agreement of 1905 on the grounds that it was made between two foreign powers occupying Yemen. The border treaty effectively divided Yemen into north and south. In 1915, the British signed a treaty with the Idrisids guaranteeing their security and independence if they would fight against the Turks. In 1919, Imam Yahya hamid ed-Din moved southward to "liberate" the nine British protectorates. The British responded by moving quickly towards Tihama and occupying al-Hudaydah. Then they handed it over to their Idrisi allies. Imam Yahya attacked the southern protectorates again in 1922. The British bombed Yahya's tribal forces using aircraft to which the tribes had no effective counter.

In 1925, Imam Yahya captured al-Hudaydah from the Idrisids. He continued to follow and attack the Idrisids until Asir fell under the control of the imam's forces, forcing the Idrisi to request an agreement that would enable them to administer the region in the name of the imam. Imam Yahya refused the offer on the grounds that the Idrisis were of Moroccan descent. According to Imam Yahya, the Idrisis, along with the British, were nothing but recent intruders and should be driven out of Yemen permanently. In 1927, Imam Yahya's forces were about 50 km (30 mi) away from Aden, Taiz, and Ibb, and were bombed by the British for five days; the imam had to pull back. Small Bedouin forces, mainly from the Madh'hij confederation of Marib, attacked Shabwah but were bombed by the British and had to retreat.

The Italian Empire was the first to recognize Imam Yahya as the King of Yemen in 1926. This created a great deal of anxiety for the British, who interpreted it as recognition of Imam Yahya's claim to sovereignty over Greater Yemen, which included the Aden protectorate and Asir. The Idrisis turned to Ibn Saud seeking his protection from Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din. However, in 1932, the Idrisis broke their accord with Ibn Saud and went back to Imam Yahya seeking help against Ibn Saud himself, who had begun liquidating their authority and expressed his desire to annex those territories into his own Saudi domain. Imam Yahya demanded the return of all Idrisi dominion. That same year, a group of Hejazi liberals fled to Yemen and plotted to expel Ibn Saud from the former Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz, which had been conquered by the Saudis seven years earlier. Ibn Saud appealed to Britain for aid. The British government sent arms and aeroplanes . The British were anxious that Ibn Saud's financial difficulties may encourage the Italian Empire to bail him out. Ibn Saud suppressed the Asiri rebellion in 1933, after which the Idrisids fled to Sana'a. Negotiations between the Imam Yahya Hamid ed-Din and Ibn Saud proved fruitless. After the 1934 Saudi-Yemeni war, Ibn Saud announced a ceasefire in May 1934. Imam Yahya agreed to release Saudi hostages and the surrender of the Idrisis to Saudi custody. Imam Yahya ceded the three provinces of Najran, Asir, and Jazan for 20 years. and signed another treaty with the British government in 1934. The imam recognized the British sovereignty over Aden protectorate for 40 years. Out of fear for Hudaydah, Yahya did submit to these demands. According to Bernard Reich, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, Yahya could have done better by reorganizing the Zaydi tribes of the northern highlands as his ancestors did against the Turks and British intruders and turn the lands they captured into another graveyard.

Colonial Aden

Queen Elizabeth II holding a sword, prepared to knight subjects in Aden in 1954

Starting in 1890, hundreds of Yemeni people from Hajz, Al-Baetha, and Taiz migrated to Aden to work at ports, and as labourers. This helped the population of Aden once again become predominantly Arab after, having been declared a free zone, it had become mostly foreigners. During World War II, Aden had increasing economic growth and became the second-busiest port in the world after New York City. After the rise of labour unions, a rift was apparent between the sectors of workers and the first signs of resistance to the occupation started in 1943. Muhammad Ali Luqman founded the first Arabic club and school in Aden, and was the first to start working towards a union.

The Colony of Aden was divided into an eastern colony and a western colony. Those were further divided into 23 sultanates and emirates, and several independent tribes that had no relationships with the sultanates. The deal between the sultanates and Britain detailed protection and complete control of foreign relations by the British. The Sultanate of Lahej was the only one in which the sultan was referred to as His Highness. The Federation of South Arabia was created by the British to counter Arab nationalism by giving more freedom to the rulers of the nations.

The North Yemen Civil War inspired many in the south to rise against the British rule. The National Liberation Front (NLF) of Yemen was formed with the leadership of Qahtan Muhammad Al-Shaabi. The NLF hoped to destroy all the sultanates and eventually unite with the Yemen Arab Republic. Most of the support for the NLF came from Radfan and Yafa, so the British launched Operation Nutcracker, which completely burned Radfan in January 1964.

Two states

Main articles: Yemen Arab Republic and South Yemen
Egyptian military intervention in North Yemen, 1962

Arab nationalism made an impact in some circles who opposed the lack of modernization efforts in the Mutawakkilite monarchy. This became apparent when Imam Ahmad bin Yahya died in 1962. He was succeeded by his son, but army officers attempted to seize power, sparking the North Yemen Civil War. The Hamidaddin royalists were supported by Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Jordan (mostly with weapons and financial aid, but also with small military forces), whilst the military rebels were backed by Egypt. Egypt provided the rebels with weapons and financial assistance, but also sent a large military force to participate in the fighting. Israel covertly supplied weapons to the royalists to keep the Egyptian military busy in Yemen and make Nasser less likely to initiate a conflict in the Sinai. After six years of civil war, the military rebels were victorious (February 1968) and formed the Yemen Arab Republic.

British Army's counter-insurgency campaign in the British-controlled territories of South Arabia, 1967

The revolution in the north coincided with the Aden Emergency, which hastened the end of British rule in the south. On 30 November 1967, the state of South Yemen was formed, comprising Aden and the former Protectorate of South Arabia. This socialist state was later officially known as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and a programme of nationalisation was begun.

Relations between the two Yemeni states fluctuated between peaceful and hostile. The South was supported by the Eastern bloc. The North, however, was not able to get the same connections. In 1972, the two states fought a war. The war was resolved with a ceasefire and negotiations brokered by the Arab League, where it was declared that unification would eventually occur. In 1978, Ali Abdullah Saleh was named as president of the Yemen Arab Republic. After the war, the North complained about the South's help from foreign countries. This included Saudi Arabia.

In 1979, fresh fighting between the two states resumed and efforts were renewed to bring about unification.

Thousands were killed in 1986 in the South Yemen Civil War. President Ali Nasser Muhammad fled to the north and was later sentenced to death for treason. A new government formed.

Unification and civil war

Main article: Yemeni unification
Yemen Arab Republic (in orange) and South Yemen (in blue) before 1990

In 1990, the two governments reached a full agreement on the joint governing of Yemen, and the countries were merged on 22 May 1990, with Saleh as president. The President of South Yemen, Ali Salim al-Beidh, became vice president. A unified parliament was formed and a unity constitution was agreed upon. In the 1993 parliamentary election, the first held after unification, the General People's Congress won 122 of 301 seats.: 309

After the invasion of Kuwait crisis in 1990, Yemen's president opposed military intervention from non-Arab states. As a member of the United Nations Security Council for 1990 and 1991, Yemen abstained on a number of UNSC resolutions concerning Iraq and Kuwait and voted against the "...use of force resolution." The vote outraged the U.S. Saudi Arabia expelled 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 to punish Yemen for its opposition to the intervention.

In the absence of strong state institutions, elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional, religious, and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced. The informal political settlement was held together by a power-sharing deal among three men: President Saleh, who controlled the state; major general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who controlled the largest share of the Republic of Yemen Armed Forces; and Abdullah ibn Husayn al-Ahmar, figurehead of the Islamist al-Islah party and Saudi Arabia's chosen broker of transnational patronage payments to various political players, including tribal sheikhs. The Saudi payments have been intended to facilitate the tribes' autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen's political decision-making.

Following food riots in major towns in 1992, a new coalition government made up of the ruling parties from both the former Yemeni states was formed in 1993. However, Vice President al-Beidh withdrew to Aden in August 1993 and said he would not return to the government until his grievances were addressed. These included northern violence against his Yemeni Socialist Party, as well as the economic marginalization of the south. Negotiations to end the political deadlock dragged on into 1994. The government of Prime Minister Haydar Abu Bakr Al-Attas became ineffective due to political infighting

An accord between northern and southern leaders was signed in Amman, Jordan on 20 February 1994, but this could not stop the civil war.[citation needed] During these tensions, both the northern and southern armies (which had never integrated) gathered on their respective frontiers. The May – July 1994 civil war in Yemen resulted in the defeat of the southern armed forces and the flight into exile of many Yemeni Socialist Party leaders and other southern secessionists.[citation needed] Saudi Arabia actively aided the south during the 1994 civil war.

Contemporary Yemen

Prayers during Ramadan in Sana'a
"Sana'a risks becoming the first capital in the world to run out of a viable water supply as Yemen's streams and natural aquifers run dry," says The Guardian.

Ali Abdullah Saleh became Yemen's first directly elected president in the 1999 presidential election, winning 96.2 per cent of the vote.: 310 The only other candidate, Najeeb Qahtan Al-Sha'abi, was the son of Qahtan Muhammad al-Sha'abi, a former president of South Yemen. Though a member of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party, Najeeb ran as an independent.

In October 2000, 17 U.S. personnel died after a suicide attack on the U.S. naval vessel USS Cole in Aden, which was subsequently blamed on al-Qaeda. After the September 11 attacks on the United States, President Saleh assured U.S. President George W. Bush that Yemen was a partner in his War on Terror. In 2001, violence surrounded a referendum, which apparently supported extending Saleh's rule and powers.

The Shia insurgency in Yemen began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Zaidi Shia sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government alleged that the Houthis were seeking to overthrow it and to implement Shī'ite religious law. The rebels counter that they are "defending their community against discrimination" and government aggression.

In 2005, at least 36 people were killed in clashes across the country between police and protesters over rising fuel prices.

In the 2006 presidential election, held on 20 September, Saleh won with 77.2% of the vote. His main rival, Faisal bin Shamlan, received 21.8%. Saleh was sworn in for another term on 27 September.

A suicide bomber killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in the province of Marib in July 2007. A series of bomb attacks occurred on police, official, diplomatic, foreign business, and tourism targets in 2008. Car bombings outside the U.S. embassy in Sana'a killed 18 people, including six of the assailants in September 2008. In 2008, an opposition rally in Sana'a demanding electoral reform was met with police gunfire.[citation needed]

Social hierarchy

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There is a system of social stratification in Yemen that was officially abolished at the creation of the Republic of Yemen in 1962 but, in practice, this system has not disappeared and Yemeni society is still organized around hierarchical ranks. The difference between ranks is manifested by descent and occupation and is consolidated by marriages between people of the same ranks.

There are five status groups. At the top of hierarchy, there are the religious elites, also called sada. These are then followed by the strata of judges (quad). The third hierarchical status is the qaba’il, who are the peasants who belong to tribes and who live mainly from agriculture and trading. The fourth group is called the mazayanah. This group is composed of people who had no land and provide different kinds of services such as butchers and craftsmen. Finally, at the bottom of the hierarchy are the slaves (a’bid) and even further below them Al-Akhdam, which means servants.

Al-Qaeda

In January 2009, the Saudi Arabian and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches merged to form Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen, and many of its members were Saudi nationals who had been released from Guantanamo Bay. Saleh released 176 al-Qaeda suspects on condition of good behaviour, but terrorist activities continued.

The Yemeni army launched a fresh offensive against the Shia insurgents in 2009, assisted by Saudi forces. Tens of thousands of people were displaced by the fighting. A new ceasefire was agreed upon in February 2010. However, by the end of the year, Yemen claimed that 3,000 soldiers had been killed in renewed fighting. The Shia rebels accused Saudi Arabia of providing support to salafi groups to suppress Zaidism in Yemen.

On orders from U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. warplanes fired cruise missiles at what officials in Washington claimed were Al Qaeda training camps in the provinces of Sana'a and Abyan on 17 December 2009. Instead of hitting Al-Qaeda operatives, it hit a village, killing 55 civilians. 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 24 December.

The U.S. launched a series of drone attacks in Yemen to curb a perceived growing terror threat due to political chaos in Yemen. Since December 2009, U.S. strikes in Yemen have been carried out by the U.S. military with intelligence support from the CIA. The drone strikes are protested by human-rights groups who say they kill innocent civilians, and that the U.S. military and CIA drone strikes lack sufficient congressional oversight, including the choice of human targets suspected of being threats to America. Controversy over U.S. policy for drone attacks mushroomed after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both U.S. citizens. Another drone strike in October 2011 killed Anwar's teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

In 2010, the Obama administration policy allowed targeting of people whose names are not known. The U.S. government increased military aid to $140 million in 2010. U.S. drone strikes continued after the ousting of President Saleh.

As of 2015[update], Shi'a Houthis are fighting against the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. supports the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis, but many in US SOCOM reportedly favor Houthis, as they have been an effective force to roll back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen. The Guardian reported that "The only groups poised to benefit from the war dragging on are the jihadis of Islamic State (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the latter's most powerful franchise, who are likely to gain influence amid the chaos. ISIL has claimed recent, bloody suicide bombings in Houthi mosques and Sana'a when it once had no known presence in the country, while AQAP has continued to seize territory in eastern Yemen unhindered by American drone strikes." In February 2016 Al-Qaeda forces and Saudi-led coalition forces were both seen fighting Houthi rebels in the same battle.

Revolution and aftermath

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Tens of thousands of protesters marching to Sana'a University, joined for the first time by opposition parties, during the 2011–2012 Yemeni revolution
Saudi-led air strike on Sana'a, 12 June 2015: Saudi Arabia is operating without a UN mandate

The 2011 Yemeni revolution followed other Arab Spring mass protests 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 so that Saleh's son could inherit the presidency.

In March 2011, police snipers opened fire on a pro-democracy camp in Sana'a, killing more than 50 people. In May, dozens were killed in clashes between troops and tribal fighters in Sana'a. By this point, Saleh began to lose international support. In October 2011, Yemeni human rights activist Tawakul Karman won the Nobel Peace Prize, and the UN Security Council condemned the violence and called for a transfer of power. On 23 November 2011, Saleh flew to Riyadh, in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, to sign the Gulf Co-operation Council plan for political transition, which he had previously spurned. Upon signing the document, he agreed to legally transfer the office and powers of the presidency to his deputy, Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Hadi took office for a two-year term upon winning the uncontested presidential elections in February 2012. A unity government – including a prime minister from the opposition – was formed. Al-Hadi would oversee the drafting of a new constitution, followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014. Saleh returned in February 2012. In the face of objections from thousands of street protesters, parliament granted him full immunity from prosecution. Saleh's son, General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, continues to exercise a strong hold on sections of the military and security forces.

AQAP claimed responsibility for a February 2012 suicide attack on the presidential palace that killed 26 Republican Guards on the day that President Hadi was sworn in. AQAP was also behind a suicide bombing that killed 96 soldiers in Sana'a three months later. In September 2012, a car bomb attack in Sana'a killed 11 people, a day after a local al-Qaeda leader Said al-Shihri was reported killed in the south.

By 2012, there has been a "small contingent of U.S. special-operations troops" – in addition to CIA and "unofficially acknowledged" U.S. military presence – in response to increasing terror attacks by AQAP on Yemeni citizens. Many analysts have pointed out the former Yemeni government role in cultivating terrorist activity in the country. Following the election of the new president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the Yemeni military was able to push Ansar al-Sharia back and recapture the Shabwah Governorate.

Controlled by Houthis and Saleh loyalists
Controlled by Saudi-backed Hadi loyalists
Controlled by the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council

The central government in Sana'a remained weak, staving off challenges from southern separatists and Shia rebels as well as AQAP. The Shia insurgency intensified after Hadi took power, escalating in September 2014 as anti-government forces led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi swept into the capital and forced Hadi to agree to a "unity" government. The Houthis then refused to participate in the government, although they continued to apply pressure on Hadi and his ministers, even shelling the president's private residence and placing him under house arrest, until the government's mass resignation in January 2015. The following month, the Houthis dissolved parliament and declared that a Revolutionary Committee under Mohammed Ali al-Houthi was the interim authority in Yemen. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, a cousin of the new acting president, called the takeover a "glorious revolution." However, the "constitutional declaration" of 6 February 2015 was widely rejected by opposition politicians and foreign governments, including the United Nations.

Hadi managed to flee from Sana'a to Aden, his hometown and stronghold in the south, on 21 February 2015. He promptly gave a televised speech rescinding his resignation, condemning the coup, and calling for recognition as the constitutional president of Yemen. The following month, Hadi declared Aden Yemen's "temporary" capital. The Houthis, however, rebuffed an initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council and continued to move south toward Aden. All U.S. personnel were evacuated and President Hadi was forced to flee the country to Saudi Arabia. On 26 March 2015, Saudi Arabia announced Operation Decisive Storm and began airstrikes and announced its intentions to lead a military coalition against the Houthis, whom they claimed were being aided by Iran, and began a force buildup along the Yemeni border. The coalition included the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, and Pakistan. The United States announced that it was assisting with intelligence, targeting, and logistics. Saudi Arabia and Egypt would not rule out ground operations. After Hadi troops took control of Aden from Houthis, jihadist groups became active in the city, and some terrorist incidents were linked to them such as Missionaries of Charity attack in Aden on 4 March 2016. Since February 2018, Aden has been seized by the UAE-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council.

Yemen has been suffering from a famine in since 2016 as a result of the Civil War. More than 50,000 children in Yemen died from starvation in 2017. The famine is being compounded by an outbreak of cholera that has affected more than one million people. The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen and blockade of Yemen have contributed to the famine and cholera epidemic.

Main article: Geography of Yemen
A topographic map of Yemen

Yemen is in Western Asia, in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south, and Oman to the east. between latitudes 12 and 19°N and longitudes 42 and 55°E. Yemen is at 15°N48°E /15°N 48°E /15; 48, and is 527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi) in size.

A number of Red Sea islands, including the Hanish Islands, Kamaran, and Perim, as well as Socotra in the Arabian Sea, belong to Yemen; the largest of these is Socotra. Many of the islands are volcanic; for example Jabal al-Tair had a volcanic eruption in 2007, and before that in 1883. Although mainland Yemen is in the southern Arabian Peninsula and thus part of Asia, and its Hanish Islands and Perim in the Red Sea are associated with Asia, the archipelago of Socotra, which lies east of the horn of Somalia and is much closer to Africa than to Asia, is geographically and biogeographically associated with Africa. Socotra faces the Guardafui Channel and the Somali Sea.

Regions and climate

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Yemen's Köppen climate classification map is based on native vegetation, temperature, precipitation and their seasonality.

Yemen 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 Tihāmah ("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 lagoons makes this region very marshy and a suitable breeding ground for malaria mosquitos. Extensive crescent-shaped sand dunes are present. The evaporation in the Tihamah is so great that streams from the highlands never reach the sea, but they do contribute to extensive groundwater reserves. Today, these are heavily exploited for agricultural use. Near the village of Madar about 50 km (30 mi) north of Sana'a, dinosaur footprints were found, indicating that the area was once a muddy flat. The Tihamah ends abruptly at the escarpment of the western highlands. This area, now heavily terraced 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 Taiz and over 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in Ibb. Temperatures are warm in the day but fall dramatically at night. Perennial streams occur in the highlands, but these never reach the sea because of high evaporation in the Tihamah.[citation needed]

The central highlands are an extensive high plateau over 2,000 m (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. Water storage allows for irrigation and the growing of wheat and barley. Sana'a is in this region. The highest point in Yemen and Arabia is Jabal An-Nabi Shu'ayb, at about 3,666 m (12,028 ft).

