Official name: The Republic of Yemen.
Yemen, officially the Republic of Yemen, is a country located southwest of the Arabian Peninsula in the west side of Asia. It is about 527,970 km2 of area and 26,687,000 of population according to the population statistics for 2015. Bordered by Saudi Arabia from north and the Sultanate of Oman from east, with a coastal area on both Arabian Sea from south and Red Sea from west. Yemen has more than 200 islands in the Red Sea and Arab Sea of which the largest are the islands of Socotra and Hunaish. Yemeni constitution based on a democratic state with multi-party political system, adopted a free economic system, committed to international conventions of Human Rights International Declaration and the Islamic Sharia is the main source of legislation. Yemen is a member in the Arab League, United Nations, the Non-Aligned States, Islamic Cooperation Organization and the World Trade Organization .
Flag and Emblem:
The history of Ancient Yemen:
The oldest information we have received from the old Musnad inscriptions indicates that there was a high ancient Yemeni civilization dated back to the 1st century BC, according to the best scientific approaches that have made the monuments and inscriptions as their main theme, and such a scientific approach is enhanced by the opinion of the German scientist "Hermann Vismon" that the oldest old Yemeni inscriptions are those found in the "Hajr Bin-Humaid" in Bayhan valley, which is titled as "Mono-gram of Hajr Bin-Humaid " dating back to the 10th century BC and based on historical disclosure standards by radio carbon method. Ancient Yemen has witnessed the emergence of several states like Sheba, which is the oldest Yemeni state, Qataban, Hadramout and Maeen.
State of Sheba:
Sheba or "Saba" - according to the linguistic meaning in old Yemeni language – means invaded and it was pronounced as "Sab'atin". Marib was the original land of Sheba states and stretched towards north to include Al-Jawf, then the eastern highlands areas such as Arhab, Khawlan and the basins of Sana'a and Al-Bawn. Sheba civilization is the oldest civilizations of Yemen at all, according to what we got from the Musnad inscriptions, and its history is the pillar of Yemen's old history and great political composition. The most important monument of this civilization is the Ancient Marib Dam, which is the greatest old engineering work in the Arabian Peninsula.
State of Qataban:
Its capital is "Tumna" town, which is "Hajr Kohlan" according to the ancient inscriptions. It is the largest town in Yemen after Marib - the capital of Sheba State. Pliny mentioned that there was 65 temples in this town. The original gathering of Qataban tribe is the highest valley between "Bayhan Al-Qasab" and "Hajr Kohlan" where lies today "Hajr Bin-Humaid". Qataban state began in the 4th century BC, which is the same period which witnessed the emergence of a Maeen State as well, and this indicates that the weakness of Sheba State helped the emergence of this state.
State of Maeen:
Ancient Yemeni inscriptions indicates that about 400 BC Al-Jawf region separated of Sheba State, led by " Yathal" town which is also known as "Baraqish", then Maeenians established their own state and made "Qarnaw" town as its capital in Al-Jawf valley where they were able to control the commercial Incense Route supported by Hadramout and Qataban states. The most important monument of this state is the Ancient historical city of "Baraqish", which is believed to have been the religious capital of Maeen State and the reason behind the Maeenians success to establish their state due to its substantial role in the revolution against Sheba State. Then Maeenians have moved towards the north of the Arabian Peninsula and built their settlement of "Dedan Al-Ola".
State of Hadramaut:
Today, the name Hadramaut is addressed exactly to Saihad Valley in "Ramlat Al-Sab'atain" which is 165 kilometers away from the Arabian Sea coast and moves parallel to it with a distance of 200 kilometers where located the cities of Shibam, Sayoun and Tareem, but the Ancient State of Hadramaut was covering areas larger than this, as it has been extended eastward to include "Dhofar" the land of frankincense, and southward to include the big mountain scope until the ocean coast, and northward towards the Empty Quarter and westward to the waterfalls of the valleys that lead to Hadramout Valley. The capital of Hadramaut State was Shabwa town, which remains carrying the same name up to now. Hadramaut State has been an ally of the powerful State of Sheba until the 4th century BC, where it got separated and formed an independent state.
The Himyarite State:
Himyarite State emerged as a powerful state in the 1st century AD with its capital of Dhofar city with its Raidan palace, to be the last ancient Yemeni state. Dhofar is located about 20 kilometers to the south of Yareem and east to the road that connects Taiz with Sanaa across the pass of Sumara. Dhofar was mentioned for the first time in the ancient inscriptions especially a votive inscription found in Marib and this inscription indicated that Yemen witnessed a war in the 2nd century AD spread to the gates of the Himyarite capital. Himyarite State was fell down after the Aksum (Ethiopian) invasion of Yemen, and with the fall of the Himyarite king the capital Dhofar began to devolve into extinction, and was replaced by Sana'a as a capital of Yemen by the emergence of Islam.
