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Study in Yemen - About Yemen




General Information

Area & Location: The Republic of Yemen lies in the South of Arabia (The Arabian Peninsula), south-west of Asia, between latitudes 12 and 20 degrees to the north of the equator, and between longitudes 41and 54 degrees to the south of Greenwich, bordered on the north by Saudi Arabia, on the south by the Arab Sea and the Gulf of Aden, on the east by the Sultanate of Oman and on the west by the Red Sea.

The area of the Republic of Yemen exceeds 555,000 km. excluding the Empty Quarter.

Population: 14,728,474 (July 1995 est.)
Population growth rate: 4.02% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 44.85 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 8.01 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Map of Yemen
Courtesy of Google Maps

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Capital: Sana'a

Religion: Islam is the official religion and is the religion of the majority of the population except for a Jewish minority.

Language: Arabic is the official language of the country, with English being the most widely used second language.

Currency: The Yemen currency is the Yemen Rial consisting of l00 fils, it is issued in bank notes and coins. Bank notes are available in denominations of 1000, 500, 200, l00, 50, 20,10, and l Yemeni Rials. Coins come in denominations of l0, 5 and 1 Yemeni Rial.

Time: G.M.T. + 3 hrs.

Electricity: 220 Volts, 50-60 Hz.

All About Yemen - Video
A Beautiful Video About Yemen

Yemen, country in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula (Arabia). Tall mountains divide Yemen's coastal stretches from a desolate desert interior. Yemen is sparsely populated - half of the country is uninhabitable - and its Arab people are largely rural. The site of several prosperous civilizations in ancient times, Yemen declined in importance and was a poor and forgotten land for more than a thousand years. The discovery of oil in the area in the late 20th century held out the prospect of economic development and an easier life for the people of Yemen.


The Republic of Yemen is divided into five regions:

  1. Mountain
  2. Highland
  3. Coastal
  4. Empty Quarter
  5. The Yemen Islands

1. Mountain region with heights ranging between 1000-3760m. high
The western mountain range represent a large area of the country. It is the range called Al-Surat mountains stretching longitudinally from the north to the south and transversally from the west to the east which resembles the letter "L". These heights go down in different directions. They descend sharply westwards to the Red Sea, southwards to the Gulf of Aden, and eastwards and northwards to the interior desert areas. In the mountain heights, stretching from the north to the south, there are a number of basins (beds), of considerable agricultural importance with large populations, such as Sana'a basin, Yarim basin, Jahran flatland, Sa'da flatland, Alboun flatland, Aqwat Hadhramout bed and Si'aith bed in Mahara. The most prominent mountains in these heights are the mountains of Attaq, Bayhan, Mukairas, Al-Dhalie', Yafie', Sabra, Hudhour Alsheikh, Miswar and Prophet Shu'aib which at 3766m above sea level is the highest mountain in Arabia.

2. The Highland Region
This area lies to the east and north of the mountainous heights going in parallel to the heights towards the Empty Quarter. The maximum height of this area is 1000m gradually descending. Such area is represented by the highlands in Sana'a, Al Jouf, Shabwa, Hadhramout and Mahara. The out- skirts of this area in the north overlap with the Empty Quarter.

3. The Coastal Area
This area includes the coastal plains overlooking the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. They are connected to each other forming a coastal strip that extends from the Oman border south- westward to Bab Al-Mandab. This strip then changes its direction northward to the borders of Saudi Arabia, thus making it more than 2400km. long. The width of the plains range from 30 to 60 km.

4. The Empty Quarter
This is a Yemeni desert area located to the north of Hadhramout highlands, and to the south of the western heights. This area consists of desert plains covered with gravel, sand and sandy dunes in Volving in some parts desert plants and vast oases, that were formed due to the collection of the seasonal water. It is inhabited by the wandering nomads because of its pastoral land.

5. The Yemeni Islands
This part of the country consists of islands scattered along the coasts of Yemen. There are 120 islands, most of which are located in the Red Sea. The biggest islands are Kamaran, Greater Hunaish, Minor Hunaish, the rest of Archipelago, Zaqar, Zubair, AL-Tayr and the strategic island of Meon at the Bab AI-Mandeb. In addition there are islands located in the Gulf of Aden and thc Arabian Sea, the largest of which is Soqatra.


The Land of Dreams, Socotra Island (Yemen) - Video

A Majestic Video About the Socotra Island off the Coast of Yemen.