Yemen's portion of the Rub al Khali desert in the east is much lower, generally below 1,000 m (3,281 ft), and receives almost no rain. It is populated only by Bedouin herders of camels. The growing scarcity of water is a source of increasing international concern. See Water supply and sanitation in Yemen.[citation needed]

Biodiversity

Main article: Wildlife of Yemen
A South Arabian relief from the 5th century BC, in Walters Art Museum. On the left side of this relief, a lion attacks a gazelle, while a rabbit tries to jump away from the gazelle's forelegs. On the right, a leopard jumps down from rocks onto the back of an ibex; a small rodent flees the hoofs of the ibex. Birds in the branches of acacia trees observe the two scenes.

Yemen contains six terrestrial ecoregions: Arabian Peninsula coastal fog desert, Socotra Island xeric shrublands, Southwestern Arabian foothills savanna, Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands, Arabian Desert, and Red Sea Nubo-Sindian tropical desert and semi-desert.

The flora of Yemen is a mixture of the tropical African, Sudanian plant geographical region and the Saharo-Arabian region. The Sudanian element—characterized by relatively high rainfall—dominates the western mountains and parts of the highland plains. The Saharo-Arabian element dominates in the coastal plains, eastern mountain, and the eastern and northern desert plains. A high percentage of Yemen plants belong to tropical African plants of Sudanian regions. Among the Sudanian element species, the following may be mentioned: Ficus spp., Acacia mellifera, Grewia villosa, Commiphora spp., Rosa abyssinica, Cadaba farinosa and others. Among the Saharo-Arabian species, these may be mentioned: Panicum turgidum, Aerva javanica, Zygophyllum simplex, Fagonia indica, Salsola spp., Acacia tortilis, A. hamulos, A. ehrenbergiana, Phoenix dactylifera, Hyphaene thebaica, Capparis decidua, Salvadora persica, Balanites aegyptiaca, and many others. Many of the Saharo-Arabian species are endemic to the extensive sandy coastal plain (the Tihamah). The characteristic genera of the Irano-Turanian in the eastern and northern east of the country are: Calligonum spp., Cymbopogon jwarancusa, and Tamarix spp. and of the Mediterranean regions are: Teucrium, Lavandula, Juniperus, Brassica, and Diplotaxis spp.[citation needed]

Among the fauna, the Arabian leopard, which would inhabit the mountains, is considered rare here.

Environmental issues

This section is an excerpt from Environmental issues in Yemen.[edit]
Shibam Wadi Hadhramaut Yemen
Environmental issues in Yemen are abundant and are divided into the categories of land and water. In the aspect of water, Yemen has limited natural fresh water resources and inadequate supplies of potable water. As for the land, two main issues of Yemen are overgrazing and desertification. Yemen has signed several international agreements: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, and Ozone Layer Protection.
Main article: Politics of Yemen

Yemen is a republic with a bicameral legislature. Under the 1991 constitution, an elected president, an elected 301-seat Assembly of Representatives, and an appointed 111-member Shura Council share power. The President is the head of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government. In Sana'a, a Supreme Political Council (not recognized internationally) forms the government.

The 1991 constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by at least 15 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 is universal for people age 18 and older, but only Muslims may hold elected office.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh 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 was "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 maintained an absolute majority. Saleh remained almost uncontested in his seat of power until 2011, when local frustration at his refusal to hold another round of elections, as combined with the impact of the 2011 Arab Spring, resulted in mass protests. In 2012, he was forced to resign from power, though he remained an important actor in Yemeni politics, allying with the Houthis during their takeover in the mid-2010s.

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 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. The Prison Authority Organization Act, Republican decree no. 48 (1981), and Prison Act regulations, provide the legal framework for management of the country's prison system.

Foreign relations

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the Pentagon, 8 June 2004

The geography and ruling imams of North Yemen 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 and the south were usually tense.

The Soviet and Chinese Aid Missions established in 1958 and 1959 were the first important non-Muslim presences in North Yemen. Following the September 1962 revolution, the Yemen Arab Republic 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. Saudi Arabia remained hostile to any form of political and social reform in Yemen and continued to provide financial support for tribal elites.

In February 1989, North Yemen joined Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt in forming the Arab Cooperation Council (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 mainly for its republican government.

Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, 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 Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Yemen has acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Ousted Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 7 May 2015
Protest against Saudi blockade of Yemen, New York City, 2017

Since the end of the 1994 civil war, tangible progress has been made on the diplomatic front in restoring normal relations with Yemen's neighbors. 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. Until the signing of the Yemen-Saudi Arabia peace treaty in July 2000, Yemen's northern border was undefined; the Arabian Desert prevented any human habitation there. Yemen settled its dispute with Eritrea over the Hanish Islands in 1998. The Saudi – Yemen barrier was constructed by Saudi Arabia against an influx of illegal immigrants and against the smuggling of drugs and weapons. The Independent headed an article with "Saudi Arabia, one of the most vocal critics in the Arab world of Israel's "security fence" in the West Bank, is quietly emulating the Israeli example by erecting a barrier along its porous border with Yemen."

In March 2020, the Trump administration and key US’ allies, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut off tens of millions of dollars for health care programs and other aid to the United Nations' appeal for Yemen. As a result of funding cuts, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) stated that the UN agencies were forced to either close or reduce more than 75 per cent of its programs that year alone, affecting more than 8 million people. Saudi Arabia had been leading a Western-backed military coalition, including the United Arab Emirates as a key member, which intervened in Yemen in 2015, in a bid to restore the government ousted from power by the Houthi movement. The United Nations described the situation in Yemen, where the war killed tens of thousands of people and left millions on the brink of famine, as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Military

Main article: Military of Yemen
Soldiers of the Yemeni Army in 2011.

The armed forces of Yemen include the Yemen Army (includes Republican Guard), Navy (includes Marines), Yemeni Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Yamaniya; includes Air Defense 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. Total armed forces manning numbers about 401,000 active personnel, including moreover especially conscripts. The Yemen Arab Republic and The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen joined to form the Republic of Yemen on 22 May 1990.[citation needed] The supreme commander of the armed forces is the President of the Republic of Yemen.

The number of military personnel in Yemen is relatively high; in sum, Yemen has the second largest military force on the Arabian Peninsula after Saudi Arabia. In 2012, total active troops were estimated as follows: army, 390,000; navy, 7,000; and air force, 5,000. In September 2007, the government announced the reinstatement of compulsory military service. Yemen's defense budget, which in 2006 represented approximately 40 percent of the total government budget, is expected to remain high for the near term, as the military draft takes effect and internal security threats continue to escalate. By 2012, Yemen had 401,000 active personnel.

Human rights

Main article: Human rights in Yemen

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. Journalists critical of the government are often harassed and threatened by the police. Homosexuality is illegal, punishable by death.

Since the start of the Shia insurgency, 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 reported several violations of refugee 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, 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.

Yemen is ranked last of 135 countries in the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report. Human Rights Watch 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 (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 brought the child marriage issue to the fore not only in Yemen but also worldwide.

On 30 June 2020, a human rights group revealed the scale of torture and deaths in Yemen's unofficial detention centres. UAE and Saudi forces were responsible for some of the most shocking treatment of prisoners, including being hung upside down for hours and sexual torture such as the burning of genitals.

Human trafficking

The United States Department of State 2013 Trafficking in Persons report classified Yemen as a Tier 3 country, meaning that its government does not fully comply with the minimum standards against human trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.

Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962, but it is still being practiced.

On 22 June 2020, Human Rights Watch wrote an open letter to the UN Secretary-General on “Children and Armed Conflict” report to improve the protection of children in Yemen and in Myanmar. Amnesty said, United Nations Security Council must urgently fix its monitoring and reporting mechanism for children impacted by armed conflict.

The Human Rights Watch on 14 September 2020, demanded the interference caused by Houthi rebels and other authorities in Yemen aid operations to stop, as millions of lives dependent on the aid operations were being put at risk.

Administrative divisions

Main article: Governorates of Yemen
Map of the Federal Regions of Yemen
Governorates of Yemen

As of the end of 2004, Yemen was divided into twenty governorates (muhafazat – the latest being Raymah Governorate, which was created during 2004) plus one municipality called "Amanat Al-Asemah" (the latter containing the constitutional capital, Sana'a). An additional governorate (Soqatra Governorate) was created in December 2013 comprising Socotra Island (bottom-right corner of map), previously part of Hadramaut Governorate. The governorates are subdivided into 333 districts (muderiah), which are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages (as of 2001).

In 2014, a constitutional panel decided to divide the country into six regions—four in the north, two in the south, and capital Sana'a outside of any region—creating a federalist model of governance. This federal proposal was a contributing factor toward the Houthis' subsequent coup d'état against the government.

Main article: Economy of Yemen
A proportional representation of Yemen's exports

Yemen as of 2013[update] had a GDP (PPP) of US$61.63 billion, with an income per capita of $2,500. Services are the largest economic sector (61.4% of GDP), followed by the industrial sector (30.9%), and agriculture (7.7%). Of these, petroleum production represents around 25% of GDP and 63% of the government's revenue.

Agriculture

A coffee plantation in North Yemen

Principal agricultural commodities produced in the nation include grain, vegetables, fruits, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton, dairy products, fish, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), and poultry.

Most Yemenis are employed in agriculture. However, the role of agricultural sector is limited due to the relatively low share of the sector in GDP and the large share of net food-buying households in Yemen (97%). Sorghum is the most common crop. Cotton and many fruit trees are also grown, with mangoes being the most valuable. A big problem in Yemen is the cultivation of Khat (or qat), a psychoactive plant that releases a stimulant when chewed, and accounts for up to 40 percent of the water drawn from the Sana'a Basin each year, and that figure is rising. Some agricultural practices are drying the Sana'a Basin and displaced vital crops, which has resulted in increasing food prices. Rising food prices, in turn, pushed an additional six percent of the country into poverty in 2008 alone. Efforts are being made by the government and Dawoodi Bohra community at North Yemen to replace qat with coffee plantations.

Industry

Yemen's industrial sector is centred on crude oil production and petroleum refining, food processing, handicrafts, small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods, aluminum products, commercial ship repair, cement, and natural gas production. In 2013, Yemen had an industrial production growth rate of 4.8%. It also has large proven reserves of natural gas. Yemen's first liquified natural gas plant began production in October 2009.

Labour force

The labor force was seven million workers in 2013. Services, industry, construction and commerce together constitute less than 25% of the labor force.[citation needed]

Export and import

As of 2013[update], exports from Yemen totaled $6.694 billion. The main export commodities are crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish, liquefied natural gas. These products were mainly sent to China (41%), Thailand (19.2%), India (11.4%), and South Korea (4.4%). Imports as of 2013[update] total $10.97 billion. The main imported commodities are machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, livestock, and chemicals. These products were mainly imported from the EU (48.8%), UAE (9.8%), Switzerland (8.8%), China (7.4%), and India (5.8%).

State budget

Drilling for oil using a land rig

As of 2013[update], the Yemeni government's budget consisted of $7.769 billion in revenues and $12.31 billion in expenditures. Taxes and other revenues constituted roughly 17.7% of the GDP, with a budget deficit of 10.3%. The public debt was 47.1% of GDP. Yemen had reserves of foreign exchange and gold of around $5.538 billion in 2013. Its inflation rate over the same period based on consumer prices was 11.8%. Yemen's external debt totaled $7.806 billion.

International aid

Beginning in the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union and China provided large-scale assistance. For example, China and the United States are involved with the expansion of the Sana'a International Airport. In the south, pre-independence economic activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the port city of Aden. The seaborne transit trade, which the port relied upon, collapsed with the temporary closure of the Suez Canal and Britain's withdrawal from Aden in 1967.

Since the conclusion of the war, the government made an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (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 addresses 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. 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 during the period 1995–1999 and the correction of macro-financial imbalances. The real growth rate in the non-oil sector rose by 5.6% from 1995 to 1997.

Water supply and sanitation

A key challenge is severe water scarcity, especially in the Highlands, prompting The Times , in 2009, to write "Yemen could become first nation to run out of water." A second key challenge is a high level of poverty, making it difficult to recover the costs of service provision. Access to water supply sanitation is low. Yemen is both the poorest country and the most water-scarce country in the Arab world. Third, the capacity of sector institutions to plan, build, operate and maintain infrastructure remains limited. Last but not least the security situation makes it even more difficult to improve or even maintain existing levels of service.

The average Yemeni has access to only 140 cubic meters of water per year (101 gallons per day) for all uses, while the Middle Eastern average is 1000 m3/yr, and the internationally defined threshold for water stress is 1700 cubic meters per year. Yemen's groundwater is the main source of water in the country but the water tables have dropped severely leaving Yemen without a viable source of water. For example, in Sana'a, the water table was 30 metres (98 feet) below surface in the 1970s but had dropped to 1,200 metres (3,900 feet) below surface by 2012. The groundwater has not been regulated by Yemen's governments.

Even before the revolution, Yemen's water situation had been described as increasingly dire by experts who worried that Yemen would be the first country to run out of water. Agriculture in Yemen takes up about 90% of water in Yemen even though it only generates 6% of GDP. A large portion of Yemenis are dependent on small-scale subsistence agriculture. Half of the agricultural water in Yemen is used to grow khat, a drug that many Yemenis chew.

Due to the 2015 Yemeni civil war, the situation is increasingly dire. 80% of Yemen's population struggles to access water to drink and bathe. Bombing has forced many Yemenis to leave their homes for other areas, and so wells in those areas are under increasing pressure.

Main article: Demographics of Yemen

Yemen's population is 28 million by 2018 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 a high total fertility rate, at 4.45 children per woman. It is the 30th highest in the world. Sana'a's population has increased rapidly, from roughly 55,000 in 1978 to nearly 2 million in the early 21st century.

Ethnic groups

Yemen's tribal areas and Shia/Sunni regions. Shia Muslims predominant in the green area of Yemen's West, with the rest of Yemen being Sunni Muslims

Yemeni ethnic groups are predominantly Arabs, followed by Afro-Arabs, South Asians and Europeans. When the former states of North and South Yemen were established, most resident minority groups departed. Yemen is a largely tribal society. In the northern, mountainous parts of the country, there are 400 Zaidi tribes. There are also hereditary caste groups in urban areas such as Al-Akhdam. There are also Yemenis of Persian origin. According to Muqaddasi, Persians formed the majority of Aden's population in the 10th century.

Yemenite Jews once formed a sizable minority in Yemen with a distinct culture from other Jewish communities in the world. Most emigrated to Israel in the mid-20th century, following the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries and Operation Magic Carpet. An estimated 100,000 people of Indian origin are concentrated in the southern part of the country, around Aden, Mukalla, Shihr, Lahaj, Mokha and Hodeidah.

Most of the prominent Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans of Arab descent are Hadhrami people with origins in southern Yemen in the Hadramawt coastal region. Today there are almost 10,000 Hadramis in Singapore. The Hadramis migrated to Southeast Asia, East Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

The Maqil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes of Yemeni origin who migrated westwards via Egypt. Several groups of Yemeni Arabs turned south to Mauritania, and by the end of the 17th century, they dominated the entire country. They can also be found throughout Morocco and in Algeria as well as in other North African countries.

Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula that is signatory to two international accords dating back to 1951 and 1967 governing the protection of refugees. 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 (110,600), Iraq (11,000), Ethiopia (2,000), and Syria. Additionally, more than 334,000 Yemenis have been internally displaced by conflict.

The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where between 800,000 and 1 million Yemenis reside, and the United Kingdom, home to between 70,000 and 80,000 Yemenis.

Languages

Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of Yemen, while Yemeni Arabic is used as the vernacular. In al Mahrah Governorate in the far east and the island of Socotra, several non-Arabic languages are spoken. Yemeni Sign Language is used by the deaf community.

Yemen is part of the homeland of the South Semitic languages. Mehri is the largest South Semitic language spoken in the nation, with more than 70,000 speakers. The ethnic group itself is called Mahra. Soqotri is another South Semitic language, with speakers on the island of Socotra isolated from the pressures of Arabic on the Yemeni mainland. According to the 1990 census in Yemen, the number of speakers there was 57,000.

Yemen was also home of the Old South Arabian languages. The Razihi language appears to be the only remaining Old South Arabian language.

English is the most important foreign language, being widely taught and spoken mostly in the south, a former British colony. There are a significant number of Russian speakers, originating from Yemeni-Russian cross-marriages occurring mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. A small Cham-speaking community is found in the capital city of Sana'a, originating from refugees expatriated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Urban areas

Religion

Main article: Religion in Yemen
Religion in Yemen
Sunni Islam
56.36%
Zaidiyyah (Shia Islam)
42.1%
Ismāʿīlism (Shia Islam)
1.51%
Other religion
0.01%

Islam is the state religion of Yemen. Religion in Yemen consists primarily of two principal Islamic religious groups: About 35% of the Muslim population is Shia and 65% is Sunni, according to the International Religious Freedom Report. Sunnis are primarily Shafi'i but also include significant groups of Malikis and Hanbalis. Shias are primarily Zaydi and also have significant minorities of Ismaili and Twelver Shias.

The Sunnis are predominantly in the south and southeast. The Zaidis/shias are predominantly in the north and northwest whilst the Ismailis are in the main centres such as Sana'a and Ma'rib. There are mixed communities in the larger cities. About .05 percent of Yemenis are non-Muslim – adhering to Christianity, Judaism, or Hinduism or having no religious affiliation.

Estimates of the number of Christians in Yemen range from 25,000 to 41,000. A 2015 study estimates 400 Christians from a Muslim background in the country.

There are approximately 50 Jews left in Yemen. Some 200 Yemenite Jews were brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency circa 2016.

According to WIN/Gallup International polls, Yemen has the most religious population among Arab countries and it is one of the most religious populations world-wide.

Main article: Culture of Yemen
The National Museum in Sana'a
Typical Yemeni House
Dance in Sa'dah, northwestern Yemen

Yemen is a culturally rich country with influence from many civilizations, such as the early civilization of Saba'.

Media

Main article: Media of Yemen

Radio broadcasting in Yemen began in the 1940s when it was still divided into the South by the British and the North by the Imami ruling system. After the unification of Yemen in 1990, the Yemeni government reformed its corporations and founded some additional radio stations that broadcast locally. However, it drew back after 1994, due to destroyed infrastructure resulting from the civil war.

Television is the most significant media platform in Yemen. Given the low literacy rate in the country, television is the main source of news for Yemenis. There are six free-to-air channels currently headquartered in Yemen, of which four are state-owned.

The Yemeni film industry is in its early stages; only two Yemeni films have been released as of 2008[update].

