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.
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
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
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.