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Yemen, Republic of, country in southwestern Asia, on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bounded on the west by the Red Sea and on the south by the Gulf of Aden (an arm of the Arabian Sea, which is part of the Indian Ocean), and is separated from Africa by the narrow strait of Bab el Mandeb. To the north and northeast lies Saudi Arabia and to the east is Oman; these two countries are Yemen’s only contiguous neighbors. Yemen includes several sizable islands, most notably Socotra in the Indian Ocean, Perim in the Bab el Mandeb, and Kamaran in the Red Sea. Yemen covers about 527,970 sq km (about 203,850 sq mi). Sana‘a (Sanaa) is Yemen’s capital and largest city.
The Republic of Yemen was created in 1990 out of the peaceful unification of the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). The YAR was commonly called North Yemen, and the PDRY was generally referred to as South Yemen, although South Yemen was actually less to the south than to the east and southeast of North Yemen. In May 1994, civil war broke out between the ruling powers of northern and southern Yemen, which had maintained separate armies and security forces as well as political differences. The fighting, which lasted more than two months and produced thousands of casualties and major economic and infrastructural damage, resulted in the defeat of southern secessionists and the survival of unified Yemen.
Prosperous and famed in ancient times, historic Yemen has been a very poor and unknown land for more than the last thousand years. The discovery of oil in both Yemens in the mid-1980s held out the prospect of economic development and an easier life for the people of Yemen.
Because of their prominence and prosperity, the states and societies of ancient Yemen were collectively called Arabia Felix in Latin, meaning “Happy Arabia.” However, when the Romans occupied Egypt in the 1st century bc they made the Red Sea their primary avenue of commerce. With the decline of the caravan routes, the kingdoms of southern Arabia lost much of their wealth and fell into obscurity. Red Sea traffic sailed past Yemen, and what seaborne commerce Yemen engaged in had little impact on the country’s interior. The Tihamah region, which was hot, humid, swept by sandstorms, and clouded in haze, isolated the comparatively well-watered and populous highlands. The weakened Yemeni regimes that followed the trading kingdoms were unable to prevent the occupation of Yemen by the Christian Abyssinian kingdom (modern Ethiopia) in the 4th and early 6th centuries ad and by the Sassanids of Persia in the later 6th century, just before the rise of Islam.
Land, Touritsm and Tourism Resources
Every year during the summer months, monsoon winds blow inland over the water, picking up moisture, and the mountains force the warm air to rise, cool, and condense. The considerable, although erratic, seasonal rainfall allows for intensive cultivation, much of it on stonewalled terraces and in wadis—streambeds that flow with water only during and after the rains. The average rainfall in the highlands varies from 303 to 762 mm (8 to 30 in), whereas on the coast it varies from 76 to 229 mm (3 to 9 in).
The mountains of northern Yemen are cut at right angles in several places by great wadis that feed large aquifers (underground layers of earth or stone that hold water) at their base on the Tihamah. Moreover, since the highlands in the north are loftier and more extensive than in the south, the north has a generally less forbidding climate, greater rainfall, more intensive and extensive agriculture, and a much larger population. The eastern two-thirds of southern Yemen are basically uninhabitable, except for coastal oases, fishing villages, the port of Al Mukalla, and the large, well-populated district of Hadhramaut, which extends from the coast into the country’s interior.
Way of Life
Yemeni tribesmen are known by the jambiyya, or curved dagger, carried in a scabbard on a wide belt at the front of the body. Men often wear one of several types of skirts rather than pants, and a straw hat or headcloth. They also may wear Western styles of clothing. The clothing of Yemeni women, which includes robes, shawls, and veils, varies greatly from region to region; much of it is colorful, striking, and imaginative.
Women in Yemen tend to live secluded from nonfamilial men, although this is less true under the more relaxed conditions in the countryside and former South Yemen generally. The most distinctive and important Yemeni social institution is the “qat session,” a relaxed but ritualized afternoon gathering at which men and women socialize separately and chew the mildly narcotic leaves of the privet-like qat (khat) plant. Most men and many women “chew qat” at least twice a week.
The Yemeni diet includes rice, bread, vegetables, fish, and lamb. A spicy green stew called salta is one of Yemen’s most popular dishes. Housing in Yemen varies from region to region. In the Tihamah, near the Red Sea, people live in African-style circular reed huts. Residents of the highlands, many of whom are farmers, sometimes live in stone or mud-brick houses of multiple stories, often intricately decorated with alabaster or stained glass. City dwellers also reside in houses of this type, or else in modern-style houses or flats.
Yemen’s relative isolation and traditionally weak economy have produced a number of long-standing social problems. Because education was until recently unavailable to the majority of Yemenis, the country has traditionally had one of the lowest literacy rates in Asia. This is particularly true for women in Yemen, who have not generally been encouraged to seek schooling. In addition, health care in Yemen is notoriously underdeveloped. Polluted drinking water, inadequate vaccination, and a shortage of medical personnel and facilities have contributed to the quick spread of numerous diseases among Yemenis. These conditions have also given Yemen a high infant mortality rate and a much lower rate of life expectancy than in other countries of the Arabian Peninsula. Over the past two decades, Yemeni leaders have made greater efforts to provide social welfare for the nation’s inhabitants; with the help of foreign aid, new training and treatment facilities have opened, and new health-care programs are in operation in some rural areas.
Currency and Foreign Trade
Throughout the 20th century and probably earlier, the major export
of both Yemens was Yemeni workers. This increased dramatically after
the 1960s, and the two Yemens became largely remittance economies, increasingly
dependent on hard currency earned by workers abroad, mainly in Saudi
Arabia and other countries of the Arabian Peninsula. This changed in
1990, when Saudi Arabia withdrew the privileges of Yemenis working there
and halted foreign aid to its southern neighbor; the move was made in
retaliation for Yemen’s support for an Arab diplomatic and political
solution to Iraq’s seizure of Kuwait and its resistance to the
deployment of foreign troops to Saudi Arabia to counter the Iraqi military
threat. As a result, 850,000 Yemeni workers returned home, producing
a major reduction in national income, large-scale unemployment, and
general economic upheaval. To compensate for the loss in remittances
and economic assistance, the government of Yemen began to focus on creating
a more viable and stable domestic economy.
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the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country situated
in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan
to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the
northeast. Its size is 1,100,000 km² with an estimated population
of over 78,000,000. Its capital is Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and Africa's second-most populous nation.
(country), republic in northeastern Africa, strategically located at the
strait of Bab el Mandeb, which links the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden.
The small country takes its name from its capital and only large city,
Djibouti. Located at the intersection of trade routes connecting the Indian
Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea, and Africa with the Middle East, Djibouti
has long been a cultural and commercial crossroads.
republic in East Africa, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Kenya
has a varied landscape of plateaus and high mountains and is home to many
different ethnic groups. Formerly a British colony, Kenya gained independence
in 1963 and has been a republic since 1964. It is bounded on the north
by Sudan and Ethiopia, on the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, on
the south by Tanzania, and on the west by Lake Victoria and Uganda. Nairobi
is the country’s capital and largest city.read
||Yemen, Republic of, country in southwestern Asia, on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bounded on the west by the Red Sea and on the south by the Gulf of Aden (an arm of the Arabian Sea, which is part of the Indian Ocean), and is separated from Africa by the narrow strait of Bab el Mandeb. To the north and northeast lies Saudi Arabia and to the east is Oman; these two countries are Yemen’s only contiguous neighbors Yemen includes read more...|
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