Reason of calling Yemen with this name:
Arab narrators were differed in the name Yemen. Some said that Yemen is a name of a son of Qahtan Al-Humaisa', other said that it was called Yemen as an indication of blessing, while other said that it was called Yemen because of its location at the right side of the "Holy Kaaba". Yemeni historians like Al-Hamdany and others called it the Green Yemen because of its great deal of large green trees, fruit and plants. In the old Yemeni language Yemen means the southern side, which promotes the idea relative to its position at the south direction of the "Holy Kaaba".
Yemen in the Islamic Era:
Yemen entered its mid-historical period with the beginning of the call to Islam in the 7th century AD, which was actually as a savior of the Yemeni conflict on power and negative impact on Yemen at that time. Yemenis converted to Islam voluntarily and were among the conquering leaders under the rule of the new Islamic State which emerged quickly after the death of the "Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him". They have integrated into the public life of the new state and many of them settled in the far sides of the new Islamic State taking with them a lot of their knowledge, experience and skills, and thus contributed tremendously in the planning and design of cities, regional capitals, establishment of forts and many other important contributions.
With the weakness of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad, and in particular on the far external borders of the Islamic State, so, the conditions were suitable to raise the tendency of Yemenis to establish a small independent state separate from the Caliphate State, where Zabid in the Tihama plains was the first initiated. It has been designed by Mohammed ibn Ziyad as the capital of the state of his rule, which became known as the Ziyadi State ruling at the beginning of the 9th century. Ziyadi State spread its influence over large parts of Yemen until its fallen in the 11th century, where grew up in Yemen many other small states within few decades, including:
1-Ya'furi State in Shibam Kawkaban 861 - 956 AD.
- State of the Zaidi imamate in Sa'ada, which emergence coincided with all other states in Yemen in the post-Islamic era for more than a thousand years, and extended its influence to Sana'a and Najran, while extends to most areas of Yemen sometimes and shrinks in others to the internal parts of east regions of the state.
- Sulayhi State in Sana'a and Jibla (1047 - 1138 AD). The Sulayhi family managed the unification of Yemen to become a single political entity. Among the most famous rulers of Sulayhi State in was Queen Arwa Ahmed (daughter of Sulayhi) whom was known of her interest and focus on the construction of mosques, schools, roads and irrigation canals.
- Ayyubi State in Taiz (1174 - 1229 AD).
- Rasouli State in Taiz (1226 -1454 AD). It was the greatest power found in Yemen during the Islamic era as its rule was the longest periods, its influence was the most extended in the regions and its rule was the most effective.
- Tahiriya State in Al-Miqranh (called Radaa now) (1446 -1517 AD).
Mid-era of the Yemeni history ended when the northern and eastern parts of the country fell under the influence of the first Ottoman rule in 1539 AD which was extended until the year 1635 AD. The Ottomans returned for the second time in 1872 AD, while British colonialism occupied the city of Aden in 1839 AD, and imposed indirectly their custody on the rest of the southern and eastern regions of Yemen. The British and the Ottomans entered a dispute over influence in Yemen, and this conflict peaked finally by the signing the first treaty that declared the first borders that separated the northern part of Yemen away from the south and east. Yemenis continued their resistance to colonialism in the south and the corruption of the Ottoman regime in the north, until the Ottomans finally forced to withdraw from Yemen in 1918 AD, then Yemen subjected to the rule of the Imamate.
Yemenis lined the course of their recent history by launching 26th of September Revolution of 1962 AD in Sana'a, which excluded Imamate regime. In the 14th of October 1963 AD the armed struggle against the British began in the south, so that the nation achieved their victory in the 30th of November 1967 AD by the evacuation of the last British soldier from Aden.
The main currency in Yemen is the Yemeni Riyal and has the symbol (YR), which can be exchanged in other currencies like the US Dollar, Euro, Saudi Riyal, Japanese Yen ... etc. Tourists and visitors can change currency through banks, and in order to save effort and time, the tourist can exchange Yemeni currency through private money exchange centers at any time at exchange rate equal to banks because the Yemeni currency is floating and its rate is subjected to supply and demand. Tourist or visitors can follow up the Yemeni riyal exchange rates against other currencies on a daily basis through the following link:
Photos of some banknotes used currently in Yemen: