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Yemen is the second largest country in the Arabian peninsula and covers 527,968 km2. The island of Socrota also belongs to Yemen and is home to the Dragon Blood Tree which looks like an upside down umbrella and produces a red sap. It is home to 24,407,381 people. Its capital has been Sana'a until it was occupied by rebels in 2015 and the temporary capital is now Aden.
Yemen has long existed at a crossroads of cultures with a strategic location in terms of trade on the west. There is archaeological evidence dating from 5.000 BC . The Sabeans established a confederation of South Arabian kingdoms, they included Saba, Hadramout, Qataban and Ma'in.  In the Bible, Saba was known as the Kingdom of Sheba when the Queen traded with King Solomon.  The Sabaens workship Al Maqqah and believed themselves to be his children, they also built The dam built the great Dam of Marib to withstand the seasonal flash floods surging down the valley. Lack of water in the Arabian Peninsula prevented the Sabaeans from unifying the entire peninsula. Instead, they established various colonies to control trade routes. By the 3rd century BC, Qataban, hadramout, and Ma'in became independent from Saba and established themselves in the Yemeni arena. Minaean rule stretched as far as Dedan  with their capital at Baraqish.  The Sabaeans regained their control over Ma'in in 50 BC.In about 25 BC, The Roman Empire tried to invade the area with an army of ten thousand men, they were defeated in Marib and returned to their base in Egypt. king of Saba El-Sharah Yahdub   launched successful campaigns against the Aksum (now Eritrea) who had been supporting the Himyarite .  In 275, the Hymyarite Shamar Yaa-rish unified Yemen and introduced a a monotheistic religion called Rahmanism which supported the Judaic faith. The last Himyarite king Ma'adikarib Ya'fur was supported by Aksum against his Jewish rivals. The Roman Empire split in the 4th century, and the Eastern territories became known as the Christian Empire of Byzantium. Ma'adikarib was Christian and launched a campaign against the Lakhmid in Southern
Iraq, with the support of other Arab allies of Byzantium. Yemenite Christians aided by Aksum and Byzantium  systematically persecuted Jews and burned down several synagogues across the land. Yousef  marched toward the port city of Mocha and and  he settled a camp to prevent aid flowing from Aksum. At the same time, Yousef sent an army under the command of another Jewish warlord, Sharahil Yaqbul, to Nairan . Sharahil had reinforcements from the Bedouins of the Kindah and Madh'ijtribes, eventually wiping out the Christian community in Najran. Aksumite and Arab Christians successfully defeated Yousef around 525–527 AD and a  Christian king Esimiphaios was installed on the Himyarite throne. The Sasanid Empire annexed Aden around 570 AD, this era marked the collapse of ancient South Arabian civilization, since the greater part of the country was under several independent clans until the arrival of Islam in 630 AD. Some Jews converted to Islam. The Sulahids came to power in 1047, under Queen Arwa in 1087  sent Ismaili missionaries were sent to India where a significant Ismail community was formed that exists to this day.Queen Arwa continued to rule securely until her death in 1138. She is still remembered as a great and much loved sovereign, as attested in Yemeni historiography, literature, and popular lore, where she is referred to as Balqis al-sughra , that is "the junior queen of Sheba". Although the Sulayhids were Ismaili, they never tried to impose their beliefs on the public. Shortly after queen Arwa's death, the country was split between five competing petty dynasties along religious lines. Yousef defeated a faction led by his father assassins and crushed several counter-attacks by the Zaydi imams who still held on in the northern highland. It was mainly because of the victories which he scored over his rivals that he assumed the honorific title al-Muzaffar (the victorious). Yusuf I died in 1296 having reigned for 47 years. The Rasulid state nurtured Yemen's commercial links with India and the Far East. Yeman had important libraries on a wide array of subjects, ranging from astrology and medicine to agriculture and genealogy. The Mamluks of Egypt  tried to annex Yemen and they were helped by the Zaidi Imams,  and the Portuguese led by Afonso de albuquerque occupied Socotra and made an unsuccessful attack on Aden in 1513.   Shibam built what is now known as  "Manhattan of the Desert" because of its "skyscrapers." - Surrounded by a fortified wall made of mud and straw, the 16th-century city is one of the oldest examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. In 1538, the Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt and deposed the Mamluks and Yemen came under their control despite opposition by the Zaidi Imams. The Ottomans  justified their presence in Yemen as a triumph for Islam, and accused the Zaidis of being infidels. During Al-Mah Ahmad (1676-1681) the Imamate implemented some of the harshest discriminatory laws (Ar. ghiyar) against the Jews of Yemen, which culminated in the expulsion of all Jews to an arid plain. The Qasimid state was the strongest Zaidi state to ever exist. During that period, Yemen was the sole coffee producer in the world. After 1849 the Zaidi polity descended into chaos that lasted for decades. The British East india Company were looking for a coal depot to service their steamers en route to India. It took 700 tons of coal for a round-trip from Suez to Bombay (Mumbai) and they decided on Aden. The British forced the Sultan of Lahej  to accept their "protection.". In November 1839, 5000 tribesmen tried to retake the town but were repulsed and 200 were killed. The British realized that Aden's prosperity depended on their relations with the neighboring tribes, which required that they rest on a firm and satisfactory basis so the British government concluded "protection and friendship" treaties with nine tribes surrounding Aden, they were free to manage their own affairs as long as they did not conclude treaties with foreigners (non-Arab colonial powers) and Aden was declared a free-zone in 1850. With emigrants from India, East Africa and South East Asia,  Aden grew into a "world city". The English presence in Aden put them at odds with the Ottomans. The Turks asserted to the British that they held sovereignty over the whole of Arabia as successors of Prophet Muhammad. Yemeni merchants knew that the return of the Ottomans would improve their trade, for the Ottomans would become their customers and bring stability. The Ottomans learned from their previous experience and worked on the disempowerment of local lords in the highland regions. The Ottomans signed a treaty with imam Yahya Hamidaddin in 1911. Under the treaty, imam Yahya was recognized as an autonomous leader of the Northern Zaydi lands. The Ottomans continued to rule remaining areas in the mid-south until their departure in 1918.