Theatre

Main article: Theatre in Yemen

The history of Yemeni theatre dates back at least a century, to the early 1900s. Both amateur and professional (government-sponsored) theatre troupes perform in the country's major urban centres. Many of Yemen's significant poets and authors, like Ali Ahmed Ba Kathir, Muhammad al-Sharafi, and Wajdi al-Ahdal, have written dramatic works; poems, novels, and short stories by Yemeni authors like Mohammad Abdul-Wali and Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh have also been adapted for the stage. There have been Yemeni productions of plays by Arab authors such as Tawfiq al-Hakim and Saadallah Wannous and by Western authors, including Shakespeare, Pirandello, Brecht, and Tennessee Williams. Historically speaking, the southern port city of Aden is the cradle of Yemeni theatre; in recent decades the capital, Sana'a, has hosted numerous theatre festivals, often in conjunction with World Theatre Day.

Sport

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Football is the most popular sport in Yemen. The Yemen Football Association is a member of FIFA and AFC. The Yemeni national football team participates internationally. The country also hosts many football clubs. They compete in the national and international leagues.

Yemen's mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor sports, such as biking, rock climbing, trekking, hiking, and other more challenging sports, including mountain climbing. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Sarawat Mountains, including peaks of 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and above, particularly that of An-Nabi Shu'ayb, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies.

The coastal areas of Yemen and Socotra Island also provide many opportunities for water sports, such as surfing, bodyboarding, sailing, swimming, and scuba diving. Socotra Island is home to some of the best surfing destinations in the world.

Camel jumping is a traditional sport that is becoming increasingly popular among the Zaraniq tribe on the west coast of Yemen in a desert plain by the Red Sea. Camels are placed side to side and victory goes to the competitor who leaps, from a running start, over the most camels. The jumpers train year round for competitions. Tribesmen (women may not compete) tuck their robes around their waists for freedom of movement while running and leaping.

Yemen's biggest sports event was hosting the 20th Arabian Gulf Cup in Aden and Abyan in the southern part of the country on 22 November 2010. Many thought Yemen was the strongest competitor, but it was defeated in the first three matches of the tournament.

Internationally, Naseem Hamed, a world champion boxer, is the most well known Yemeni athlete.

World Heritage sites

Main article: Tourism in Yemen
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High-rise architecture at Shibam, Wadi Hadramawt

Among Yemen's natural and cultural attractions are four World Heritage sites. The Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut, inscribed by UNESCO 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 Old City of Sana'a, at an altitude of more than 2,100 metres (7,000 ft), 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 bathhouses), 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, 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 centre 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-Jazari.

The latest addition to Yemen's list of World Heritage Sites is the Socotra Archipelago. Mentioned by Marco Polo 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 Aloes and the Dragon's Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari). The cultural heritage of Socotra includes the unique Soqotri language.

Main article: Education in Yemen
Literacy rate of the population aged 15 or older (1995–2015) by UNESCO Institute of Statistics

The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 64%. The government has committed to reduce 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 5% of GDP in 1995 to 10% in 2005.

According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are the Yemeni University of Science & Technology (6532nd worldwide), Al Ahgaff University (8930th) and Sanaa University (11043rd). Yemen was ranked 131st in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, down from 129th in 2019.

Main article: Health in Yemen
A Yemeni doctor examines an infant in a USAID-sponsored health care clinic

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 2002 constituted 3.7 percent of gross domestic product.

In that same year, the per capita expenditure for health care was very low, as compared with other Middle Eastern countries—US$58 according to United Nations statistics and US$23 according to the World Health Organization. According to the World Bank, the number of doctors in Yemen rose by an average of more than 7 percent between 1995 and 2000, but as of 2004 there were still only three doctors per 10,000 persons. In 2003 Yemen had only 0.6 hospital beds available per 1,000 persons.

Health care services are particularly scarce in rural areas. Only 25 percent of rural areas are covered by health services, as compared with 80 percent of urban areas. Emergency services, such as ambulance service and blood banks, are non-existent.

