The one minute summary on

Yemen photo

Photo by Wajahat Mahmood

This is it: one minute to the best info on Yemen. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Yemen, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.

North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.

A southern secessionist movement and brief civil war in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border. Fighting in the northwest between the government and the Huthis, a Zaydi Shia minority, began in 2004 and has since resulted in six rounds of fighting – the last ended in early 2010 with a cease-fire that continues to hold. The southern secessionist movement was revitalized in 2008 when a popular socioeconomic protest movement initiated the prior year took on political goals including secession.

Public rallies in Sana’a against then President SALIH – inspired by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt – slowly built momentum starting in late January 2011 fueled by complaints over high unemployment, poor economic conditions, and corruption. By the following month, some protests had resulted in violence, and the demonstrations had spread to other major cities.

By March the opposition had hardened its demands and was unifying behind calls for SALIH’s immediate ouster, and prominent military and tribal leaders began defecting from SALIH’s camp. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in late April 2011, in an attempt to mediate the crisis in Yemen, proposed an agreement in which the president would step down in exchange for immunity from prosecution. SALIH’s refusal to sign an agreement led to heavy street fighting and his injury in an explosion in June 2011.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2014 in October 2011 calling on both sides to end the violence and complete a power transfer deal. In late November 2011, SALIH signed the GCC-brokered agreement to step down and to transfer some of his powers to Vice President Abd Rabuh Mansur HADI. Following elections in February 2012, won by HADI, SALIH formally transferred his powers. In accordance with the GCC initiative, Yemen launched a National Dialogue in March 2013 to discuss key constitutional, political, and social issues. HADI concluded the National Dialogue in January 2014. Subsequent steps in the transition process include constitutional drafting, a constitutional referendum, and national elections.

That was it. I promised one minute.

For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.

  1. Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in  Yemen
  2. Does my current phone work in  Yemen ? Tips to cell phone usage in  Yemen
  3. Local food you should try in  Yemen and No miss drinks in  Yemen

Now, cheers to the most Yemen aware person at the cocktail party.

What are the key history moments for Yemen?

Yemen has long existed at the crossroads of cultures, it linked some of the oldest centres of civilization in the Near East by virtue of its location in South Arabia. Between the 12th century BC and the 6th century, it was part of the Minaean, Sabaean, Hadhramaut, Qataban, Ausan and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade, and later came under Ethiopian and Persian rule. In the 6th century, the Himyarite king Abu-Karib Assad converted to Judaism.

Yemen photo

Photo by Iqbal Osman1

In the 7th century, Islamic caliphs began to exert control over the area. After this caliphate broke up, South Arabia came under the control of many dynasties who ruled part, or often all of South Arabia. Imams of Persian origin ruled Yemen intermittently for 160 years, establishing a theocratic political structure that survived until modern times. Egyptian Sunni caliphs occupied much of Yemen throughout the 11th century. By the 16th century and again in the 19th century, Yemen was part of the Ottoman Empire, and in some periods Imams exerted control over all Yemen.

The modern history of south Arabia and Yemen began in 1918 when Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire. Between 1918 and 1962, Yemen was a monarchy ruled by the Hamidaddin family. North Yemen then became a republic in 1962, but it was not until 1967 that the British Empire, which had set up a protective area around the South Arabia port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew from what became South Yemen. In 1970, the southern government adopted a Communist governmental system. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.

The one minute summary for Yemen geography

Best places to see in Yemen

Sana’a: Babel Yemen (old city), Wadi Dhar (Dar al-Hadschar Palace – also known as the rock house). Note that Sana’a is over 2,200m (7,200 feet) in elevation. The old city is a mystical and amazing place and also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The streets are alive and bustling around gingerbead-like houses several storeys high, one of the oldest cities in the world. Socotra: Off the south coast of Yemen – an idylic island untouched by modern man and home to many rare species and plants. The seas are turquoise blue and the sands white and unspoiled. One of the most valuable islands on the planet, often described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. Its beaches resemble those of the Caribbean and its mountains and Yemeni mountains covered in 300 species only found in Socotra.