Socotra Island, Yemen, The Land of Dreams Socotra Island (Yemen) Dreamland



Since Yemen is endowed with a varied topography, the climate, in general, also varies, although there are no major seasonal differences. We can say there are two long seasons: summer and winter During summer, the temperature and humidity are high in the coastal areas, while the climate is moderate during winter. From time to time the rainfall, due to the monsoon, moderates the temperature over the coastal areas in summer. In the mountain areas, the weather is moderate in summer and cold in winter during the night and in the early morning, but the bright sun rays raise the temperature during the day making the weather very moderate in these parts of the country.


Administrative Divisions: 17 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Abyan, 'Adan, Al Bayda', Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, 'Ataq, Dhamar, Hadhramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, San'a', Ta'izz

Note: there may be three more governorates: Al Daleh, Shabwah, and the capital city of Sana'a

Independence: 22 May 1990, Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)

National Holiday: Unification Day, 22 May (1990)

Executive Branch: chief of state: President Field Marshall Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the former president of North Yemen, assumed office upon the merger of North and South Yemen); Vice President Maj. Gen. Abd al-Rab Mansur al-HADI (since 3 October 1994)

Head of Government: Prime Minister Abd al-Qadir BA JAMAL (since 4 April 2001)

Elections: president elected by direct, popular vote for a five-year term (a new constitution amendment extends the term by two years to a seven-year term); election last held 23 September 1999 (next to be held NA 2006); vice president appointed by the president; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president.

Flag Description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; similar to the flag of Syria which has two green stars and of Iraq which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt which has a heraldic eagle centered in the white band.

Heritage and Culture

Heritage and Culture of Yemen

The state religion of Yemen is Islam. The essence of Islam is the belief that there is only one God, and that it is the people's duty to believe in and serve Him in the manner that is laid out in the Quran. In Arabic, islam means submission and a muslim is one who submits to God's will. Yemeni Muslims are mainly divided betwen the Shafia Sunni sect and the Zaydi Shiia sect.

Qat chow-downs are the oil that lubricates Yemen's political wheels, and if you're not in on them you're out in the cold. Qat chews are spontaneous afternoon house parties where Yemeni men gather to chew the leaves of the qat plant and have a bit of a gossip. If you want to join in, you'll have to be invited (this shouldn't be hard if you're a guy - Yemeni men will often stop you and ask 'do you chew?') and you should bring your own leaves - you can pick up a bunch in most markets. Qat is a mild stimulant, chemically unlike any other drug. It will probably make you lively and chatty, although after a while you'll probably become mellow and contemplative. It's non-addictive and has no major side-effects, although long term use can give you chronic constipation.

Yemeni architecture is unique. Buildings in the highlands are particularly striking - multistorey tower houses made from stone, brick or mud which wouldn't look out of place in a northern England housing development. Some of these houses are five or six stories high, with an extended family living in each house. The bottom floor is for animals, the next floor up is the diwan (a reception room for guests), the top floors are bedroooms and a kitchen, and the top floor is the mafraj - the room with a view, where the man of the house holds his qat parties.

Lunch is the main meal of the day in Yemen. Yemenis eat using their fingers or piece of bread - knives and forks are rare. Although you'll find kebabs (skewered, grilled meat) everywhere, the national dish is salta, a fiery stew of lamb or chicken with lentils, beans, chickpeas, coriander and spices served on rice. The mainstay of most Yemeni kitchens is shurba, a cross between a soup and a stew which can have a base of lentils, lamb or fenugreek. The everyday drink is shay, or tea, which is drunk from small glasses and may be served with mint. Coffee is harder to find, but worth it: it's flavoured with ginger or other spices, and served sweet. Because Yemen is a strict Islamic country, alcohol is illegal.


Mobile Phone

TeleYemen operates an ETACS cellular mobile telephone service which covers the major centrrs of population in Yemen. Exchanges in Sana'a, Aden and Mukalla provide services to these cities, together with Dhamar, Ibb, Taiz, Hodeidah, Seyioun, Shahr, Al-Qatn and Al-Mahabesha.

Although there is no international roaming, TeleYemen mobile customers may use their cellular telephones to make International Calls to almost anywhere in the world.

Internet is the Yemen internet, gives the customer the access to the Internet services, and he/she will be linked to millions of computer users around the world . You have instant access to the world of information and entertainment.


TeleYemen offers a fully automatic telex service within Yemen and to most of the countries in the world. For the few countries which can not automatically accessed, TeleYemen Telex Operator Assistance will complete the connection.

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