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      Yemen
    Yemen Language Watch Edit This article is about the country in Western Asia For other uses see Yemen disambiguation Yemeni redirects here For the village in Turkey see Yemeni Abana For other uses see List of Yemen related topics Yemen ˈ j ɛ m en listen Arabic ٱل ي م ن romanized al Yaman officially the Republic of Yemen Arabic ٱل ج م ه ور ي ة ٱل ي م ن ي ة romanized al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah lit Yemeni Republic Ancient South Arabian script 𐩺𐩣𐩬 is a country in Western Asia on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula It borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast and shares maritime borders with Eritrea Djibouti and Somalia It is the second largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula occupying 555 000 square kilometres 214 000 square miles The coastline stretches for about 2 000 kilometres 1 200 miles 10 Yemen s constitutionally stated capital and largest city is the city of Sanaa but the city has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015 as well as Aden which is also controlled by the Southern Transitional Council since 2018 Its executive administration resides in Riyadh Saudi Arabia Republic of Yemenٱل ج م ه ور ي ة ٱل ي م ن ي ة Arabic al Jumhuriyah al YamaniyahFlag EmblemMotto ٱلل ه ٱل و ط ن ٱلث و ر ة ٱل و ح د ة Arabic Allah al Waṭan ath Thawrah al Waḥdah God Country Revolution Unity Anthem United Republic Arabic الجمهورية المتحدة romanized al Jumhuriyah al Muttaḥidah source source track CapitalSana a De jure Aden Temporary capital in exile 1 2 Coordinates 15 20 54 N 44 12 23 E 15 34833 N 44 20639 E 15 34833 44 20639Capital in exileRiyadh presidential administration Largest citySana aOfficial languagesArabic 3 Ethnic groups92 8 Arab3 7 Somalis1 1 Afro Arab2 4 OtherReligion99 Islam 1 includes Christians Hinduism and othersDemonym s Yemeni YemeniteGovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic de jure Unitary provisional government de facto PresidentAbdrabbuh Mansur Hadi non resident Vice PresidentAli Mohsen al Ahmar Prime MinisterMaeen Abdulmalik Saeed President of the Supreme Political CouncilMahdi al Mashat Prime Minister of the Supreme Political CouncilAbdel Aziz bin Habtour President of the Southern Transitional CouncilAidarus al ZoubaidiLegislatureParliament de jure Supreme Political Council de facto Upper houseShura Council Lower houseHouse of RepresentativesEstablishment Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen establisheda30 October 1918 Yemen Arab Republic established26 September 1962 South Yemen independenceb30 November 1967 Unification22 May 1990 Current constitution16 May 1991Area Total555 000 4 km2 214 000 sq mi 49th Water negligiblePopulation 2021 estimate30 491 000 48th 2004 census19 685 000 5 Density44 7 km2 115 8 sq mi 160th GDP PPP 2018 estimate Total 73 348 billion 6 118th Per capita 2 380 6 161st GDP nominal 2018 estimate Total 28 524 billion 6 103rd Per capita 925 6 177th Gini 2014 36 7 7 mediumHDI 2019 0 470 8 low 179thCurrencyYemeni rial YER Time zoneUTC 3 AST Driving sideright 9 Calling code 967ISO 3166 codeYEInternet TLD ye اليمن From the Ottoman Empire From the United Kingdom In ancient times Yemen was the home of the Sabaeans 11 12 13 a trading state that included parts of modern day Ethiopia and Eritrea Later in 275 CE the Himyarite Kingdom was influenced by Judaism 14 Chistianity arrived in the fourth century Islam spread quickly in the seventh century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the early Islamic conquests 15 Several dynasties emerged in the 9th to 16th centuries such as the Rasulid dynasty 16 The country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires in the 1800s The Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established after World War I before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic in 1962 South Yemen remained a British protectorate as the Aden Protectorate until 1967 when it became an independent state and later a Marxist Leninist state The two Yemeni states united to form the modern Republic of Yemen al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah in 1990 President Ali Abdullah Saleh was the first president of the new republic until his resignation in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring 17 18 Since 2011 Yemen has been in a state of political crisis starting with street protests against poverty unemployment corruption and president Saleh s plan to amend Yemen s constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit 19 President Saleh stepped down and the powers of the presidency were transferred to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi Since then the country has been in a civil war alongside the Saudi Arabian led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi s government with several proto state entities claiming to govern Yemen the Cabinet of Yemen Supreme Political Council and the Southern Transitional Council 20 21 22 23 24 At least 56 000 civilians and combatants have been killed in armed violence in Yemen since January 2016 25 The war has resulted in a famine affecting 17 million people 26 The lack of safe drinking water caused by depleted aquifers and the destruction of the country s water infrastructure has also caused the largest fastest spreading cholera outbreak in modern history with the number of suspected cases exceeding 994 751 27 28 Over 2 226 people have died since the outbreak began to spread rapidly at the end of April 2017 28 29 The ongoing humanitarian crisis and conflict has received widespread criticism for having a dramatic worsening effect on Yemen s humanitarian situation that some say has reached the level of a humanitarian disaster 30 and some have even labelled it as a genocide 31 32 33 It has worsened the country s already poor human rights situation Yemen is a member of the Arab League the United Nations the Non Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation It belongs to the least developed country group 34 referring to its numerous severe structural impediments to sustainable development 35 In 2019 the United Nations reported that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of humanitarian aid about 24 million people or 85 of its population 36 As of 2020 the country is placed the highest in the Fragile State Index 37 the second worst in Global Hunger Index surpassed only by the Central African Republic 37 and has the lowest Human Development Index out of all non African countries Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 2 1 Ancient history 2 2 Middle Ages 2 2 1 Advent of Islam and the three dynasties 2 2 2 Sulayhid Dynasty 1047 1138 2 2 3 Ayyubid conquest 1171 1260 2 2 4 Rasulid Dynasty 1229 1454 2 2 5 Tahiride Dynasty 1454 1517 2 3 Modern history 2 3 1 The Zaydis and Ottomans 2 3 2 Great Britain and the Nine Regions 2 3 3 Ottoman return 2 3 4 Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen 2 3 5 Colonial Aden 2 3 6 Two states 2 3 7 Unification and civil war 2 4 Contemporary Yemen 2 4 1 Social hierarchy 2 4 2 Al Qaeda 2 4 3 Revolution and aftermath 3 Geography 3 1 Regions and climate 3 2 Biodiversity 3 3 Environmental issues 4 Politics 4 1 Foreign relations 4 2 Military 4 3 Human rights 4 3 1 Human trafficking 4 4 Administrative divisions 5 Economy 5 1 Agriculture 5 2 Industry 5 3 Labour force 5 4 Export and import 5 5 State budget 5 6 International aid 5 7 Water supply and sanitation 6 Demographics 6 1 Ethnic groups 6 2 Languages 6 3 Urban areas 6 4 Religion 7 Culture 7 1 Media 7 2 Theatre 7 3 Sport 7 4 World Heritage sites 8 Education 9 Health 10 See also 11 References 12 External linksEtymology EditFurther information Arabia Felix South Arabia and Hamavaran The term Yamnat was mentioned in Old South Arabian inscriptions on the title of one of the kings of the second Himyarite kingdom known as Shammar Yahrʽish II The term probably referred to the southwestern coastline of the Arabian peninsula and the southern coastline between Aden and Hadramout 38 39 The historical Yemen included much greater territory than the current nation stretching from northern Asir in southwestern Saudi Arabia to Dhofar in southern Oman 40 41 One etymology derives Yemen from ymnt meaning South and significantly plays on the notion of the land to the right 𐩺𐩣𐩬 42 Other sources claim that Yemen is related to yamn or yumn meaning felicity or blessed as much of the country is fertile 43 44 The Romans called it Arabia Felix fertile Arabia as opposed to Arabia Deserta deserted Arabia Latin and Greek writers referred to ancient Yemen as India which arose from the Persians calling the Abyssinians whom they came into contact with in South Arabia by the name of the dark skinned people who lived next to them viz the Indians 45 46 History EditMain article History of Yemen Ancient history Edit Main articles Ancient history of Yemen Sabaeans Qataban Minaeans and Himyarite Kingdom Ruins of the Great Dam of Marib With its long sea border between eastern and western civilizations Yemen has long existed at a crossroads of cultures with a strategic location in terms of trade on the west of the Arabian Peninsula Large settlements for their era existed in the mountains of northern Yemen as early as 5000 BCE 47 The Sabaean Kingdom came into existence in at least the 11th century BCE 48 The four major kingdoms or tribal confederations in South Arabia were Saba Hadramout Qataban and Ma in Saba Arabic س ـب ـأ 49 50 is thought to be biblical Sheba and was the most prominent federation 51 The Sabaean rulers adopted the title Mukarrib generally thought to mean unifier 52 or a priest king 53 or the head of the confederation of South Arabian kingdoms the king of the kings 54 The role of the Mukarrib was to bring the various tribes under the kingdom and preside over them all 55 The Sabaeans built the Great Dam of Marib around 940 BCE 56 The dam was built to withstand the seasonal flash floods surging down the valley Between 700 and 680 BCE the Kingdom of Awsan dominated Aden and its surroundings and challenged the Sabaean supremacy in the Arabian South Sabaean Mukarrib Karib il Watar I conquered the entire realm of Awsan 57 and expanded Sabaean rule and territory to include much of South Arabia 58 Lack of water in the Arabian Peninsula prevented the Sabaeans from unifying the entire peninsula Instead they established various colonies to control trade routes 59 A funerary stela featuring a musical scene first century CE Evidence of Sabaean influence is found in northern Ethiopia where the South Arabian alphabet religion and pantheon and the South Arabian style of art and architecture were introduced 60 61 62 The Sabaean created a sense of identity through their religion They worshipped El Maqah and believed that they were his children 63 For centuries the Sabaeans controlled outbound trade across the Bab el Mandeb a strait separating the Arabian Peninsula from the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean 64 By the third century BCE Qataban Hadramout and Ma in became independent from Saba and established themselves in the Yemeni arena Minaean rule stretched as far as Dedan 65 with their capital at Baraqish The Sabaeans regained their control over Ma in after the collapse of Qataban in 50 BCE By the time of the Roman expedition to Arabia Felix in 25 BCE the Sabaeans were once again the dominating power in Southern Arabia 66 Aelius Gallus was ordered to lead a military campaign to establish Roman dominance over the Sabaeans 67 The Romans had a vague and contradictory geographical knowledge about Arabia Felix or Yemen The Roman army of 10 000 men was defeated before Marib 68 Strabo s close relationship with Aelius Gallus led him to attempt to justify his friend s defeat in his writings It took the Romans six months to reach Marib and 60 days to return to Egypt The Romans blamed their Nabataean guide and executed him for treachery 69 No direct mention in Sabaean inscriptions of the Roman expedition has yet been found After the Roman expedition perhaps earlier the country fell into chaos and two clans namely Hamdan and Himyar claimed kingship assuming the title King of Sheba and Dhu Raydan 70 Dhu Raydan i e Himyarites allied themselves with Aksum in Ethiopia against the Sabaeans 71 The chief of Bakil and king of Saba and Dhu Raydan El Sharih Yahdhib launched successful campaigns against the Himyarites and Habashat i e Aksum El Sharih took pride in his campaigns and added the title Yahdhib to his name which means suppressor he used to kill his enemies by cutting them to pieces 72 Sana a came into prominence during his reign as he built the Ghumdan Palace as his place of residence Himyarite King Dhamar ali Yahbur II A Sabaean gravestone of a woman holding a stylized sheaf of wheat a symbol of fertility in ancient Yemen The Himyarite annexed Sana a from Hamdan around 100 CE 73 Hashdi tribesmen rebelled against them and regained Sana a around 180 AD 74 Shammar Yahri sh had not conquered Hadramout Najran and Tihama until 275 CE thus unifying Yemen and consolidating Himyarite rule 75 76 The Himyarites rejected polytheism and adhered to a consensual form of monotheism called Rahmanism 77 In 354 CE Roman Emperor Constantius II sent an embassy headed by Theophilos the Indian to convert the Himyarites to Christianity 78 According to Philostorgius the mission was resisted by local Jews 79 Several inscriptions have been found in Hebrew and Sabaean praising the ruling house in Jewish terms for helping and empowering the People of Israel 80 According to Islamic traditions King As ad the Perfect mounted a military expedition to support the Jews of Yathrib 81 Abu Kariba As ad as known from the inscriptions led a military campaign to central Arabia or Najd to support the vassal Kingdom of Kindah against the Lakhmids 82 However no direct reference to Judaism or Yathrib was discovered from his lengthy reign Abu Kariba died in 445 CE having reigned for almost 50 years 83 By 515 AD Himyar became increasingly divided along religious lines and a bitter conflict between different factions paved the way for an Aksumite intervention The last Himyarite king Ma adikarib Ya fur was supported by Aksum against his Jewish rivals Ma adikarib was Christian and launched a campaign against the Lakhmids in southern Iraq with the support of other Arab allies of Byzantium 84 The Lakhmids were a Bulwark of Persia which was intolerant to a proselytizing religion like Christianity 85 After the death of Ma adikarib Ya fur around 521 CE a Himyarite Jewish warlord named Yousef Asar Yathar rose to power with the honorary title of Yathar meaning to avenge Yemenite Christians aided by Aksum and Byzantium systematically persecuted Jews and burned down several synagogues across the land Yousef avenged his people with great cruelty 86 He marched toward the port city of Mocha killing 14 000 and capturing 11 000 84 Then he settled a camp in Bab el Mandeb to prevent aid flowing from Aksum At the same time Yousef sent an army under the command of another Jewish warlord Sharahil Yaqbul to Najran Sharahil had reinforcements from the Bedouins of the Kindah and Madh hij tribes eventually wiping out the Christian community in Najran 87 Yousef or Dhu Nuwas the one with sidelocks as known in Arabic literature believed that Christians in Yemen were a fifth column 88 Christian sources portray Dhu Nuwas Yousef Asar as a Jewish zealot while Islamic traditions say that he threw 20 000 Christians into pits filled with flaming oil 86 79 Dhu Nuwas left two inscriptions neither of them making any reference to fiery pits Byzantium had to act or lose all credibility as a protector of eastern Christianity It is reported that Byzantium Emperor Justin I sent a letter to the Aksumite King Kaleb pressuring him to attack the abominable Hebrew 84 A tripartite military alliance of Byzantine Aksumite and Arab Christians successfully defeated Yousef around 525 527 CE and a client Christian king was installed on the Himyarite throne 89 Esimiphaios was a local Christian lord mentioned in an inscription celebrating the burning of an ancient Sabaean palace in Marib to build a church on its ruins 90 Three new churches were built in Najran alone 90 Many tribes did not recognize Esimiphaios s authority Esimiphaios was displaced in 531 by a warrior named Abraha who refused to leave Yemen and declared himself an independent king of Himyar 91 Emperor Justinian I sent an embassy to Yemen He wanted the officially Christian Himyarites to use their influence on the tribes in inner Arabia to launch military operations against Persia Justinian I bestowed the dignity of king upon the Arab sheikhs of Kindah and Ghassan in central and northern Arabia 91 From early on Roman and Byzantine policy was to develop close links with the powers of the coast of the Red Sea They were successful in converting clarification needed Aksum and influencing their culture The results concerning to Yemen were rather disappointing 91 A Kendite prince called Yazid bin Kabshat rebelled against Abraha and his Arab Christian allies A truce was reached once the Great Dam of Marib had suffered a breach 92 Abraha died around 570CE Sources regarding his death are available from the qur an and hadith The Sasanid Empire annexed Aden around 570 CE Under their rule most of Yemen enjoyed great autonomy except for Aden and Sana a This era marked the collapse of ancient South Arabian civilization since the greater part of the country was under several independent clans until the arrival of Islam in 630 CE 93 Middle Ages Edit See also Islamic history of Yemen Advent of Islam and the three dynasties Edit Main articles Yufirids Ziyadid Dynasty and Imams of Yemen The interior of the Great Mosque of Sana a the oldest mosque in Yemen Muhammad sent his cousin Ali to Sana a and its surroundings around 630 CE At the time Yemen was the most advanced region in Arabia 94 The Banu Hamdan confederation was among the first to accept Islam second only to the Somalis Afar and Habesha Muhammad sent Muadh ibn Jabal as well to Al Janad in present day Taiz and dispatched letters to various tribal leaders The reason behind this was the division among the tribes and the absence of a strong central authority in Yemen during the days of the prophet 95 Major tribes including Himyar sent delegations to Medina during the year of delegations around 630 631 CE Several Yemenis accepted Islam before the year 630 such as Ammar ibn Yasir Al Ala a Al Hadrami Miqdad ibn Aswad Abu Musa Ashaari and Sharhabeel ibn Hasana A man named Abhala ibn Ka ab Al Ansi expelled the remaining Persians and claimed he was a prophet of Rahman He was assassinated by a Yemeni of Persian origin called Fayruz al Daylami Christians who were mainly staying in Najran along with Jews agreed to pay jizyah Arabic ج ـز ي ـة although some Jews converted to Islam such as Wahb ibn Munabbih and Ka ab al Ahbar Yemen was stable during the Rashidun Caliphate Yemeni tribes played a pivotal role in the Islamic expansion of Egypt Iraq Persia the Levant Anatolia North Africa Sicily and Andalusia 96 97 98 Yemeni tribes who settled in Syria contributed significantly to the solidification of Umayyad rule especially during the reign of Marwan I Powerful Yemenite tribes such as Kindah were on his side during the Battle of Marj Rahit 99 100 Several emirates led by people of Yemeni descent were established in North Africa and Andalusia Effective control over entire Yemen was not achieved by the Umayyad Caliphate Imam Abdullah ibn Yahya Al Kindi was elected in 745 CE to lead the Ibaḍi movement in Hadramawt and Oman He expelled the Umayyad governor from Sana a and captured Mecca and Medina in 746 101 Al Kindi known by his nickname Talib al Haqq seeker of truth established the first Ibadi state in the history of Islam but was killed in Taif around 749 101 Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Ziyad founded the Ziyadid dynasty in Tihama around 818 CE The state stretched from Haly in present day Saudi Arabia to Aden They nominally recognized the Abbasid Caliphate but were ruling independently from their capital in Zabid 102 The history of this dynasty is obscure They never exercised control over the highlands and Hadramawt and did not control more than a coastal strip of Yemen Tihama bordering the Red Sea 103 A Himyarite clan called the Yufirids established their rule over the highlands from Saada to Taiz while Hadramawt was an Ibadi stronghold and rejected all allegiance to the Abbasids in Baghdad 102 By virtue of its location the Ziyadid dynasty of Zabid developed a special relationship with Abyssinia The chief of the Dahlak islands exported slaves as well as amber and leopard hides to the then ruler of Yemen 104 The first Zaidi imam Yahya ibn al Husayn arrived in Yemen in 893 CE He was the founder of the Zaidi imamate in 897 He was a religious cleric and judge who was invited to come to Saada from Medina to arbitrate tribal disputes 105 Imam Yahya persuaded local tribesmen to follow his teachings The sect slowly spread across the highlands as the tribes of Hashid and Bakil later known as the twin wings of the imamate accepted his authority 106 Yahya established his influence in Saada and Najran He also tried to capture Sana a from the Yufirids in 901 CE but failed miserably In 904 the Isma ilis under Ibn Hawshab and Ali ibn al Fadl al Jayshani invaded Sana a The Yufirid emir As ad ibn Ibrahim retreated to Al Jawf and between 904 and 913 Sana a was conquered no less than 20 times by Isma ilis and Yufirids 107 As ad ibn Ibrahim regained Sana a in 915 Yemen was in turmoil as Sana a became a battlefield for the three dynasties as well as independent tribes The Yufirid emir Abdullah ibn Qahtan attacked and burned Zabid in 989 severely weakening the Ziyadid dynasty 108 The Ziyadid monarchs lost effective power after 989 or even earlier than that Meanwhile a succession of slaves held power in Zabid and continued to govern in the name of their masters eventually establishing their own dynasty around 1022 or 1050 according to different sources 109 Although they were recognized by the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad they ruled no more than Zabid and four districts to its north 110 The rise of the Isma ili Sulayhid dynasty in the Yemeni highlands reduced their history to a series of intrigues Sulayhid Dynasty 1047 1138 Edit Main article Sulayhid dynasty Jibla became the capital of the dynasty Featured is the Queen Arwa Mosque Queen Arwa al Sulaihi Palace The Sulayhid dynasty was founded in the northern highlands around 1040 at the time Yemen was ruled by different local dynasties In 1060 Ali ibn Muhammad Al Sulayhi conquered Zabid and killed its ruler Al Najah founder of the Najahid dynasty His sons were forced to flee to Dahlak 111 Hadramawt fell into Sulayhid hands after their capture of Aden in 1162 112 By 1063 Ali had subjugated Greater Yemen 113 He then marched toward Hejaz and occupied Makkah 114 Ali was married to Asma bint Shihab who governed Yemen with her husband 115 The Khutba during Friday prayers was proclaimed in both her husband s name and hers No other Arab woman had this honor since the advent of Islam 115 Ali al Sulayhi was killed by Najah s sons on his way to Mecca in 1084 His son Ahmed Al Mukarram led an army to Zabid and killed 8 000 of its inhabitants 116 He later installed the Zurayids to govern Aden al Mukarram who had been afflicted with facial paralysis resulting from war injuries retired in 1087 and handed over power to his wife Arwa al Sulayhi 117 Queen Arwa moved the seat of the Sulayhid dynasty from Sana a to Jibla a small town in central Yemen near Ibb Jibla was strategically near the Sulayhid dynasty source of wealth the agricultural central highlands It was also within easy reach of the southern portion of the country especially Aden She sent Ismaili missionaries to India where a significant Ismaili community was formed that exists to this day 118 Queen Arwa continued to rule securely until her death in 1138 118 Arwa al Sulayhi is still remembered as a great and much loved sovereign as attested in Yemeni historiography literature and popular lore where she is referred to as Balqis al sughra the junior queen of Sheba 119 Although the Sulayhids were Ismaili they never tried to impose their beliefs on the public 120 Shortly after Queen Arwa s death the country was split between five competing petty dynasties along religious lines 121 The Ayyubid dynasty overthrew the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt A few years after their rise to power Saladin dispatched his brother Turan Shah to conquer Yemen in 1174 122 Ayyubid conquest 1171 1260 Edit Main article Ayyubid Dynasty Turan Shah conquered Zabid from the Mahdids in May 1174 then marched toward Aden in June and captured it from the Zurayids 123 The Hamdanid sultans of Sana a resisted the Ayyubid in 1175 and the Ayyubids did not manage to secure Sana a until 1189 124 The Ayyubid rule was stable in southern and central Yemen where they succeeded in eliminating the ministates of that region while Ismaili and Zaidi tribesmen continued to hold out in several fortresses 124 The Ayyubids failed to capture the Zaydis stronghold in northern Yemen 125 In 1191 Zaydis of Shibam Kawkaban rebelled and killed 700 Ayyubid soldiers 126 Imam Abdullah bin Hamza proclaimed the imamate in 1197 and fought al Mu izz Ismail the Ayyubid Sultan of Yemen Imam Abdullah was defeated at first but was able to conquer Sana a and Dhamar in 1198 127 and al Mu izz Ismail was assassinated in 1202 128 Abdullah bin Hamza carried on the struggle against the Ayyubid until his death in 1217 After his demise the Zaidi community was split between two rival imams The Zaydis were dispersed and a truce was signed with the Ayyubid in 1219 129 The Ayyubid army