A must-see. Kawkaban: An old fortress-city northwest of Sana’a 3,000m (10,000 feet) high, with elegant old buildings an artifacts from from the old Himyar civilization 2,000 years ago. Himyaric inscriptions can be seen and so can old Stars of David from the old Jewish roots of Himyar. Below the mountain is a magnificent view of a plain dotted by old towns made of mud-brick. Sa’dah: The northernmost major town in Yemen, with its old city made entirely out of stong mud that keeps internal temperature warm during the bitter winter. Its surroundings are known for its delicious grapes, raisins, date palms, and other fruits. Al Mahweet: A northwest town from Sana’a, Al Mahweet is a beautiful and magnificant town atop a mountain where the green scenery and outstanding architectural example of Yemen are at its best. It is part of the western highlands, an area where rain can be extensive and clouds can always be seen below the moutains during the summer. Bura’: A protected area in Yemen in Al Hudaydah governate, this place is a 2,200 meter (7,200 foot) mountain covered by a natural forests resembling one of the rainforests of Africa.

Yemen photo

Photo by Rod Waddington

There are many flora and fauna varieties in Bura’ located only in Yemen and its historic boundaries (Najran, Jizan, Asir, Dhofar, & ar Rub’ al Khali). It is one of the most beautiful places in Yemen. Manakhah: A large old town on a peak 2,700m (9,000 feet) high known for its daring location and beautiful scenery. This town is a perfect example of life in medieval Yemen. Ma’rib: The capital of the Sabaean Kingdom, built about 3,000 years ago, with its famous Ma’rib dam, one of the engineering wonders of the world. It was said that thousands of years ago the magnificent dam helped create some of the greenest areas in the world, a notion also supported by historical texts like the Qur’an. The Queen of Sheba is known to have had her kingdom here and artefacts and temples from her reign are still preserved and present. Ibb: The green heartland of Yemen, with annual rainfall at about 1200 mm per year. It is located about some 10,000+ foot high mountains.

The city of Ibb, however, is in the valley, but waterfalls are known to be present and beautiful. The historic town of Jiblah is located near Ibb city. And with the freshest climate on the whole peninsula, there is no wonder why it is called the Green Heart of Yemen. Al Khawkhah: At one of the hottest places on earth, you need a beach, and at Al Khawkhah, it has one of the best beaches in Yemen. The shore is long and back by fields of palm trees and a small pleasant town. The Red Sea is relatively calm and cool, great for an are where summer temperatures are commonly over 48°C. Ta’izz: The cultural capital of Yemen, which is the most liberal and the friendliest city in the country.

It has been the capital of Yemen when the last Imam was in power and is a medieval city. Towering above Ta’izz is the 3,000m (10,000 foot) Jabal Sabir, which is known all around Yemen for its dazzling ascent and view from the top. This mountain is very fertile and is home to tens of thousands of people living on and around the mountain. Shibam: commonly called the Manhattan of the Desert, this town located in Wadi Hadhramaut has the first skyscrapers of the world. Hundreds of adobe home ranging from 5-11 storeys high are boxed into a walled area that is simply marvellous. The tops are painted with gypsum, a mineral commonly found in Yemen. Some of the buildings are over 700 years old. Tarim & Say’un: These nearby towns are made almost entirely of adobe.

The towns are well organized and elegant, with famous palaces and mosques in each city. Al Mukalla: Perhaps the most developed-looking city in Yemen, Al Mukalla is the jewel of the Arabian Sea. Around it around beautiful beaches, however, the best in Yemen is known to be at Bir Ali, which is a lengthy 100 km drive, though very much well worth it. Hauf National Park: The only natural forest in the Arabian Peninsula because it is affected by the seasonal monsoon rains that also affects India. Mountains and Hills are layered with a cap of green for mile with wild life similar to one of a rain forests, this forest also extends to the Omani side of the border, from Qishn, Yemen to Salalah, Oman.