The Zaydi Mutawakkilite kingdom of Yemen was established after World War I in North Yemen (our stamp dates from that period). After the Ottoman departure in 1918 the king sought to recapture the lands of his Qasimid ancestors. He dreamed of Greater Yemen stretching from Asir to
Dhofar. These schemes brought him into conflict with the de facto rulers in the territories claimed, namely the Idrsids, Ibn Saud (Saudi Arabia), and the British government in Aden. When Imam Ahmad Bin Yahya  died in 1962. He was succeeded by his son, but army officers attempted to seize power, sparking the North Yemen Civil War. The Hamidaddin royalists were supported by Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Jordan (mostly with weapons and financial aid, but also with small military forces), whilst the military rebels were backed by Nasser's Egypt. Israel covertly supplied weapons to the royalists in order to keep the Egyptian military busy in Yemen and make Nasser less likely to initiate a conflict in Sinai. After six years of civil war, the military rebels were victorious (February 1968) and formed the Arab Republic of Yemen. The revolution in the north coincided with the Aden Emergency, which hastened the end of British rule in the south. On 30 November 1967, the state of South Yemen was formed, comprising Aden and the former Protectorate of South Arabia. This Marxist state was later officially known as the People's democratic Republic of Yemen and a programme of nationalisation was begun. Its president Ali Nasser Muhammad fled the country  in 1986, and  four years later, Yemeni states united to form the modern republic of Yemen in 1990. Saleh from  North Yemen became president and ali Salim al Beidh became vice president. Saudi Arabia withdrew their support when Yemen decided to stay neutral during the First Gulf War in 1990. In 1994, Al beidh and his Marxist party went to exile after a civil war between the two regions. In 2000, president Saleh assured the USA that they supported the War on Terror, this is why the USA are able conduct drone strikes despite protests that civilians are also killed. In January 2009, the Saudi Arabian and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches merged to form Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and based themselves in Yemen. Yemen has a power-sharing collaborative governance, where competing tribal, regional, religious and political interests agreed to hold themselves in check through tacit acceptance of the balance it produced. Saudi Arabia's financial aid  intended to facilitate the tribes autonomy from the Yemeni government and to give the Saudi government a mechanism with which to weigh in on Yemen's political decision making but in 2011, a crisis culminated with demonstrations on the streets against poverty, unemployment, corruption and president Saleh's plan to amend the constitution thus making him president for life. President Saleh stepped down,and was replaced by Vice-President Ransur Wadi. The transitional process was disrupted by  Houthis rebels.  Hadi, his prime minister and cabinet resigned on 22 January 2015 amid a political impasse against the Houthis and ongoing violence in the capital. Abdhul Malik al Houthi declared head of the revolutionary state. but  most of Yemen's political factions and the international community have refused to recognise the Houthis' authority, and UN-brokered talks on a power-sharing deal are ongoing. President Wadi rescinded his resignation and re-established his government in Aden.  As of 2015, Shi'a Houthis are fighting against the ISIS,  Al Qaeda,and Saudi Arabia. U.S. supports the Saudi-led military intervention gainst the Houthis but many ground forces in reportedly favor Houthis, as they have been an effective force in order to roll back al-Qaeda and recently ISIL in Yemen. In February 2016 Al-Qaeda forces and Saudi-led coalition forces were both seen fighting Houthi rebels in the same battle.
The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 64% . The Yemeni government has been criticized for abolishing the minimum marriage age of fifteen for women, which means that women as young as nine can be married. although slavery was abolished in 1962, human trafficking remains a problem. An estimated 100,000 people of Indian origin are concentrated in the southern part of the country, around Aden, Mukalla, Shihr, Lahaj, Mokha and Hodeidah

Since antiquity, the Arab tradition of wearing the niqab has been practiced by women living in Yemen. Traditionally, girls begin wearing veils in their teenage years. Acceptance of the niqab is not universal in Yemen. Senior member of the al-Islah  political party, Tawakel Karman , removed her niqab at a human rights conference in 2004 and since then has called for "other women and female activists to take theirs off".Also it depends on lifestyles and was not commonly worn among nomadic and pastoralist tribes as it was incompatible with animal shepherding. Yemenis take much pride in their wedding traditions: the bride is adorned with many trinkets, colourful headwear and herbs. The Jambija is a curved dagger with an ornate handle which indicates a man's social status.



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