was defeated in Dhamar in 1226 129 Ayyubid Sultan Mas ud Yusuf left for Mecca in 1228 never to return 130 Other sources suggest that he was forced to leave for Egypt instead in 1223 131 Rasulid Dynasty 1229 1454 Edit Main article Rasulid dynasty Al Qahyra Cairo Castle s Garden in Taiz the capital of Yemen during the Rasulid s era The Rasulid Dynasty was established in 1229 by Umar ibn Rasul who was appointed deputy governor by the Ayyubids in 1223 When the last Ayyubid ruler left Yemen in 1229 Umar stayed in the country as caretaker He subsequently declared himself an independent king by assuming the title al Malik Al Mansur the king assisted by Allah 131 Umar established the Rasulid dynasty on a firm foundation and expanded its territory to include the area from Dhofar to Mecca 132 Umar first established himself at Zabid then moved into the mountainous interior taking the important highland centre Sana a However the Rasulid capitals were Zabid and Taiz He was assassinated by his nephew in 1249 130 Omar s son Yousef defeated the faction led by his father s assassins and crushed several counter attacks by the Zaydi imams who still held on in the northern highland Mainly because of the victories he scored over his rivals he assumed the honorific title al Muzaffar the victorious 133 After the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 1258 al Muzaffar Yusuf I appropriated the title of caliph 133 He chose the city of Taiz to become the political capital of the kingdom because of its strategic location and proximity to Aden 134 al Muzaffar Yusuf I died in 1296 having reigned for 47 years 133 When the news of his death reached the Zaydi imam Al Mutawakkil al Mutahhar bin Yahya he commented 133 The greatest king of Yemen the Muawiyah of the time has died His pens used to break our lances and swords to pieces A 13th century slave market in Yemen The Rasulid state nurtured Yemen s commercial links with India and the Far East 135 They profited greatly by the Red Sea transit trade via Aden and Zabid 130 The economy also boomed due to the agricultural development programs instituted by the kings who promoted massive cultivation of palms 130 The Rasulid kings enjoyed the support of the population of Tihama and southern Yemen while they had to buy the loyalty of Yemen s restive northern highland tribes 130 The Rasulid sultans built numerous Madrasas to solidify the Shafi i school of thought which is still the dominant school of jurisprudence amongst Yemenis today 136 Under their rule Taiz and Zabid became major international centres of Islamic learning 137 The kings themselves were educated men in their own right who not only had important libraries but also wrote treatises on a wide array of subjects ranging from astrology and medicine to agriculture and genealogy 134 The dynasty is regarded as the greatest native Yemeni state since the fall of the pre Islamic Himyarite Kingdom 138 They were of Turkic descent 139 They claimed an ancient Yemenite origin to justify their rule The Rasulids were not the first dynasty to create a fictitious genealogy for political purposes nor were they doing anything out of the ordinary in the tribal context of Arabia 140 By claiming descent from a solid Yemenite tribe the Rasulids brought Yemen to a vital sense of unity in an otherwise chaotic regional milieu 140 They had a difficult relationship with the Mamluks of Egypt because the latter considered them a vassal state 134 Their competition centred over the Hejaz and the right to provide kiswa of the Ka aba in Mecca 134 The dynasty became increasingly threatened by disgruntled family members over the problem of succession combined by periodic tribal revolts as they were locked in a war of attrition with the Zaydi imams in the northern highlands 137 During the last 12 years of Rasulid rule the country was torn between several contenders for the kingdom The weakening of the Rasulid provided an opportunity for the Banu Taher clan to take over and establish themselves as the new rulers of Yemen in 1454 CE 136 Tahiride Dynasty 1454 1517 Edit Main article Tahirids Yemen Portuguese Viceroy Afonso de Albuquerque failed twice to conquer Aden though the Portuguese Empire managed to rule Socotra until 1511 The Tahirids were a local clan based in Rada a While they were not as impressive as their predecessors they were still keen builders They built schools mosques and irrigation channels as well as water cisterns and bridges in Zabid Aden Rada a and Juban Their best known monument is the Amiriya Madrasa in Rada District which was built in 1504 The Tahiride were too weak either to contain the Zaydi imams or to defend themselves against foreign attacks Realizing how rich the Tahiride realm was they decided to conquer it 141 The Mamluk army with the support of forces loyal to Zaydi Imam Al Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad Din conquered the entire realm of the Tahiride but failed to capture Aden in 1517 The Mamluk victory was short lived The Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt hanging the last Mamluk Sultan in Cairo 141 The Ottomans had not decided to conquer Yemen until 1538 The Zaydi highland tribes emerged as national heroes 142 by offering stiff vigorous resistance to the Turkish occupation 143 The Mamluks of Egypt tried to attach Yemen to Egypt and the Portuguese led by Afonso de Albuquerque occupied the island of Socotra and made an unsuccessful attack on Aden in 1513 144 Modern history Edit See also Modern history of Yemen The Zaydis and Ottomans Edit See also Yemen Eyalet and Yemeni Zaidi State Al Bakiriyya Ottoman Mosque in Sana a was built in 1597 Ottoman soldiers and Yemeni locals The Ottomans had two fundamental interests to safeguard in Yemen The Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the trade route with India in spices and textiles both threatened and the latter virtually eclipsed by the arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in the early 16th century 145 Hadim Suleiman Pasha The Ottoman governor of Egypt was ordered to command a fleet of 90 ships to conquer Yemen The country was in a state of incessant anarchy and discord as Hadim Suleiman Pasha described it by saying 146 Yemen is a land with no lord an empty province It would be not only possible but easy to capture and should it be captured it would be master of the lands of India and send every year a great amount of gold and jewels to Constantinople Imam al Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad Din ruled over the northern highlands including Sana a while Aden was held by the last Tahiride Sultan Amir ibn Dauod Hadim Suleiman Pasha stormed Aden in 1538 killing its ruler and extended Ottoman authority to include Zabid in 1539 and eventually Tihama in its entirety 147 Zabid became the administrative headquarters of Yemen Eyalet 147 The Ottoman governors did not exercise much control over the highlands They held sway mainly in the southern coastal region particularly around Zabid Mocha and Aden 148 Of 80 000 soldiers sent to Yemen from Egypt between 1539 and 1547 only 7 000 survived 149 The Ottoman accountant general in Egypt remarked 149 We have seen no foundry like Yemen for our soldiers Each time we have sent an expeditionary force there it has melted away like salt dissolved in water The Ottomans sent yet another expeditionary force to Zabid in 1547 while Imam al Mutawakkil Yahya Sharaf ad Din was ruling the highlands independently Imam al Mutawakkil Yahya chose his son Ali to succeed him a decision that infuriated his other son al Mutahhar ibn Yahya 150 Al Mutahhar was lame so he was not qualified for the imamate 150 He urged Oais Pasha the Ottoman colonial governor in Zabid to attack his father 151 Indeed Ottoman troops supported by tribal forces loyal to Imam al Mutahhar stormed Taiz and marched north toward Sana a in August 1547 The Turks officially made Imam al Mutahhar a Sanjak bey with authority over Amran Imam al Mutahhar assassinated the Ottoman colonial governor and recaptured Sana a but the Ottomans led by Ozdemir Pasha forced al Mutahhar to retreat to his fortress in Thula Ozdemir Pasha effectively put Yemen under Ottoman rule between 1552 and 1560 He was considered a competent ruler given Yemen s notorious lawlessness garrisoning the main cities building new fortresses and rendering secure the main routes 152 Ozdemir died in Sana a in 1561 and was succeeded by Mahmud Pasha Unlike Ozdemir s brief but able leadership Mahmud Pasha was described by other Ottoman officials as a corrupt and unscrupulous governor He used his authority to take over several castles some of which belonged to the former Rasulid kings 150 Mahmud Pasha killed a Sunni scholar from Ibb 153 The Ottoman historian claimed that this incident was celebrated by the Zaydi Shia community in the northern highlands 153 Disregarding the delicate balance of power in Yemen by acting tactlessly he alienated different groups within Yemeni society causing them to forget their rivalries and unite against the Turks 152 Mahmud Pasha was displaced by Ridvan Pasha in 1564 By 1565 Yemen was split into two provinces the highlands under the command of Ridvan Pasha and Tihama under Murad Pasha Imam al Mutahhar launched a propaganda campaign in which he claimed that the prophet Mohammed came to him in a dream and advised him to wage jihad against the Ottomans 154 Al Mutahhar led the tribes to capture Sana a from Ridvan Pasha in 1567 When Murad tried to relieve Sana a highland tribesmen ambushed his unit and slaughtered all of them 155 Over 80 battles were fought The last decisive encounter took place in Dhamar around 1568 in which Murad Pasha was beheaded and his head sent to al Mutahhar in Sana a 155 156 By 1568 only Zabid remained under the possession of the Turks 156 Ruins of Thula fortress in Amran where al Mutahhar ibn Yahya barricaded himself against Ottoman attacks Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha the Ottoman governor of Syria was ordered by Selim II to suppress the Yemeni rebels 157 However the Turkish army in Egypt was reluctant to go to Yemen due to their knowledge of the hegemony of the northern Yemenis 157 Mustafa Pasha sent a letter with two Turkish shawishes hoping to persuade al Mutahhar to give an apology and confirm that Mustafa Pasha did not promote any act of aggression against the Ottoman army and state that the ignorant Arabian according to the Turks acted on their own 158 Imam al Mutahhar refused the Ottoman offer When Mustafa Pasha sent an expeditionary force under the command of Uthman Pasha it was defeated with great casualties 159 Sultan Selim II was infuriated by Mustafa s hesitation to go to Yemen He executed a number of sanjak beys in Egypt and ordered Sinan Pasha to lead the entire Turkish army in Egypt to reconquer Yemen 160 Sinan Pasha was a prominent Ottoman general of Albanian origin 156 He reconquered Aden Taiz and Ibb and besieged Shibam Kawkaban in 1570 for seven months The siege was lifted once a truce was reached 161 Imam al Mutahhar was pushed back but could not be entirely overcome 162 After al Mutahhar s demise in 1572 the Zaydi community was not united under an imam the Turks took advantage of their disunity and conquered Sana a Sa dah and Najran in 1583 163 Imam al Nasir Hassan was arrested in 1585 and exiled to Constantinople thereby putting an end to the Yemeni rebellion 156 The Zaydi tribesmen in the northern highlands particularly those of Hashid and Bakil were ever the Turkish bugbear in all Arabia 164 The Ottomans who justified their presence in Yemen as a triumph for Islam accused the Zaydis of being infidels 165 Hassan Pasha was appointed governor of Yemen and enjoyed a period of relative peace from 1585 to 1597 Pupils of al Mansur al Qasim suggested he should claim the imamate and fight the Turks He declined at first but the promotion of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence at the expense of Zaydi Islam infuriated al Mansur al Qasim He proclaimed the imamate in September 1597 which was the same year the Ottoman authorities inaugurated al Bakiriyya Mosque 163 By 1608 Imam al Mansur the victorious regained control over the highlands and signed a truce for 10 years with the Ottomans 166 Imam al Mansur al Qasim died in 1620 His son Al Mu ayyad Muhammad succeeded him and confirmed the truce with the Ottomans In 1627 the Ottomans lost Aden and Lahej Abdin Pasha was ordered to suppress the rebels but failed and had to retreat to Mocha 163 Al Mu ayyad Muhammad expelled the Ottomans from Sana a in 1628 only Zabid and Mocha remained under Ottoman possession Al Mu ayyad Muhammad captured Zabid in 1634 and allowed the Ottomans to leave Mocha peacefully 167 The reason behind Al Mu ayyad Muhammad s success was the possession of firearms by the tribes and their unity behind him 168 Mocha was Yemen s busiest port in the 17th and 18th centuries In 1632 Al Mu ayyad Muhammad sent an expeditionary force of 1 000 men to conquer Mecca 169 The army entered the city in triumph and killed its governor 169 The Ottomans were not ready to lose Mecca after Yemen so they sent an army from Egypt to fight the Yemenites 169 Seeing that the Turkish army was too numerous to overcome the Yemeni army retreated to a valley outside Mecca 170 Ottoman troops attacked the Yemenis by hiding at the wells that supplied them with water This plan proceeded successfully causing the Yemenis over 200 casualties most from thirst 170 The tribesmen eventually surrendered and returned to Yemen 171 Al Mu ayyad Muhammad died in 1644 He was succeeded by Al Mutawakkil Isma il another son of al Mansur al Qasim who conquered Yemen in its entirety from Asir in the north to Dhofar in the east 172 173 174 175 During his reign and during the reign of his successor Al Mahdi Ahmad 1676 1681 the imamate implemented some of the harshest discriminatory laws ghiyar against the Jews of Yemen which culminated in the expulsion of all Jews Exile of Mawza to a hot and arid region in the Tihama coastal plain The Qasimid state was the strongest Zaydi state to ever exist See Yemeni Zaidi State for more information During that period Yemen was the sole coffee producer in the world 176 The country established diplomatic relations with the Safavid dynasty of Persia Ottomans of Hejaz Mughal Empire in India and Ethiopia as well Fasilides of Ethiopia sent three diplomatic missions to Yemen but the relations did not develop into a political alliance as Fasilides had hoped due to the rise of powerful feudalists in his country 177 In the first half of the 18th century the Europeans broke Yemen s monopoly on coffee by smuggling coffee trees and cultivating them in their own colonies in the East Indies East Africa the West Indies and Latin America 178 The imamate did not follow a cohesive mechanism for succession and family quarrels and tribal insubordination led to the political decline of the Qasimi dynasty in the 18th century 179 In 1728 or 1731 the chief representative of Lahej declared himself an independent sultan in defiance of the Qasimid dynasty and conquered Aden thus establishing the Sultanate of Lahej The rising power of the fervently Islamist Wahhabi movement on the Arabian Peninsula cost the Zaidi state its coastal possessions after 1803 The imam was able to regain them temporarily in 1818 but new intervention by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt in 1833 again wrested the coast from the ruler in Sana a After 1835 the imamate changed hands with great frequency and some imams were assassinated After 1849 the Zaidi polity descended into chaos that lasted for decades 180 Great Britain and the Nine Regions Edit See also Aden Protectorate and Sultanate of Lahej The building of the Legislative Council of Aden built by the English in the 19th century as St Mary s Church was converted into the building of the Legislative Council in the 1960s and is now a museum The British were looking for a coal depot to service their steamers en route to India It took 700 tons of coal for a round trip from Suez to Bombay East India Company officials decided on Aden The British Empire tried to reach an agreement with the Zaydi imam of Sana a permitting them a foothold in Mocha and when unable to secure their position they extracted a similar agreement from the Sultan of Lahej enabling them to consolidate a position in Aden 181 An incident played into British hands when while passing Aden for trading purposes one of their sailing ships sank and Arab tribesmen boarded it and plundered its contents The British India government dispatched a warship under the command of Captain Stafford Bettesworth Haines to demand compensation 181 Haines bombarded Aden from his warship in January 1839 The ruler of Lahej who was in Aden at the time ordered his guards to defend the port but they failed in the face of overwhelming military and naval power The British managed to occupy Aden and agreed to compensate the sultan with an annual payment of 6 000 riyals 181 The British evicted the Sultan of Lahej from Aden and forced him to accept their protection 181 In November 1839 5000 tribesmen tried to retake the town but were repulsed and 200 were killed The British realised that Aden s prosperity depended on their relations with the neighbouring tribes which required that they rest on a firm and satisfactory basis 182 The British government concluded protection and friendship treaties with nine tribes surrounding Aden whereas they would remain independent from British interference in their affairs as long as they do not conclude treaties with foreigners non Arab colonial powers 183 Aden was declared a free zone in 1850 With emigrants from India East Africa and Southeast Asia Aden grew into a world city In 1850 only 980 Arabs were registered as original inhabitants of the city 184 The English presence in Aden put them at odds with the Ottomans The Turks asserted to the British that they held sovereignty over the whole of Arabia including Yemen as the successor of Mohammed and the Chief of the Universal Caliphate 185 Ottoman return Edit See also Yemen Vilayet The Ottoman Grand Vizier and Wali of Yemen Ahmed Muhtar Pasha The Ottomans were concerned about the British expansion from India to the Red Sea and Arabia They returned to the Tihama in 1849 after an absence of two centuries 186 Rivalries and disturbances continued among the Zaydi imams between them and their deputies with the ulema with the heads of tribes as well as with those who belonged to other sects Some citizens of Sana a were desperate to return law and order to Yemen and asked the Ottoman Pasha in Tihama to pacify the country 187 Yemeni merchants knew that the return of the Ottomans would improve their trade for the Ottomans would become their customers 188 An Ottoman expedition force tried to capture Sana a but was defeated and had to evacuate the highlands 189 The Opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 strengthened the Ottoman decision to remain in Yemen 190 In 1872 military forces were dispatched from Constantinople and moved beyond the Ottoman stronghold in the lowlands Tihama to conquer Sana a By 1873 the Ottomans succeeded in conquering the northern highlands Sana a became the administrative capital of Yemen Vilayet The Ottomans learned from their previous experience and worked on the disempowerment of local lords in the highland regions They even attempted to secularize the Yemeni society while Yemenite Jews came to perceive themselves in Yemeni nationalist terms 191 The Ottomans appeased the tribes by forgiving their rebellious chiefs and appointing them to administrative posts They introduced a series of reforms to enhance the country s economic welfare However corruption was widespread in the Ottoman administration in Yemen This was because only the worst of the officials were appointed because those who could avoid serving in Yemen did so 192 The Ottomans had reasserted control over the highlands for a temporary duration 186 The so called Tanzimat reforms were considered heretic by the Zaydi tribes In 1876 the Hashid and Bakil tribes rebelled against the Ottomans the Turks had to appease them with gifts to end the uprising 193 The tribal chiefs were difficult to appease and an endless cycle of violence curbed Ottoman efforts to pacify the land Ahmed Izzet Pasha proposed that the Ottoman army evacuate the highlands and confine itself to Tihama and not unnecessarily burden itself with continuing military operation against the Zaydi tribes 192 The hit and run tactics of the northern highlands tribesmen wore out the Ottoman military They resented the Turkish Tanzimat and defied all attempts to impose a central government upon them 190 The northern tribes united under the leadership of the House of Hamidaddin in 1890 Imam Yahya Hamidaddin led a rebellion against the Turks in 1904 the rebels disrupted the Ottoman ability to govern 194 The revolts between 1904 and 1911 were especially damaging to the Ottomans costing them as many as 10 000 soldiers and as much as 500 000 pounds per year 195 The Ottomans signed a treaty with imam Yahya Hamidaddin in 1911 Under the treaty Imam Yahya was recognized as an autonomous leader of the Zaydi northern highlands The Ottomans continued to rule Shafi i areas in the mid south until their departure in 1918 Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen Edit Main article Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen Imam Yahya Hamid Ed Din s house near Sana a Imam Yahya hamid ed Din al Mutawakkil was ruling the northern highlands independently from 1911 After the Ottoman departure in 1918 he sought to recapture the lands of his Qasimid ancestors He dreamed of Greater Yemen stretching from Asir to Dhofar These schemes brought him into conflict with the de facto rulers in the territories claimed namely the Idrisids Ibn Saud and the British government in Aden 196 The Zaydi imam did not recognize the Anglo Ottoman border agreement of 1905 on the grounds that it was made between two foreign powers occupying Yemen 197 The border treaty effectively divided Yemen into north and south 198 In 1915 the British signed a treaty with the Idrisids guaranteeing their security and independence if they would fight against the Turks 199 In 1919 Imam Yahya hamid ed Din moved southward to liberate the nine British protectorates The British responded by moving quickly towards Tihama and occupying al Hudaydah Then they handed it over to their Idrisi allies 200 Imam Yahya attacked the southern protectorates again in 1922 The British bombed Yahya s tribal forces using aircraft to which the tribes had no effective counter 201 In 1925 Imam Yahya captured al Hudaydah from the Idrisids 202 He continued to follow and attack the Idrisids until Asir fell under the control of the imam s forces forcing the Idrisi to request an agreement that would enable them to administer the region in the name of the imam 202 Imam Yahya refused the offer on the grounds that the Idrisis were of Moroccan descent According to Imam Yahya the Idrisis along with the British were nothing but recent intruders and should be driven out of Yemen permanently 203 In 1927 Imam Yahya s forces were about 50 km 30 mi away from Aden Taiz and Ibb and were bombed by the British for five days the imam had to pull back 201 Small Bedouin forces mainly from the Madh hij confederation of Marib attacked Shabwah but were bombed by the British and had to retreat The Italian Empire was the first to recognize Imam Yahya as the King of Yemen in 1926 This created a great deal of anxiety for the British who interpreted it as recognition of Imam Yahya s claim to sovereignty over Greater Yemen which included the Aden protectorate and Asir 204 The Idrisis turned to Ibn Saud seeking his protection from Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed Din However in 1932 the Idrisis broke their accord with Ibn Saud and went back to Imam Yahya seeking help against Ibn Saud himself who had begun liquidating their authority and expressed his desire to annex those territories into his own Saudi domain 205 206 Imam Yahya demanded the return of all Idrisi dominion 205 That same year a group of Hejazi liberals fled to Yemen and plotted to expel Ibn Saud from the former Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz which had been conquered by the Saudis seven years earlier Ibn Saud appealed to Britain for aid 207 The British government sent arms and aeroplanes 207 The British were anxious that Ibn Saud s financial difficulties may encourage the Italian Empire to bail him out 205 Ibn Saud suppressed the Asiri rebellion in 1933 after which the Idrisids fled to Sana a 207 Negotiations between the Imam Yahya Hamid ed Din and Ibn Saud proved fruitless After the 1934 Saudi Yemeni war Ibn Saud announced a ceasefire in May 1934 207 Imam Yahya agreed to release Saudi hostages and the surrender of the Idrisis to Saudi custody Imam Yahya ceded the three provinces of Najran Asir and Jazan for 20 years 208 and signed another treaty with the British government in 1934 The imam recognized the British sovereignty over Aden protectorate for 40 years 209 Out of fear for Hudaydah Yahya did submit to these demands According to Bernard Reich Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University Yahya could have done better by reorganizing the Zaydi tribes of the northern highlands as his ancestors did against the Turks and British intruders and turn the lands they captured into another graveyard 210 Colonial Aden Edit Queen Elizabeth II holding a sword prepared to knight subjects in Aden in 1954 Starting in 1890 hundreds of Yemeni people from Hajz Al Baetha and Taiz migrated to Aden to work at ports and as labourers This helped the population of Aden once again become predominantly Arab after having been declared a free zone it had become mostly foreigners During World