Over many centuries the ancient land of Yemen proved irresistible to fortune seekers and hostile empires from far and wide.
At first, from the port at Aden, the Himyarite, Minean and Sabian Kingdoms engaged in and monopolized the profitable spice trade; over time tales of potential riches spread, and invasions from Rome, Ethiopia and Persia followed.
Later the Rassite (Zaydi) dynasty controlled the region until defeated by the Ottoman Turks, who then ruled from the mid-16th century until their empire collapsed in 1918.
The British occupied Aden in 1839, and their influence spread throughout the southern regions. Aden became a crown colony (protectorate) in 1937.
Divided into two parts for decades; the Yemen Arab Republic (North) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South) finally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.
Differences over power sharing and the pace of integration between north and south came to a head in 1994, resulting in a bloody civil war. Harmony between all factions remains a difficult, sometimes violent process, but countrywide democracy is a long-term goal.
Vaulted on to the worldwide stage on Oct. 12, 2000, when 17 Americans sailors died when suicide bombers attacked the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole in the port of Aden; Yemen has now increased its cooperation with the U.S. by assisting in the implementation of anti-terrorism measures.
Sana, an impressive walled city, and important Islamic site, was first settled in the 1st century; and from this historic capital, Yemen is boldly moving from its ancient ways into the modern world.
Facts and Figures
(long form) Republic of Yemen
Population & Density (all countries) here
Capital City Sana (1.8 million)
Currency Yemeni Rial (YER)
Currency Converter here
National Day May 22
Religions Sunni and Shi’a Muslim
Latitude/Longitude (Capital City)
15� 24′ N, 044� 14′ E
Relative Location Yemen, located on the southern edges of the Arabian Peninsula, to the immediate east of the African continent, is in both the northern and eastern hemispheres. It’s positioned in theMiddle East, a recognized geographical region of southwestern Asia, and bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, and by the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
Coastline 1,184 miles (1,906 km)
(land) 203,850 sq miles (527,970 sq km)
(water) 0 sq miles (0 sq km)
(TOTAL) 203,850 sq miles (527,970 sq km)
Land Area (all countries) here
Landforms Yemen has some of the most fertile lands in the entire Middle East, and yet, for the most part, they’re not developed to their full potential.
Along its Red Sea coast there’s a flat sandy plain that extends the length of the country. The Gulf of Aden coastline is coverd by a narrow, rocky, and relatively flat plain, fronted by hills that rise into the rugged mountains, central and west.
To the north of those central mountains, the high desert slopes down through fertile plains into the interior of southern Saudi Arabia, and the endless sands of the Rub’ Al Khali Desert – the famous “Empty Quarter.”
There are no perennial lakes and rivers, however, in the northern highlands some river valleys (wadis) small streams exist (fall and winter) but fade away quickly in the summer heat.
Highest Point Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb – 12,336 ft. (3,760 m)
Lowest Point Arabian Sea – (0 ft.) (0 m)
Land Divisions 19 governorates, including: Abyan, ‘Adan, Ad Dali’, Al Bayda’, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, ‘Amran, Dhamar, Hadramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma’rib, Sa’dah, San’a', Shabwah and Ta’izz.