Skip to Content


« Back to Glossary Index

**Historical and Ancient Yemen**:
– Yemen has been a crossroads of civilizations for over 7,000 years.
– Figures like the Queen of Sheba and Yemen’s coffee production history are significant.
– Yemen converted to Islam in the 7th century, becoming a center of Islamic learning.
– The country’s architecture from ancient times has survived to the present day.
– Yemen’s strategic location facilitated its position as a trade hub.
– The Sabaean Kingdom, along with other major kingdoms like Saba, Hadhramaut, Qataban, and Main, played key roles in South Arabia.
– The Sabaean rulers held the title of Mukarrib, signifying leadership.
– Notable events include the Great Dam of Marib and conflicts with the Romans.
– Roman and Byzantine influences, such as efforts to convert Himyarites to Christianity and interactions with Red Sea powers, are part of Yemen’s ancient history.

**Geography and Demographics**:
– Yemen is located in West Asia, sharing borders with Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Indian Ocean.
– The country covers approximately 528,000 square kilometers with a 2,000-kilometer coastline.
– Sanaa is the constitutional capital and largest city of Yemen.
– Yemen’s population is estimated at 34.7 million, mainly Arab Muslims.
– Yemen is a member of the Arab League, the United Nations, and other organizations.

**Current Situation and Challenges**:
– Yemen is facing a severe humanitarian crisis due to an ongoing civil war involving multiple entities vying for governance.
– Yemen is one of the least developed countries globally, with significant obstacles to sustainable development.
– In 2019, Yemen had the highest number of people in need of humanitarian aid.
– Yemen ranked highest on the Fragile States Index in 2020 and second-worst on the Global Hunger Index.

**Dynasties and Foreign Influences**:
– The Sulayhid Dynasty, Ayyubid Conquest, Rasulid Dynasty, Tahiride Dynasty, and Ottoman Rule are significant historical periods in Yemen.
– Ismaili missionaries were sent to India by Queen Arwa, leading to the formation of a significant Ismaili community.
– Portuguese influence, British influence, and Yemen’s coffee monopoly and diplomatic relations are notable foreign interactions in Yemen’s history.

**Modern Political Evolution and Unification**:
– Yemen’s history includes periods of colonial rule, internal conflicts, and power struggles.
– The Mutawakkilite Kingdom under Imam Yahya, colonial Aden and British rule, and the formation of two states – North Yemen and South Yemen – are key developments.
– Yemen unified on 22 May 1990, with Saleh as president, leading to a unified parliament and constitution, but also triggering the Yemeni Civil War in 1994.

Yemen (Wikipedia)

Yemen (/ˈjɛmən/ ; Arabic: ٱلْيَمَنْ, romanizedal-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen, is a sovereign state in West Asia. Located in the southern Arabian Peninsula, it borders Saudi Arabia to the north, Oman to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the south, sharing maritime borders with Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia across the Horn of Africa. Covering roughly 528,000 square kilometres (203,861 square miles), with a coastline of approximately 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles), Yemen is the second largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. Sanaa is its constitutional capital and largest city. Yemen's estimated population is 34.7 million, comprised mostly of Arab Muslims. It is a member of the Arab League, the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Republic of Yemen
ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْيَمَنِيَّةُ (Arabic)
al-Jumhūriyyatu l-Yamaniyyatu (formal, nominative)
al-Jumhūriyyah l-Yamaniyyah (informal)
Motto: ٱللَّهُ، ثُمَّ ٱلْوَطَنُ، ٱلثَوْرَةُ، ٱلْوَحْدَةُ
Allāhu, thumma l-Waṭanu, ath-Thawratu, al-Waḥdatu
"God, then Country, Revolution, Unity"
Anthem: الجمهورية المتحدة
al-Jumhūriyyatu l-Muttaḥidatu
"United Republic"
and largest city
15°20′54″N 44°12′23″E / 15.34833°N 44.20639°E / 15.34833; 44.20639
Official language
and national language
Ethnic groups
92.8% Arabs
3.7% Somalis
3.5% other
GovernmentUnitary provisional republic
• Chairman
Rashad al-Alimi (disputed)
Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak (disputed)
Shura Council
House of Representatives

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

30 November 1967
22 May 1990
16 May 1991
16 September 2014
• Total
530,000 km2 (200,000 sq mi) (49th)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
34,449,825 Increase (48th)
• Density
65.0/km2 (168.3/sq mi) (152nd)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $69.963 billion (109th)
• Per capita
Increase $2,053 (180th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Decrease $21.045 billion (123th)
• Per capita
Decrease $617 (184th)
Gini (2014)36.7
HDI (2021)Decrease 0.455
low (183rd)
CurrencyYemeni rial (YER, ﷼)
Time zoneUTC+3 (AST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+967
ISO 3166 codeYE
Internet, اليمن.
  1. From the Ottoman Empire.
  2. From the United Kingdom.

Owing to its geographic location, Yemen has been at the crossroads of many civilisations for over 7,000 years. In 1200 BCE, the Sabaeans formed a thriving commercial kingdom that included parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea. In 275 CE, it was succeeded by the Himyarite Kingdom, which spanned much of Yemen's present-day territory and was heavily influenced by Judaism. Christianity arrived in the fourth century, followed by the rapid spread of Islam in the seventh century. Yemenite troops playing a crucial role in early Islamic conquests. Various dynasties emerged between the 9th and 16th centuries. During the 19th century, the country was divided between the Ottoman and British empires. After World War I, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established, which in 1962 became the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) following a coup. In 1967, the British Aden Protectorate became the independent People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen), the first and only officially socialist state in the Arab world. In 1990, the two Yemeni states united to form the modern Republic of Yemen (al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah), with Ali Abdullah Saleh serving as the first president until his resignation in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Since 2011, Yemen has been enduring a political crisis, marked by street protests against poverty, unemployment, corruption, and President Saleh's plan to amend Yemen's constitution and eliminate the presidential term limit. By 2015, the country became engulfed by an ongoing civil war with multiple entities vying for governance, including the Presidential Leadership Council of the internationally recognized government, the Houthi movement's Supreme Political Council, and the separatist Southern Movement's Southern Transitional Council. This conflict, which has escalated to involve various foreign powers, has led to a severe humanitarian crisis.

Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the world, facing significant obstacles to sustainable development, and is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2019, the United Nations reported that Yemen had the highest number of people in need of humanitarian aid, amounting to about 24 million individuals, or early 75% of its population. As of 2020, Yemen ranked highest on the Fragile States Index and second-worst on the Global Hunger Index, surpassed only by the Central African Republic. Additionally, it has the lowest Human Development Index out of all non-African countries.

« Back to Glossary Index