War II Aden had increasing economic growth and became the second busiest port in the world after New York City 211 After the rise of labour unions a rift was apparent between the sectors of workers and the first signs of resistance to the occupation started in 1943 211 Muhammad Ali Luqman founded the first Arabic club and school in Aden and was the first to start working towards a union 212 The Colony of Aden was divided into an eastern colony and a western colony Those were further divided into 23 sultanates and emirates and several independent tribes that had no relationships with the sultanates The deal between the sultanates and Britain detailed protection and complete control of foreign relations by the British The Sultanate of Lahej was the only one in which the sultan was referred to as His Highness 213 The Federation of South Arabia was created by the British to counter Arab nationalism by giving more freedom to the rulers of the nations 214 The North Yemen Civil War inspired many in the south to rise against the British rule The National Liberation Front NLF of Yemen was formed with the leadership of Qahtan Muhammad Al Shaabi The NLF hoped to destroy all the sultanates and eventually unite with the Yemen Arab Republic Most of the support for the NLF came from Radfan and Yafa so the British launched Operation Nutcracker which completely burned Radfan in January 1964 215 Two states Edit Main articles Yemen Arab Republic and South Yemen Egyptian military intervention in North Yemen 1962 Arab nationalism made an impact in some circles who opposed the lack of modernization efforts in the Mutawakkilite monarchy This became apparent when Imam Ahmad bin Yahya died in 1962 He was succeeded by his son but army officers attempted to seize power sparking the North Yemen Civil War 216 The Hamidaddin royalists were supported by Saudi Arabia Britain and Jordan mostly with weapons and financial aid but also with small military forces whilst the military rebels were backed by Egypt Egypt provided the rebels with weapons and financial assistance but also sent a large military force to participate in the fighting Israel covertly supplied weapons to the royalists to keep the Egyptian military busy in Yemen and make Nasser less likely to initiate a conflict in the Sinai After six years of civil war the military rebels were victorious February 1968 and formed the Yemen Arab Republic 217 British Army s counter insurgency campaign in the British controlled territories of South Arabia 1967 The revolution in the north coincided with the Aden Emergency which hastened the end of British rule in the south On 30 November 1967 the state of South Yemen was formed comprising Aden and the former Protectorate of South Arabia This socialist state was later officially known as the People s Democratic Republic of Yemen and a programme of nationalisation was begun 218 Relations between the two Yemeni states fluctuated between peaceful and hostile The South was supported by the Eastern bloc The North however was not able to get the same connections In 1972 the two states fought a war The war was resolved with a ceasefire and negotiations brokered by the Arab League where it was declared that unification would eventually occur In 1978 Ali Abdullah Saleh was named as president of the Yemen Arab Republic 219 After the war the North complained about the South s help from foreign countries This included Saudi Arabia 220 In 1979 fresh fighting between the two states resumed and efforts were renewed to bring about unification 219 Thousands were killed in 1986 in the South Yemen Civil War President Ali Nasser Muhammad fled to the north and was later sentenced to death for treason A new government formed 219 Unification and civil war Edit Main article Yemeni unification Yemen Arab Republic in orange and South Yemen in blue before 1990 In 1990 the two governments reached a full agreement on the joint governing of Yemen and the countries were merged on 22 May 1990 with Saleh as president 219 The President of South Yemen Ali Salim al Beidh became vice president 219 A unified parliament was formed and a unity constitution was agreed upon 219 In the 1993 parliamentary election the first held after unification the General People s Congress won 122 of 301 seats 221 309 After the invasion of Kuwait crisis in 1990 Yemen s president opposed military intervention from non Arab states 222 As a member of the United Nations Security Council for 1990 and 1991 Yemen abstained on a number of UNSC resolutions concerning Iraq and Kuwait 223 and voted against the use of force resolution The vote outraged the U S 224 Saudi Arabia expelled 800 000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 to punish Yemen for its opposition to the intervention 225 In the absence of strong state institutions elite politics in Yemen constituted a de facto form of collaborative governance where competing tribal regional religious and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced 226 The informal political settlement was held together by a power sharing deal among three men President Saleh who controlled the state major general Ali Mohsen al Ahmar who controlled the largest share of the Republic of Yemen Armed Forces and Abdullah ibn Husayn al Ahmar figurehead of the Islamist al Islah party and Saudi Arabia s chosen broker of transnational patronage payments to various political players 227 including tribal sheikhs 228 229 230 231 The Saudi payments have been intended to facilitate the tribes autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen s political decision making 232 Following food riots in major towns in 1992 a new coalition government made up of the ruling parties from both the former Yemeni states was formed in 1993 However Vice President al Beidh withdrew to Aden in August 1993 and said he would not return to the government until his grievances were addressed These included northern violence against his Yemeni Socialist Party as well as the economic marginalization of the south 233 Negotiations to end the political deadlock dragged on into 1994 The government of Prime Minister Haydar Abu Bakr Al Attas became ineffective due to political infighting 234 An accord between northern and southern leaders was signed in Amman Jordan on 20 February 1994 but this could not stop the civil war citation needed During these tensions both the northern and southern armies which had never integrated gathered on their respective frontiers 235 The May July 1994 civil war in Yemen resulted in the defeat of the southern armed forces and the flight into exile of many Yemeni Socialist Party leaders and other southern secessionists citation needed Saudi Arabia actively aided the south during the 1994 civil war 236 Contemporary Yemen Edit Prayers during Ramadan in Sana a Sana a risks becoming the first capital in the world to run out of a viable water supply as Yemen s streams and natural aquifers run dry says The Guardian 237 Ali Abdullah Saleh became Yemen s first directly elected president in the 1999 presidential election winning 96 2 per cent of the vote 221 310 The only other candidate Najeeb Qahtan Al Sha abi was the son of Qahtan Muhammad al Sha abi a former president of South Yemen Though a member of Saleh s General People s Congress GPC party Najeeb ran as an independent 238 In October 2000 17 U S personnel died after a suicide attack on the U S naval vessel USS Cole in Aden which was subsequently blamed on al Qaeda After the September 11 attacks on the United States President Saleh assured U S President George W Bush that Yemen was a partner in his War on Terror In 2001 violence surrounded a referendum which apparently supported extending Saleh s rule and powers The Shia insurgency in Yemen began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al Houthi head of the Zaidi Shia sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government The Yemeni government alleged that the Houthis were seeking to overthrow it and to implement Shi ite religious law The rebels counter that they are defending their community against discrimination and government aggression 239 In 2005 at least 36 people were killed in clashes across the country between police and protesters over rising fuel prices In the 2006 presidential election held on 20 September Saleh won with 77 2 of the vote His main rival Faisal bin Shamlan received 21 8 240 241 Saleh was sworn in for another term on 27 September 242 A suicide bomber killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in the province of Marib in July 2007 A series of bomb attacks occurred on police official diplomatic foreign business and tourism targets in 2008 Car bombings outside the U S embassy in Sana a killed 18 people including six of the assailants in September 2008 In 2008 an opposition rally in Sana a demanding electoral reform was met with police gunfire citation needed Social hierarchy Edit This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yemen news newspapers books scholar JSTOR April 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message There is a system of social stratification in Yemen that was officially abolished at the creation of the Republic of Yemen in 1962 but in practice this system has not disappeared and Yemeni society is still organized around hierarchical ranks The difference between ranks is manifested by descent and occupation and is consolidated by marriages between people of the same ranks There are five status groups At the top of hierarchy there are the religious elites also called sada These are then followed by the strata of judges quad The third hierarchical status is the qaba il who are the peasants who belong to tribes and who live mainly from agriculture and trading The fourth group is called the mazayanah This group is composed of people who had no land and provide different kinds of services such as butchers and craftsmen Finally at the bottom of the hierarchy are the slaves a bid and even further below them Al Akhdam which means servants 243 Al Qaeda Edit In January 2009 the Saudi Arabian and Yemeni al Qaeda branches merged to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula which is based in Yemen and many of its members were Saudi nationals who had been released from Guantanamo Bay 244 Saleh released 176 al Qaeda suspects on condition of good behaviour but terrorist activities continued The Yemeni army launched a fresh offensive against the Shia insurgents in 2009 assisted by Saudi forces Tens of thousands of people were displaced by the fighting A new ceasefire was agreed upon in February 2010 However by the end of the year Yemen claimed that 3 000 soldiers had been killed in renewed fighting The Shia rebels accused Saudi Arabia of providing support to salafi groups to suppress Zaidism in Yemen 245 On orders from U S President Barack Obama U S warplanes fired cruise missiles at what officials in Washington claimed were Al Qaeda training camps in the provinces of Sana a and Abyan on 17 December 2009 246 Instead of hitting Al Qaeda operatives it hit a village killing 55 civilians 247 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 24 December 248 The U S launched a series of drone attacks in Yemen to curb a perceived growing terror threat due to political chaos in Yemen 249 Since December 2009 U S strikes in Yemen have been carried out by the U S military with intelligence support from the CIA 250 The drone strikes are protested by human rights groups who say they kill innocent civilians and that the U S military and CIA drone strikes lack sufficient congressional oversight including the choice of human targets suspected of being threats to America 251 Controversy over U S policy for drone attacks mushroomed after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al Awlaki and Samir Khan both U S citizens 252 Another drone strike in October 2011 killed Anwar s teenage son Abdulrahman al Awlaki In 2010 the Obama administration policy allowed targeting of people whose names are not known The U S government increased military aid to 140 million in 2010 253 U S drone strikes continued after the ousting of President Saleh 254 As of 2015 update Shi a Houthis are fighting against the Islamic State 255 Al Qaeda 256 and Saudi Arabia 257 The U S supports the Saudi led military intervention in Yemen against the Houthis 258 but many in US SOCOM reportedly favor Houthis as they have been an effective force to roll back al Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen 259 The Guardian reported that The only groups poised to benefit from the war dragging on are the jihadis of Islamic State ISIL and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula AQAP the latter s most powerful franchise who are likely to gain influence amid the chaos ISIL has claimed recent bloody suicide bombings in Houthi mosques and Sana a when it once had no known presence in the country while AQAP has continued to seize territory in eastern Yemen unhindered by American drone strikes 260 In February 2016 Al Qaeda forces and Saudi led coalition forces were both seen fighting Houthi rebels in the same battle 261 Revolution and aftermath Edit Main articles 2011 Yemeni revolution 2014 15 Yemeni coup d etat Yemeni Civil War 2014 present Saudi Arabian led intervention in Yemen and Famine in Yemen This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yemen news newspapers books scholar JSTOR October 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message Tens of thousands of protesters marching to Sana a University joined for the first time by opposition parties during the 2011 2012 Yemeni revolution Saudi led air strike on Sana a 12 June 2015 Saudi Arabia is operating without a UN mandate The 2011 Yemeni revolution followed other Arab Spring mass protests 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 so that Saleh s son could inherit the presidency In March 2011 police snipers opened fire on a pro democracy camp in Sana a killing more than 50 people In May dozens were killed in clashes between troops and tribal fighters in Sana a By this point Saleh began to lose international support In October 2011 Yemeni human rights activist Tawakul Karman won the Nobel Peace Prize and the UN Security Council condemned the violence and called for a transfer of power On 23 November 2011 Saleh flew to Riyadh in neighbouring Saudi Arabia to sign the Gulf Co operation Council plan for political transition which he had previously spurned Upon signing the document he agreed to legally transfer the office and powers of the presidency to his deputy Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi Hadi took office for a two year term upon winning the uncontested presidential elections in February 2012 262 A unity government including a prime minister from the opposition was formed Al Hadi would oversee the drafting of a new constitution followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014 Saleh returned in February 2012 In the face of objections from thousands of street protesters parliament granted him full immunity from prosecution Saleh s son General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to exercise a strong hold on sections of the military and security forces AQAP claimed responsibility for a February 2012 suicide attack on the presidential palace that killed 26 Republican Guards on the day that President Hadi was sworn in AQAP was also behind a suicide bombing that killed 96 soldiers in Sana a three months later In September 2012 a car bomb attack in Sana a killed 11 people a day after a local al Qaeda leader Said al Shihri was reported killed in the south By 2012 there has been a small contingent of U S special operations troops in addition to CIA and unofficially acknowledged U S military presence in response to increasing terror attacks by AQAP on Yemeni citizens 263 Many analysts have pointed out the former Yemeni government role in cultivating terrorist activity in the country 264 Following the election of the new president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi the Yemeni military was able to push Ansar al Sharia back and recapture the Shabwah Governorate Controlled by Houthis and Saleh loyalists Controlled by Saudi backed Hadi loyalists Controlled by al Qaeda and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant affiliated Ansar al Sharia Controlled by the UAE backed Southern Transitional Council The central government in Sana a remained weak staving off challenges from southern separatists and Shia rebels as well as AQAP The Shia insurgency intensified after Hadi took power escalating in September 2014 as anti government forces led by Abdul Malik al Houthi swept into the capital and forced Hadi to agree to a unity government 265 The Houthis then refused to participate in the government 266 although they continued to apply pressure on Hadi and his ministers even shelling the president s private residence and placing him under house arrest 267 until the government s mass resignation in January 2015 268 The following month the Houthis dissolved parliament and declared that a Revolutionary Committee under Mohammed Ali al Houthi was the interim authority in Yemen Abdul Malik al Houthi a cousin of the new acting president called the takeover a glorious revolution However the constitutional declaration of 6 February 2015 was widely rejected by opposition politicians and foreign governments including the United Nations 23 Hadi managed to flee from Sana a to Aden his hometown and stronghold in the south on 21 February 2015 He promptly gave a televised speech rescinding his resignation condemning the coup and calling for recognition as the constitutional president of Yemen 269 The following month Hadi declared Aden Yemen s temporary capital 270 271 The Houthis however rebuffed an initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council and continued to move south toward Aden All U S personnel were evacuated and President Hadi was forced to flee the country to Saudi Arabia On 26 March 2015 Saudi Arabia announced Operation Decisive Storm and began airstrikes and announced its intentions to lead a military coalition against the Houthis whom they claimed were being aided by Iran and began a force buildup along the Yemeni border The coalition included the United Arab Emirates Kuwait Qatar Bahrain Jordan Morocco Sudan Egypt and Pakistan The United States announced that it was assisting with intelligence targeting and logistics Saudi Arabia and Egypt would not rule out ground operations After Hadi troops took control of Aden from Houthis jihadist groups became active in the city and some terrorist incidents were linked to them such as Missionaries of Charity attack in Aden on 4 March 2016 Since February 2018 Aden has been seized by the UAE backed separatist Southern Transitional Council 272 Yemen has been suffering from a famine in since 2016 as a result of the Civil War More than 50 000 children in Yemen died from starvation in 2017 273 274 The famine is being compounded by an outbreak of cholera that has affected more than one million people 275 The Saudi Arabian led intervention in Yemen and blockade of Yemen have contributed to the famine and cholera epidemic 276 277 Geography EditMain article Geography of Yemen A topographic map of Yemen Yemen is in Western Asia in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula 278 It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north the Red Sea to the west the Gulf of Aden and Guardafui Channel to the south and Oman to the east between latitudes 12 and 19 N and longitudes 42 and 55 E Yemen is at 15 N 48 E 15 N 48 E 15 48 and is 527 970 km2 203 850 sq mi in size A number of Red Sea islands including the Hanish Islands Kamaran and Perim as well as Socotra in the Arabian Sea belong to Yemen the largest of these is Socotra Many of the islands are volcanic for example Jabal al Tair had a volcanic eruption in 2007 and before that in 1883 Although mainland Yemen is in the southern Arabian Peninsula and thus part of Asia and its Hanish Islands and Perim in the Red Sea are associated with Asia the archipelago of Socotra which lies east of the horn of Somalia and is much closer to Africa than to Asia is geographically and biogeographically associated with Africa 279 Socotra faces the Guardafui Channel and the Somali Sea 280 Regions and climate Edit This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yemen news newspapers books scholar JSTOR October 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message Yemen s Koppen climate classification map 281 is based on native vegetation temperature precipitation and their seasonality BWh Hot desert BWk Cold desert BSh Hot semi arid BSk Cold semi arid CWb Subtropical highland Yemen 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 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 lagoons makes this region very marshy and a suitable breeding ground for malaria mosquitos Extensive crescent shaped sand dunes are present The evaporation in the Tihamah is so great that streams from the highlands never reach the sea but they do contribute to extensive groundwater reserves Today these are heavily exploited for agricultural use Near the village of Madar about 50 km 30 mi north of Sana a dinosaur footprints were found indicating that the area was once a muddy flat The Tihamah ends abruptly at the escarpment of the western highlands This area now heavily terraced 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 Taiz and over 1 000 mm 39 4 in in Ibb Temperatures are warm in the day but fall dramatically at night Perennial streams occur in the highlands but these never reach the sea because of high evaporation in the Tihamah citation needed The central highlands are an extensive high plateau over 2 000 m 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 Water storage allows for irrigation and the growing of wheat and barley Sana a is in this region The highest point in Yemen and Arabia is Jabal An Nabi Shu ayb at about 3 666 m 12 028 ft 278 282 Yemen s portion of the Rub al Khali desert in the east is much lower generally below 1 000 m 3 281 ft and receives almost no rain It is populated only by Bedouin herders of camels The growing scarcity of water is a source of increasing international concern See Water supply and sanitation in Yemen citation needed Biodiversity Edit Main article Wildlife of Yemen Dracaena cinnabari at Socotra Island A South Arabian relief from the 5th century BC in Walters Art Museum On the left side of this relief a lion attacks a gazelle while a rabbit tries to jump away from the gazelle s forelegs On the right a leopard jumps down from rocks onto the back of an ibex a small rodent flees the hoofs of the ibex Birds in the branches of acacia trees observe the two scenes Yemen contains six terrestrial ecoregions Arabian Peninsula coastal fog desert Socotra Island xeric shrublands Southwestern Arabian foothills savanna Southwestern Arabian montane woodlands Arabian Desert and Red Sea Nubo Sindian tropical desert and semi desert 283 The flora of Yemen is a mixture of the tropical African Sudanian plant geographical region and the Saharo Arabian region The Sudanian element characterized by relatively high rainfall dominates the western mountains and parts of the highland plains The Saharo Arabian element dominates in the coastal plains eastern mountain and the eastern and northern desert plains A high percentage of Yemen plants belong to tropical African plants of Sudanian regions Among the Sudanian element species the following may be mentioned Ficus spp Acacia mellifera Grewia villosa Commiphora spp Rosa abyssinica Cadaba farinosa and others 284 Among the Saharo Arabian species these may be mentioned Panicum turgidum Aerva javanica Zygophyllum simplex Fagonia indica Salsola spp Acacia tortilis A hamulos A ehrenbergiana Phoenix dactylifera Hyphaene thebaica Capparis decidua Salvadora persica Balanites aegyptiaca and many others Many of the Saharo Arabian species are endemic to the extensive sandy coastal plain the Tihamah 285 The characteristic genera of the Irano Turanian in the eastern and northern east of the country are Calligonum spp Cymbopogon jwarancusa and Tamarix spp and of the Mediterranean regions are Teucrium Lavandula Juniperus Brassica and Diplotaxis spp citation needed Among the fauna the Arabian leopard which would inhabit the mountains is considered rare here 286 Environmental issues Edit This section is an excerpt from Environmental issues in Yemen edit Shibam Wadi Hadhramaut Yemen Environmental issues in Yemen are abundant and are divided into the categories of land and water In the aspect of water Yemen has limited natural fresh water resources and inadequate supplies of potable water As for the land two main issues of Yemen are overgrazing and desertification Yemen has signed several international agreements Climate Change Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea and Ozone Layer Protection 287 Politics EditMain article Politics of Yemen Yemen is a republic with a bicameral legislature Under the 1991 constitution an elected president an elected 301 seat Assembly of Representatives and an appointed 111 member Shura Council share power The President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government In Sana a a Supreme Political Council not recognized internationally forms the government The 1991 constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by at least 15 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 is universal for people age 18 and older but only Muslims may hold elected office 288 President Ali Abdullah Saleh 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 was partly free though the election was accompanied by violence violations of press freedoms and allegations of fraud 289 Parliamentary elections were held in