History of Yemen

Where is Yemen?

Yemen is located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula between Oman and Saudia Arabia. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Yemen's terrain varies from a narrow coastal plain to flat-topped hills to rugged mountains. The upland desert plains in the center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula.

The climate is Yemen is predominantly a desert climate. The west coast is hot and humid, while the western mountains are temperate and affected by an occasional monsoon. The eastern region is an extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert.

The environment in Yemen is affected by many factors stemming mainly from its desert climate. Current issues affecting the environment are limited fresh-water resources, soil erosion, and desertification. Inadequate supplies of potable water and overgrazing of livestock are also factors.

Ancient Kingdoms

The ancient history of Yemen can be divided into two main periods. The first begins in the first millennium BC and ends with the decline of the eastern cultural centers towards the end of the pre - Christian era. In other words it begins with the rise of the frankincense and myrrh trade which the southern Arabians, the Sabian Kingdom , had monopolized. The frankincense route, one of the most ancient trade routes, led from southern Arabia to Ghaza in Palestine , running inland and covering roughly a total distance of 3,400 Kms. This monopoly ended in the first century when the land route was losing it's importance and was finally replaced by a direct sea route between Egypt & India.

The second era begins with the founding of the Himyar Kingdoms and the rise of centres of civilization in the high plateau with its basins and unconquerable mountains. It ends with the decay of these cultures i.e. it lasts from the first to the sixth century AD.

Islam in Yemen

The Prophet was still alive when Islam came to Yemen. With the conversion of Badhan 628 - 630 AD. the Persian Governor of Yemen , to Islam , many of the sheikhs and their tribes converted to Islam. It was during this period that the mosques in al Janad and the great mosque in Sana'a was built . Active missionary work in Yemen only became possible after the conquest of Mecca in 630 A.D.

Between the eighth and the fourteenth century Yemen was ruled by a series of dynasties. In the mid fifteenth century the mamelukes of Egypt lost power to the Ottomans ( Turks ) . During this period the town of al Moka on the Red sea coast , became the most important coffee port in the world.

By the 19th century the British expressed growing interest in the region and had signed series of treaties which was to be known as the south Arabian Protectorate of Great Britain.

The Imamate and Modern Yemen

After the retreat of the Turks from Yemen in 1918 Imam Yahya ( a Zaidi Imam ) established the Kingdom of Yemen. He was succeeded by his eldest son Imam Ahmed who stayed in power until his death in September 1962 . He was briefly succeeded by his son Crown Prince Mohammed al - Badr who was overthrown by a regime of revolutionaries. The new regime founded the Yemen Arab Republic.

Developments in the southern part of the country were extremely violent during the 1960's . In 1967 Aden gained independence from the British and finally the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen was formed.

On 22nd May 1990 with the unification of the Yemen Arab Republic (North) with the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South) , the Republic of Yemen was declared.

Yemen and the air line

The history of aviation and Yemenite 'closely related to Italy. In 1926 in fact a group of young Yemenite arrived in Italy to obtain patents pilot virtue 'of an agreement between Italy and Yemen.
In 1948 the Yemen purchase 'its first aircraft: two DC3 nicknamed "Bilqis" and "Shibam." The third DC3 came the following year. In order to drive and technically assist these aircraft were hired pilots and engineers from Sweden and Yugoslavia, and to facilitate the maneuvers of takeoff and landing were made the first airports. On the other hand, for many years the fleet remained available for exclusive from the Imam (the King of Yemen) and his family.
Over the years, aviation Yemeni had a gradual but significant development. For example, in 1954, a second and then third group of aspirants were sent to Italy to be educated. Besides the Imam, the leaders start 'to enjoy and benefit from the use of aircraft.

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