April 2003 and the General People s Congress maintained an absolute majority Saleh remained almost uncontested in his seat of power until 2011 when local frustration at his refusal to hold another round of elections as combined with the impact of the 2011 Arab Spring resulted in mass protests 262 In 2012 he was forced to resign from power though he remained an important actor in Yemeni politics allying with the Houthis during their takeover in the mid 2010s 290 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 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 The Prison Authority Organization Act Republican decree no 48 1981 and Prison Act regulations provide the legal framework for management of the country s prison system 291 Foreign relations Edit Main article Foreign relations of Yemen Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the Pentagon 8 June 2004 The geography and ruling imams of North Yemen 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 and the south were usually tense The Soviet and Chinese Aid Missions established in 1958 and 1959 were the first important non Muslim presences in North Yemen Following the September 1962 revolution the Yemen Arab Republic 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 Saudi Arabia remained hostile to any form of political and social reform in Yemen 292 and continued to provide financial support for tribal elites 293 In February 1989 North Yemen joined Iraq Jordan and Egypt in forming the Arab Cooperation Council 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 mainly for its republican government 294 Yemen is a member of the United Nations the Arab League 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 Yemen Arab Republic YAR and the People s Democratic Republic of Yemen PDRY Yemen has acceded to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Ousted Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi with U S Secretary of State John Kerry 7 May 2015 Protest against Saudi blockade of Yemen New York City 2017 Since the end of the 1994 civil war tangible progress has been made on the diplomatic front in restoring normal relations with Yemen s neighbors 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 Until the signing of the Yemen Saudi Arabia peace treaty in July 2000 295 Yemen s northern border was undefined the Arabian Desert prevented any human habitation there Yemen settled its dispute with Eritrea over the Hanish Islands in 1998 The Saudi Yemen barrier was constructed by Saudi Arabia against an influx of illegal immigrants and against the smuggling of drugs and weapons 296 The Independent headed an article with Saudi Arabia one of the most vocal critics in the Arab world of Israel s security fence in the West Bank is quietly emulating the Israeli example by erecting a barrier along its porous border with Yemen 297 In March 2020 the Trump administration and key US allies including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut off tens of millions of dollars for health care programs and other aid to the United Nations appeal for Yemen As a result of funding cuts the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs UNOCHA stated that the UN agencies were forced to either close or reduce more than 75 per cent of its programs that year alone affecting more than 8 million people Saudi Arabia had been leading a Western backed military coalition including the United Arab Emirates as a key member which intervened in Yemen in 2015 in a bid to restore the government ousted from power by the Houthi movement The United Nations described the situation in Yemen where the war killed tens of thousands of people and left millions on the brink of famine as the world s worst humanitarian crisis 298 Military Edit Main article Military of Yemen Soldiers of the Yemeni Army in 2011 The armed forces of Yemen include the Yemen Army includes Republican Guard Navy includes Marines Yemeni Air Force Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Yamaniya includes Air Defense 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 Total armed forces manning numbers about 401 000 active personnel including moreover especially conscripts The Yemen Arab Republic and The People s Democratic Republic of Yemen joined to form the Republic of Yemen on 22 May 1990 citation needed The supreme commander of the armed forces is the President of the Republic of Yemen The number of military personnel in Yemen is relatively high in sum Yemen has the second largest military force on the Arabian Peninsula after Saudi Arabia In 2012 total active troops were estimated as follows army 390 000 navy 7 000 and air force 5 000 In September 2007 the government announced the reinstatement of compulsory military service Yemen s defense budget which in 2006 represented approximately 40 percent of the total government budget is expected to remain high for the near term as the military draft takes effect and internal security threats continue to escalate By 2012 Yemen had 401 000 active personnel Human rights Edit Main article Human rights in Yemen The government and its security forces often considered to suffer from rampant corruption 299 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 300 Journalists critical of the government are often harassed and threatened by the police 223 Homosexuality is illegal punishable by death 301 Since the start of the Shia insurgency 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 302 The U S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants reported several violations of refugee 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 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 303 Yemen is ranked last of 135 countries in the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report 304 Human Rights Watch 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 interpreted by some to be as low as the age of nine was set as a requirement for marriage instead 305 Publicity about the case of ten year old Yemeni divorcee Nujood Ali brought the child marriage issue to the fore not only in Yemen but also worldwide 306 307 308 On 30 June 2020 a human rights group revealed the scale of torture and deaths in Yemen s unofficial detention centres UAE and Saudi forces were responsible for some of the most shocking treatment of prisoners including being hung upside down for hours and sexual torture such as the burning of genitals 309 Human trafficking Edit Main article Human trafficking in Yemen The United States Department of State 2013 Trafficking in Persons report classified Yemen as a Tier 3 country 310 meaning that its government does not fully comply with the minimum standards against human trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so 311 Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962 312 but it is still being practiced 313 On 22 June 2020 Human Rights Watch wrote an open letter to the UN Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict report to improve the protection of children in Yemen and in Myanmar 314 Amnesty said United Nations Security Council must urgently fix its monitoring and reporting mechanism for children impacted by armed conflict 315 The Human Rights Watch on 14 September 2020 demanded the interference caused by Houthi rebels and other authorities in Yemen aid operations to stop as millions of lives dependent on the aid operations were being put at risk 316 Administrative divisions Edit Main article Governorates of Yemen Map of the Federal Regions of Yemen Governorates of Yemen As of the end of 2004 Yemen was divided into twenty governorates muhafazat the latest being Raymah Governorate which was created during 2004 plus one municipality called Amanat Al Asemah the latter containing the constitutional capital Sana a 317 An additional governorate Soqatra Governorate was created in December 2013 comprising Socotra Island bottom right corner of map previously part of Hadramaut Governorate 318 The governorates are subdivided into 333 districts muderiah which are subdivided into 2 210 sub districts and then into 38 284 villages as of 2001 In 2014 a constitutional panel decided to divide the country into six regions four in the north two in the south and capital Sana a outside of any region creating a federalist model of governance 319 This federal proposal was a contributing factor toward the Houthis subsequent coup d etat against the government 320 321 322 Saada Al Jawf Hadhramaut Al Mahrah Hajjah Amran Al Mahwit Amanat Al Asimah Sana a City Sana a Ma rib Al Hudaydah Raymah Dhamar Ibb Dhale Al Bayda Shabwah Taiz Lahij Abyan Aden Socotra 318 Economy EditMain article Economy of Yemen Further information Telecommunications in Yemen Transportation in Yemen and Internet usage in Yemen A proportional representation of Yemen s exports Yemen as of 2013 update had a GDP PPP of US 61 63 billion with an income per capita of 2 500 Services are the largest economic sector 61 4 of GDP followed by the industrial sector 30 9 and agriculture 7 7 Of these petroleum production represents around 25 of GDP and 63 of the government s revenue 323 Agriculture Edit A coffee plantation in North Yemen Principal agricultural commodities produced in the nation include grain vegetables fruits pulses qat coffee cotton dairy products fish livestock sheep goats cattle camels and poultry 323 Most Yemenis are employed in agriculture However the role of agricultural sector is limited due to the relatively low share of the sector in GDP and the large share of net food buying households in Yemen 97 324 Sorghum is the most common crop Cotton and many fruit trees are also grown with mangoes being the most valuable A big problem in Yemen is the cultivation of Khat or qat a psychoactive plant that releases a stimulant when chewed and accounts for up to 40 percent of the water drawn from the Sana a Basin each year and that figure is rising Some agricultural practices are drying the Sana a Basin and displaced vital crops which has resulted in increasing food prices Rising food prices in turn pushed an additional six percent of the country into poverty in 2008 alone 325 Efforts are being made by the government and Dawoodi Bohra community at North Yemen to replace qat with coffee plantations 326 Industry Edit Yemen s industrial sector is centred on crude oil production and petroleum refining food processing handicrafts small scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods aluminum products commercial ship repair cement and natural gas production In 2013 Yemen had an industrial production growth rate of 4 8 323 It also has large proven reserves of natural gas 327 Yemen s first liquified natural gas plant began production in October 2009 Labour force Edit A Souq in Old Sana a The labor force was seven million workers in 2013 Services industry construction and commerce together constitute less than 25 of the labor force citation needed Export and import Edit As of 2013 update exports from Yemen totaled 6 694 billion The main export commodities are crude oil coffee dried and salted fish liquefied natural gas These products were mainly sent to China 41 Thailand 19 2 India 11 4 and South Korea 4 4 Imports as of 2013 update total 10 97 billion The main imported commodities are machinery and equipment foodstuffs livestock and chemicals These products were mainly imported from the EU 48 8 UAE 9 8 Switzerland 8 8 China 7 4 and India 5 8 323 State budget Edit Drilling for oil using a land rig As of 2013 update the Yemeni government s budget consisted of 7 769 billion in revenues and 12 31 billion in expenditures Taxes and other revenues constituted roughly 17 7 of the GDP with a budget deficit of 10 3 The public debt was 47 1 of GDP Yemen had reserves of foreign exchange and gold of around 5 538 billion in 2013 Its inflation rate over the same period based on consumer prices was 11 8 Yemen s external debt totaled 7 806 billion 323 International aid Edit Beginning in the mid 1950s the Soviet Union and China provided large scale assistance For example China and the United States are involved with the expansion of the Sana a International Airport In the south pre independence economic activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the port city of Aden The seaborne transit trade which the port relied upon collapsed with the temporary closure of the Suez Canal and Britain s withdrawal from Aden in 1967 Since the conclusion of the war the government made an agreement with the International Monetary Fund 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 addresses 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 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 during the period 1995 1999 and the correction of macro financial imbalances 328 The real growth rate in the non oil sector rose by 5 6 from 1995 to 1997 329 Water supply and sanitation Edit Main article Water supply and sanitation in Yemen A key challenge is severe water scarcity especially in the Highlands prompting The Times in 2009 to write Yemen could become first nation to run out of water 330 A second key challenge is a high level of poverty making it difficult to recover the costs of service provision Access to water supply sanitation is low Yemen is both the poorest country and the most water scarce country in the Arab world Third the capacity of sector institutions to plan build operate and maintain infrastructure remains limited Last but not least the security situation makes it even more difficult to improve or even maintain existing levels of service The average Yemeni has access to only 140 cubic meters of water per year 101 gallons per day for all uses while the Middle Eastern average is 1000 m3 yr and the internationally defined threshold for water stress is 1700 cubic meters per year 331 Yemen s groundwater is the main source of water in the country but the water tables have dropped severely leaving Yemen without a viable source of water For example in Sana a the water table was 30 metres 98 feet below surface in the 1970s but had dropped to 1 200 metres 3 900 feet below surface by 2012 The groundwater has not been regulated by Yemen s governments 332 Even before the revolution Yemen s water situation had been described as increasingly dire by experts who worried that Yemen would be the first country to run out of water 333 Agriculture in Yemen takes up about 90 of water in Yemen even though it only generates 6 of GDP A large portion of Yemenis are dependent on small scale subsistence agriculture Half of the agricultural water in Yemen is used to grow khat a drug that many Yemenis chew Due to the 2015 Yemeni civil war the situation is increasingly dire 80 of Yemen s population struggles to access water to drink and bathe Bombing has forced many Yemenis to leave their homes for other areas and so wells in those areas are under increasing pressure 334 Demographics EditMain article Demographics of Yemen Yemen s population is 28 million by 2018 estimates 335 336 with 46 of the population being under 15 years old and 2 7 above 65 years In 1950 it was 4 3 million 337 338 By 2050 the population is estimated to increase to about 60 million 339 Yemen has a high total fertility rate at 4 45 children per woman It is the 30th highest in the world 340 Sana a s population has increased rapidly from roughly 55 000 in 1978 341 to nearly 2 million in the early 21st century Ethnic groups Edit Yemen s tribal areas and Shia Sunni regions Shia Muslims predominant in the green area of Yemen s West with the rest of Yemen being Sunni Muslims Yemeni ethnic groups are predominantly Arabs followed by Afro Arabs South Asians and Europeans 323 When the former states of North and South Yemen were established most resident minority groups departed 342 Yemen is a largely tribal society 343 In the northern mountainous parts of the country there are 400 Zaidi tribes 344 There are also hereditary caste groups in urban areas such as Al Akhdam 345 There are also Yemenis of Persian origin According to Muqaddasi Persians formed the majority of Aden s population in the 10th century 346 347 Yemenite Jews once formed a sizable minority in Yemen with a distinct culture from other Jewish communities in the world 348 Most emigrated to Israel in the mid 20th century following the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries and Operation Magic Carpet 349 An estimated 100 000 people of Indian origin are concentrated in the southern part of the country around Aden Mukalla Shihr Lahaj Mokha and Hodeidah 350 Most of the prominent Indonesians Malaysians and Singaporeans of Arab descent are Hadhrami people with origins in southern Yemen in the Hadramawt coastal region 351 Today there are almost 10 000 Hadramis in Singapore 352 The Hadramis migrated to Southeast Asia East Africa and the Indian subcontinent 353 The Maqil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes of Yemeni origin who migrated westwards via Egypt Several groups of Yemeni Arabs turned south to Mauritania and by the end of the 17th century they dominated the entire country They can also be found throughout Morocco and in Algeria as well as in other North African countries 354 Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula that is signatory to two international accords dating back to 1951 and 1967 governing the protection of refugees 355 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 110 600 Iraq 11 000 Ethiopia 2 000 303 and Syria 356 Additionally more than 334 000 Yemenis have been internally displaced by conflict 355 The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in neighbouring Saudi Arabia where between 800 000 and 1 million Yemenis reside 357 and the United Kingdom home to between 70 000 and 80 000 Yemenis 358 Languages Edit Modern Standard Arabic is the official language of Yemen while Yemeni Arabic is used as the vernacular In al Mahrah Governorate in the far east and the island of Socotra several non Arabic languages are spoken 359 360 Yemeni Sign Language is used by the deaf community Yemen is part of the homeland of the South Semitic languages Mehri is the largest South Semitic language spoken in the nation with more than 70 000 speakers The ethnic group itself is called Mahra Soqotri is another South Semitic language with speakers on the island of Socotra isolated from the pressures of Arabic on the Yemeni mainland According to the 1990 census in Yemen the number of speakers there was 57 000 361 Yemen was also home of the Old South Arabian languages The Razihi language appears to be the only remaining Old South Arabian language English is the most important foreign language being widely taught and spoken mostly in the south a former British colony 362 There are a significant number of Russian speakers originating from Yemeni Russian cross marriages occurring mainly in the 1970s and 1980s A small Cham speaking community is found in the capital city of Sana a originating from refugees expatriated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War in the 1970s citation needed Urban areas Edit Main article List of cities in Yemen Religion Edit Main article Religion in Yemen Religion in Yemen 364 Sunni Islam 56 36 Zaidiyyah Shia Islam 42 1 Ismaʿilism Shia Islam 1 51 Other religion 0 01 Islam is the state religion of Yemen Religion in Yemen consists primarily of two principal Islamic religious groups About 35 of the Muslim population is Shia and 65 is Sunni according to the International Religious Freedom Report 365 Sunnis are primarily Shafi i but also include significant groups of Malikis and Hanbalis Shias are primarily Zaydi and also have significant minorities of Ismaili 366 and Twelver 366 367 Shias The Sunnis are predominantly in the south and southeast The Zaidis shias are predominantly in the north and northwest whilst the Ismailis are in the main centres such as Sana a and Ma rib There are mixed communities in the larger cities About 05 percent of Yemenis are non Muslim adhering to Christianity Judaism or Hinduism or having no religious affiliation 368 369 Estimates of the number of Christians in Yemen range from 25 000 370 to 41 000 371 A 2015 study estimates 400 Christians from a Muslim background in the country 372 There are approximately 50 Jews left in Yemen Some 200 Yemenite Jews were brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency circa 2016 373 According to WIN Gallup International polls Yemen has the most religious population among Arab countries and it is one of the most religious populations world wide 374 Culture EditMain article Culture of Yemen The National Museum in Sana a Typical Yemeni House Dance in Sa dah northwestern Yemen Yemen is a culturally rich country with influence from many civilizations such as the early civilization of Saba 11 12 13 Media Edit Main article Media of Yemen Radio broadcasting in Yemen began in the 1940s when it was still divided into the South by the British and the North by the Imami ruling system 375 After the unification of Yemen in 1990 the Yemeni government reformed its corporations and founded some additional radio stations that broadcast locally However it drew back after 1994 due to destroyed infrastructure resulting from the civil war Television is the most significant media platform in Yemen Given the low literacy rate in the country television is the main source of news for Yemenis There are six free to air channels currently headquartered in Yemen of which four are state owned 376 The Yemeni film industry is in its early stages only two Yemeni films have been released as of 2008 update Theatre Edit Main article Theatre in Yemen The history of Yemeni theatre dates back at least a century to the early 1900s Both amateur and professional government sponsored theatre troupes perform in the country s major urban centres Many of Yemen s significant poets and authors like Ali Ahmed Ba Kathir Muhammad al Sharafi and Wajdi al Ahdal have written dramatic works poems novels and short stories by Yemeni authors like Mohammad Abdul Wali and Abdulaziz Al Maqaleh have also been adapted for the stage There have been Yemeni productions of plays by Arab authors such as Tawfiq al Hakim and Saadallah Wannous and by Western authors including Shakespeare Pirandello Brecht and Tennessee Williams Historically speaking the southern port city of Aden is the cradle of Yemeni theatre in recent decades the capital Sana a has hosted numerous theatre festivals often in conjunction with World Theatre Day Sport Edit This article needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yemen news newspapers books scholar JSTOR January 2019 Learn how and when to remove this template message Football is the most popular sport in Yemen The Yemen Football Association is a member of FIFA and AFC The Yemeni national football team participates internationally The country also hosts many football clubs They compete in the national and international leagues Yemen s mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor sports such as biking rock climbing trekking hiking and other more challenging sports including mountain climbing Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Sarawat Mountains including peaks of 3 000 m 9 800 ft and above particularly that of An Nabi Shu ayb 278 282 are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies The coastal areas of Yemen and Socotra Island also provide many opportunities for water sports such as surfing bodyboarding sailing swimming and scuba diving Socotra Island is home to some of the best surfing destinations in the world Camel jumping is a traditional sport that is becoming increasingly popular among the Zaraniq tribe on the west coast of Yemen in a desert plain by the Red Sea Camels are placed side to side and victory goes to the competitor who leaps from a running start over the most camels The jumpers train year round for competitions Tribesmen women may not compete tuck their robes around their waists for freedom of movement while running and leaping 377 Yemen s biggest sports event was hosting the 20th Arabian Gulf Cup in Aden and Abyan in the southern part of the country on 22 November 2010 Many thought Yemen was the strongest competitor but it was defeated in the first three matches of the tournament 378 Internationally Naseem Hamed a world champion boxer is the most well known Yemeni athlete World Heritage sites Edit Main article Tourism in Yemen This section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Yemen news newspapers books scholar JSTOR October 2021 Learn how and when to remove this template message High rise architecture at Shibam Wadi Hadramawt Among Yemen s natural and cultural attractions are four World Heritage sites 379 380 The Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut inscribed by UNESCO 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 Old City of Sana a at an altitude of more than 2 100 metres 7 000 ft 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 bathhouses 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 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 centre 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 Jazari The latest addition to Yemen s list of World Heritage Sites is the Socotra Archipelago Mentioned by Marco Polo 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 Aloes and the Dragon s Blood Tree Dracaena cinnabari The cultural heritage of Socotra includes the unique Soqotri language Education EditMain article Education in Yemen Literacy rate of the population aged 15 or older 1995 2015 by UNESCO Institute of Statistics The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 64 381 The government has committed to reduce illiteracy to less than 10 by 2025 382 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 383 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 5 of GDP in 1995 to 10 in 2005 223 According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities the top ranking universities in the country are the Yemeni University of Science amp Technology 6532nd worldwide Al Ahgaff University 8930th and Sanaa University 11043rd 384 Yemen was ranked 131st in the Global Innovation Index in 2020 down from 129th in 2019 385 386 387 388 Health EditMain article Health in Yemen A Yemeni doctor examines an infant in a USAID sponsored health care clinic See also Famine in Yemen and 2016 17 Yemen cholera outbreak 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 2002 constituted 3 7 percent of gross domestic product 389 In that same year the per capita expenditure for health care was very low as compared with other Middle Eastern countries US 58 according to United Nations statistics and US 23 according to the World Health Organization According to the World Bank the number of doctors in Yemen rose by an average of more than 7 percent between 1995 and 2000 but as of 2004 there were still only three doctors per 10 000 persons In 2003 Yemen had only 0 6 hospital beds available per 1 000 persons 389 Health care services are particularly scarce in rural areas Only 25 percent of rural areas are covered by health services as compared with 80 percent of urban areas Emergency services such as ambulance service and blood banks are non existent 389 See also EditList of Yemen related topics Outline of Yemen Index of Yemen related articlesReferences Edit New Yemeni government starts its work from Aden TheArabWeekly EU Ambassadors to Visit Yemeni Interim Capital Aden Mussed Asharq Al Awsat Yemen s Constitution of 1991 with Amendments through 2015 PDF Constitute Project Retrieved 31 August 2020 IAEA s support to animal health services in Yemen IAEA Statistical Yearbook 2011 Central Statistical Organisation Archived from the original on 9 October 2012 Retrieved 24 February 2013 a b c d World Economic Outlook Database October 2018 IMF org International Monetary Fund Retrieved 2 March 2019 GINI index World Bank estimate World Bank Retrieved 15 October 2017 Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier Human Development and the Anthropocene PDF United Nations Development Programme 15 December 2020 pp 343 346 ISBN 978 92 1 126442 5 Retrieved 16 December 2020 Yemen International News Safety Institute Archived from the original on 5 May 2010 Retrieved 14 October 2009 McLaughlin Daniel 1 February 2008 Yemen Bradt Travel Guides p 3 ISBN 978 1 84162 212 5 a b Burrowes Robert D 2010 Historical Dictionary of Yemen Rowman amp Littlefield p 319 ISBN 978 0 8108 5528 1 a b St John Simpson 2002 Queen of Sheba treasures from ancient Yemen British Museum Press p 8 ISBN 0 7141 1151 1 a b Kenneth Anderson Kitchen 2003 On the Reliability of the Old Testament Wm B Eerdmans Publishing p 116 ISBN 0 8028 4960 1 Yaakov Kleiman 2004 DNA amp Tradition The Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews Devora Publishing p 70 ISBN 1 930143 89 3 Marta Colburn 2002 The Republic of Yemen Development Challenges in the 21st Century CIIR p 13 ISBN 1 85287 249 7 Karl R DeRouen Uk Heo 2007 Civil Wars of the World Major Conflicts Since World War II Volume 1 ABC CLIO p 810 ISBN 978 1 85109 919 1 Laura Etheredge 2011 Saudi Arabia and Yemen The Rosen Publishing Group p 137 ISBN 978 1 61530 335 9 Burrowes Robert Why Most Yemenis Should Despise Ex president Ali Abdullah Saleh Yemen Times Archived from the original on 16 June 2017 Retrieved 20 August 2015 James L Gelvin 2012 The Arab Uprisings What Everyone Needs to Know Oxford University Press p 68 ISBN 978 0 19 989177 1 Mareike Transfeld 2014 Capturing Sanaa Why the Houthis Were Successful in Yemen Muftah Retrieved 17 October 2014 Steven A Zyck 2014 Mediating Transition in Yemen Achievements and Lessons PDF International Peace Institute Retrieved 17 October 2014 Silvana Toska 26 September 2014 Shifting balances of power in Yemen s crisis The Washington Post Retrieved 24 October 2014 a b Houthi leader vows to defend glorious revolution Al Jazeera 8 February 2015 Retrieved 7 February 2015 Aboueldahab Noha Yemen s fate was sealed six years ago www aljazeera com The Yemen war death toll is five times higher than we think we can t shrug off our responsibilities any longer The Independent 26 October 2018 Bin Javaid Osama 25 April 2017 A cry for help Millions facing famine in Yemen Al Jazeera Retrieved 28 June 2017 Lyons Kate 12 October 2017 Yemen s cholera outbreak now the worst in history as millionth case looms The Guardian ISSN 0261 3077 Retrieved 26 April 2019 a b Yemen Cholera Response Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin PDF 19 December 2017 High Level Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Yemen PDF UN OCHA 22 September 2017 Retrieved 1 October 2017 Borger Julian 5 June 2015 Saudi led naval blockade leaves 20 m Yemenis facing humanitarian disaster The Guardian Retrieved 31 October 2015 Kentish Benjamin 9 October 2016 Saudi led coalition in Yemen accused of genocide after airstrike on funeral hall kills 140 The Independent Retrieved 6 August 2020 Bachman Jeff 26 November 2018 US complicity in the Saudi led genocide in Yemen spans Obama Trump administrations The Conversation Retrieved 13 January 2020 As a scholar of genocide and human rights I believe the destruction brought about by these attacks combined with the blockade amounts to genocide Taves Harold 23 February 2019 Genocide in Yemen Is the West Complicit Essay Is there a genocide in Yemen Based on the definition of genocide The deliberate killing of a large group of people especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation The answer is an unequivocal YES LDCs at a Glance Department of Economic and Social Affairs Economic Analysis amp Policy Division Dept of Economic amp Social Affairs United Nations 25 May 2008 Retrieved 29 July 2020 Least Developed Countries LDCs Department of Economic and Social Affairs Economic Analysis amp Policy Division Dept of Economic amp Social Affairs United Nations 23 September 2010 Retrieved 29 July 2020 Yemen 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview EN AR ReliefWeb United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA 14 February 2019 Retrieved 17 June 2019 a b Global Data Fragile States Index fragilestatesindex org Retrieved 29 July 2020 Jawad ʻAli 1968 Digitized 17 February 2007 الـمـفـصـ ل في تـاريـخ العـرب قبـل الإسـلام Detailed history of Arabs before Islam in Arabic 1 Dar al ʻIlm li l Malayin p 171 Neuwirth Angelika Sinai Nicolai Marx Michael 2010 The Qur n in Context Historical and Literary Investigations Into the Qur nic Milieu BRILL ISBN 9789004176881 Burrowes 2010 p 145 Smith William Robertson Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia p 193 ISBN 1 117 53193 7 He was worshiped by the Madhij and their allies at Jorash Asir in Northern Yemen Beeston A F L Ghul M A Muller W W Ryckmans J 1982 Sabaic Dictionary University of Sanaa YAR p 168 ISBN 2 8017 0194 7 Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov 2007 Enemies from the East V S Soloviev on Paganism Asian Civilizations and Islam Northwestern University Press p 149 ISBN 978 0 8101 2417 2 Edward Balfour 1873 Cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia Commercial Industrial and Scientific Products of the Mineral Vegetable and Animal Kingdoms Useful Arts and Manufactures Band 5 Printed at the Scottish amp Adelphi presses p 240 Bell Richard 20 October 1926 Origin Of Islam In Its Christian Environment via Internet Archive Noldeke Theodor 1879 T Noldeke Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der en aus der arabischen Chronik des Tabari Ubersetzt und mit ausfuhrlichen Erlauterungen und erganzungen Versehn Leiden E J Brill pp 222 McLaughlin 2008 p 4 Kenneth Anderson Kitchen 2003 On the Reliability of the Old Testament Wm B Eerdmans Publishing p 594 ISBN 0 8028 4960 1 Quran 27 6 93 Quran 34 15 18 Geoffrey W Bromiley 1979 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 4 p 254 ISBN 0 8028 3784 0 Nicholas Clapp 2002 Sheba Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen Houghton Mifflin Harcourt p 204 ISBN 0 618 21926 9 P M Holt Peter Malcolm Holt Ann K S Lambton Bernard Lewis 21 April 1977 The 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Scott Johnson 1 November 2012 The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity Oxford University Press p 293 ISBN 978 0 19 533693 1 Scott Johnson 1 November 2012 The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity Oxford University Press p 285 ISBN 978 0 19 533693 1 Scott Johnson 1 November 2012 The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity Oxford University Press p 298 ISBN 978 0 19 533693 1 Sabarr Janneh Learning From the Life of Prophet Muhammad AuthorHouse p 17 ISBN 1 4678 9966 6 Abd al Muhsin Madʼaj M Madʼaj The Yemen in Early Islam 9 233 630 847 A Political History p 12 Ithaca Press 1988 ISBN 0863721028 Wilferd Madelung The Succession to Muhammad A Study of the Early Caliphate p 199 Cambridge University Press 15 October 1998 ISBN 0521646960 Ṭabari The History of al Tabari Vol 12 The Battle of al Qadisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine A D 635 637 A H 14 15 pp 10 11 SUNY Press 1992 ISBN 0791407330 Idris El Hareir The Spread of Islam Throughout the World p 380 UNESCO 2011 ISBN 9231041533 Nejla M Abu Izzeddin The Druzes A New Study of Their History Faith and Society BRILL 1993 ISBN 9004097058 Hugh Kennedy The Armies of the Caliphs Military and Society in the Early Islamic State p 33 Routledge 17 June 2013 ISBN 1134531133 a b Andrew Rippin The Islamic World p 237 Routledge 23 October 2013 ISBN 1136803432 a b Paul Wheatley The Places Where Men Pray Together Cities in Islamic Lands Seventh Through the Tenth Centuries p 128 University of Chicago Press 2001 ISBN 0226894282 Kamal Suleiman Salibi A History of Arabia p 108 Caravan Books 1980 OCLC Number 164797251 Paul Lunde Alexandra Porter 2004 Trade and travel in the Red Sea Region proceedings of Red Sea project I held in the British Museum October 2002 Archaeopress p 20 ISBN 1 84171 622 7 in 976 77 AD the then ruler of Yemen received slaves as well as amber and leopard skins from the chief of the Dahlak islands off the coast from Massawa Stephen W Day Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen A Troubled National Union p 31 Cambridge University Press 2012 ISBN 1107022150 Gerhard Lichtenthaler Political Ecology and the Role of Water Environment Society and Economy in Northern Yemen p 55 Ashgate Publishing Ltd 2003 ISBN 0754609081 First Encyclopaedia of Islam 1913 1936 p 145 BRILL 1993 ISBN 9004097961 E J Van Donzel Islamic Desk Reference p 492 BRILL 1994 ISBN 9004097384 Muhammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدول المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 237 Henry Cassels Kay 1999 Yaman its early medieval history Adegi Graphics LLC p 14 ISBN 1 4212 6464 1 J D Fage Roland Anthony Oliver The Cambridge History of Africa Volume 3 p 119 Cambridge University Press 1977 ISBN 0521209811 William Charles Brice 1981 An Historical Atlas of Islam cartographic Material BRILL p 338 ISBN 9004061169 Farhad Daftary Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies A Historical Introduction to an Islamic Community p 92 I B Tauris 2005 ISBN 1845110919 Farhad Daftary The Isma ilis Their History and Doctrines p 199 Cambridge University Press 2007 ISBN 1139465783 a b Fatima Mernissi The Forgotten Queens of Islam p 14 U of Minnesota Press 1997 ISBN 0816624399 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدو المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 237 Farhad Daftary Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies A Historical Introduction to an Islamic Community p 93 I B Tauris 2005 ISBN 1845110919 a b Steven C Caton Yemen p 51 ABC CLIO 2013 ISBN 159884928X Bonnie G Smith 2008 The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History in Arabic 4 Oxford University Press p 163 ISBN 978 0 19 514890 9 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدو المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 414 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدو المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 303 Alexander Mikaberidze 2011 Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World A Historical Encyclopedia A Historical Encyclopedia ABC CLIO p 159 ISBN 978 1 59884 337 8 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدو المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 311 a b Farhad Daftary 2007 The Isma ilis Their History and Doctrines Cambridge University Press p 260 ISBN 978 1 139 46578 6 Josef W Meri 2004 Medieval Islamic Civilization Psychology Press p 871 ISBN 0 415 96690 6 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدول المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 350 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدول المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 354 Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدول المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 371 a b Mohammed Abdo Al Sururi 1987 الحياة السياسية ومظاهر الحضارة في اليمن في عهد الدول المستقلة political life and aspects of civilization in Yemen during the reign of Independent States in Arabic University of Sana a p 407 a b c d e Alexander D Knysh 1999 Ibn Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam SUNY Press p 230 ISBN 1 4384 0942 7 a b Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 84 ISBN 8175330082 Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 85 ISBN 8175330082 a b c d Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 86 ISBN 8175330082 a b c d Josef W Meri Jere L Bacharach 2006 Medieval Islamic Civilization L Z index Taylor amp Francis p 669 ISBN 0 415 96692 2 David J Wasserstein Ami Ayalon 2013 Mamluks and Ottomans Studies in Honour of Michael Winter Routledge p 201 ISBN 978 1 136 57917 2 a b David J Wasserstein Ami Ayalon 2013 Mamluks and Ottomans Studies in Honour of Michael Winter Routledge p 201 ISBN 978 1 136 57917 2 a b Alexander D Knysh 1999 Ibn Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam SUNY Press p 231 ISBN 1 4384 0942 7 Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 94 ISBN 8175330082 Jane Hathaway 2003 A Tale of Two Factions Myth Memory and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen SUNY Press ISBN 0 7914 5883 0 a b Daniel Martin Varisco 1993 the Unity of the Rasulid State under al Malik al Muzaffar Revue du monde musulman et de la Mediterranee p 21 Volume 67 a b Steven C Caton Yemen p 59 ABC CLIO 2013 ISBN 159884928X Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 94 ISBN 8175330082 Bernard Haykel 2003 Revival and Reform in Islam The Legacy of Muhammad Al Shawkani Cambridge University Press p 30 ISBN 0 521 52890 9 Halil Inalcik Donald Quataert 1994 An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire 1300 1914 Cambridge University Press p 320 ISBN 0 521 34315 1 Nahrawali Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad 6 September 2002 البرق اليماني في الفتح العثماني Lightning Over Yemen A History of the Ottoman Campaign in Yemen 1569 71 Translated by Smith Clive I B Tauris p 2 ISBN 978 1 86064 836 6 Giancarlo Casale 2010 The Ottoman Age of Exploration Oxford University Press p 43 ISBN 978 0 19 979879 7 a b Nahrawali 2002 p 88 Jane Hathaway 2012 A Tale of Two Factions Myth Memory and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen SUNY Press p 83 ISBN 978 0 7914 8610 8 a b Robert W Stookey 1978 Yemen the politics of the Yemen Arab Republic Westview Press p 134 ISBN 0 89158 300 9 a b c Nahrawali 2002 p 95 R B Serjeant Ronald Lewcock 1983 Sana An Arabian Islamic City World of Islam Festival Pub Co p 70 ISBN 0 905035 04 6 a b Halil Inalcik Donald Quataert 1984 An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire 1300 1914 Cambridge University Press p 333 ISBN 0 521 34315 1 a b Nahrawali 2002 p 132 Nahrawali 2002 p 134 a b Nahrawali 2002 p 180 a b c d Abdul Ali 1996 Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times M D Publications Pvt Ltd p 103 ISBN 8175330082 a b Nahrawali 2002 p 198 Nahrawali 2002 p 200 Nahrawali 2002 p 208 Nahrawali 2002 p 210 Nancy Um 2009 The merchant houses of Mocha trade and architecture in an Indian Ocean port University of Washington Press p 19 ISBN 978 0 295 98910 5 Robert W Stookey 1978 Yemen the politics of the Yemen Arab Republic Westview Press p 141 ISBN 0 89158 300 9 a b c Michel Tuchscherer July 2000 Chronologie du Yemen 1506 1635 Chroniques yemenites Arabian Humanities Revue Internationale d Archeologie et de Sciences Sociales Sur la Peninsule Arabique International Journal of Archaeology and Social Sciences in the Arabian Peninsula 8 doi 10 4000 cy 11 Retrieved 3 February 2014 Harold F Jacob 2007 Kings of Arabia The Rise and Set of the Turkish Sovranty in the Arabian Peninsula Garnet amp Ithaca Press p 70 ISBN 978 1 85964 198 9 Nahrawali 2002 p 197 Abd al Samad al Mawza i 1986 al Ihsan fi dukhul Mamlakat al Yaman taht zill Adalat al Uthman الإحسان في دخول مملكة اليمن تحت ظل عدالة آل عثمان in Arabic New Generation Library pp 99 105 Amira Maddah 1982 l Uthmaniyyun wa l Imam al Qasim b Muhammad b Ali fo l Yaman العثمانيون والإمام القاسم بن محمد في اليمن in Arabic p 839 Musflafa Sayyid Salim 1974 al Fath al Uthmani al Awwal li l Yaman الفتح العثماني الأول لليمن in Arabic p 357 a b c Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France 2 R Faulder 1789 p 75 a b Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France 2 R Faulder 1789 p 76 Accounts and Extracts of the Manuscripts in the Library of the King of France 2 R Faulder 1789 p 78 Kjetil Selvik Stig Stenslie 2011 Stability and Change in the Modern Middle East I B Tauris p 90 ISBN 978 1 84885 589 2 Anna Hestler Jo Ann Spilling 2010 Yemen Marshall Cavendish p 23 ISBN 978 0 7614 4850 1 Richard N Schofield 1994 Territorial foundations of the Gulf states UCL Press p 90 ISBN 1 85728 121 7 Burrowes 2010 p 295 Nelly Hanna 2005 Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600 1900 Essays in Honor of Andre Raymond American Univ in Cairo Press p 124 ISBN 9774249372 Roman Loimeier 2013 Muslim Societies in Africa A Historical Anthropology Indiana University Press p 193 ISBN 978 0 253 00797 1 Marta Colburn 2002 The Republic of Yemen Development Challenges in the 21st Century CIIR p 15 ISBN 1 85287 249 7 Ari Ariel 2013 Jewish Muslim Relations and Migration from Yemen to Palestine in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries BRILL p 24 ISBN 978 9004265370 R L Playfair 1859 A History of Arabia Felix or Yemen Bombay R B Serjeant amp R Lewcock 1983 San a An Arabian Islamic City London a b c d Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 120 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 124 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 121 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 R J Gavin 1975 Aden Under British Rule 1839 1967 C Hurst amp Co Publishers p 60 ISBN 0 903983 14 1 Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 132 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 a b Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 120 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 Reeva S Simon Michael Menachem Laskier Sara Reguer 2013 The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times Columbia University Press p 390 ISBN 978 0 231 50759 2 Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 59 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 Derryl N Maclean Sikeena Karmali Ahmed 2012 Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts Perspectives from the Past Edinburgh University Press p 54 ISBN 978 0 7486 4456 8 a b B Z Eraqi Klorman 1993 The Jews of Yemen in the Nineteenth Century A Portrait of a Messianic Community BRILL p 11 ISBN 9004096841 Ari Ariel 2013 Jewish Muslim Relations and Migration from Yemen to Palestine in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries BRILL p 37 ISBN 978 9004265370 a b Dogan Gurpinar 2013 Ottoman Turkish Visions of the Nation 1860 1950 Palgrave Macmillan p 71 ISBN 978 1 137 33421 3 Caesar E Farah 2002 The Sultan s Yemen 19th Century Challenges to Ottoman Rule I B Tauris p 96 ISBN 1 86064 767 7 B Z Eraqi Klorman 1993 The Jews of Yemen in the Nineteenth Century A Portrait of a Messianic Community BRILL p 12 ISBN 9004096841 Eugene L Rogan 2002 Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire Transjordan 1850 1921 Cambridge University Press ISBN 0 521 89223 6 Clive Leatherdale 1983 Britain and Saudi Arabia 1925 1939 The Imperial Oasis Psychology Press p 140 ISBN 0 7146 3220 1 Nikshoy C Chatterji 1973 Muddle of the Middle East Volume 1 Abhinav Publications p 197 ISBN 0 391 00304 6 Harold F Jacob 2007 Kings of Arabia The Rise and Set of the Turkish Sovereignty in the Arabian Peninsula Garnet amp Ithaca Press p 82 ISBN 978 1 85964 198 9 James Minahan 2002 Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations A C Greenwood Publishing Group p 195 ISBN 0 313 32109 4 Bernard Reich 1990 Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa A Biographical Dictionary Greenwood Publishing Group p 508 ISBN 0 313 26213 6 a b Paul Dresch 2000 A History of Modern Yemen Cambridge University Press p 34 ISBN 0 521 79482 X a b Bernard Reich 1990 Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa A Biographical Dictionary Greenwood Publishing Group p 509 ISBN 0 313 26213 6 Ameen Rihani 1960 Kings of the Arabs Muluk al Arab Beirut Dar al Rihani pp 214 216 Massimiliano Fiore 2010 Anglo Italian Relations in the Middle East 1922 1940 Ashgate Publishing Ltd p 21 ISBN 978 0 7546 9747 3 a b c Madawi al Rasheed 2002 A History of Saudi Arabia Cambridge University Press p 101 ISBN 0 521 64412 7 Bernard Reich 1990 Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa A Biographical Dictionary Greenwood Publishing Group p 509 ISBN 978 0 313 26213 5 a b c d Madawi al Rasheed April 2010 A History of Saudi Arabia Cambridge University Press p 97 ISBN 978 0 521 76128 4 Raymond A Hinnebusch Anoushiravan Ehteshami 2002 The Foreign Policies of Middle East States Lynne Rienner Publishers p 262 ISBN 1 58826 020 8 Glen Balfour Paul 1994 The End of Empire in the Middle East Britain s Relinquishment of Power in Her Last Three Arab Dependencies Cambridge University Press p 60 ISBN 0 521 46636 9 Bernard Reich 1990 Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa A Biographical Dictionary Greenwood Publishing Group p 510 ISBN 978 0 313 26213 5 a b Kiren Aziz Chaudhry The Price of Wealth Economies and Institutions in the Middle East p 117 Ulrike Freitag Indian Ocean Migrants and State Formation in Hadhramaut Reform Don Peretz The Middle East Today p 490 The Middle East Today By Don Peretz p 491 Human Rights Human Wrongs By M S Gill p 48 F Gregory Gause 1990 Saudi Yemeni Relations Domestic Structures and Foreign Influence Columbia University Press p 60 ISBN 978 0 231 07044 7 Retrieved 22 February 2013 Dresch Paul 2000 A History of Modern Yemen Cambridge University Press p 115 ISBN 978 0 521 79482 4 Retrieved 22 February 2013 Schmitthoff Clive Macmillan Clive M Schmitthoff s select essays on international trade law p 390 a b c d e f Yemen profile timeline BBC 26 October 2013 Retrieved 14 December 2013 1978 Ali Abdullah Saleh named as president of YAR Dresch Paul 2000 A History of Modern Yemen Cambridge University Press pp 120 124 a b Nohlen Dieter Grotz Florian Hartmann Christof eds 2001 Elections in Asia A data handbook Volume I Oxford Oxford University Press pp 309 310 ISBN 978 0 19 924958 9 Retrieved 7 April 2011 Persian Gulf War Desert Storm War with Iraqi Laughtergenealogy com Archived from the original on 22 January 2004 Retrieved 22 February 2013 a b c Country Profile Yemen PDF Library of Congress Federal Research Division August 2008 Retrieved 7 April 2010 Fighting al Qaeda The Role of Yemen s President Saleh Realclearworld com 17 December 2009 Archived from the original on 9 February 2010 Retrieved 22 February 2013 Ginny Hill 1 April 2009 Yemen s point of no return The Guardian London Retrieved 22 February 2013 Ginny Hill Peter Salisbury Leonie Northedge Jane Kinninmont 2013 Yemen Corruption Capital Flight and Global Drivers of Conflict Chatham House Retrieved 17 October 2014 The Islah Party Islamopedia Online 13 December 2012 Archived from the original on 7 April 2015 Retrieved 19 October 2014 Peter W Wilson 1994 Saudi Arabia The Coming Storm M E Sharpe p 129 ISBN 978 0 7656 3347 7 Ginny Hill Peter Salisbury Leonie Northedge Jane Kinninmont 2013 Yemen Corruption Capital Flight and Global Drivers of Conflict Chatham House Retrieved 17 October 2014 John R Bradley 2012 After the Arab Spring How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts Macmillan p 113 ISBN 978 0 230 39366 0 Bernard Haykel 14 June 2011 Saudi Arabia s Yemen Dilemma How to Manage an Unruly Client State Foreign Affairs Retrieved 24 October 2014 Sarah Phillips 2008 Yemen s Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective Palgrave Macmillan p 99 ISBN 978 0 230 61648 6 Civil war Yca sandwell org uk Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell Archived from the original on 16 June 2013 Retrieved 23 February 2013 U S Department of State Background Notes Mideast March 2011 InfoStrategist com ISBN 978 1 59243 126 7 Yemen timeline BBC 28 November 2012 Retrieved 23 February 2013 John Pike 11 July 2011 Yemeni Civil War 1990 1994 Global Security Retrieved 22 February 2013 Time running out for solution to Yemen s water crisis The Guardian IRIN quoting Jerry Farrell country director of Save the Children in Yemen and Ghassan Madieh a water specialist for UNICEF in Yemen 26 August 2012 In eleventh hour reversal President Saleh announces candidacy IRIN 25 June 2006 Retrieved 14 December 2010 Deadly blast strikes Yemen mosque BBC News 2 May 2008 Retrieved span, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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