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Country of Yemen Flag

Capital: Sanaa

Population: 29,161,922

Brief History of Yemen:

Yemen was a center of civilization as long as 3000 years ago. Kingdoms such as the Minaean, Sabaen, and the Himyarite controlled the spice trade from Yemen for hundreds of years. The area fell under the rule of the Ethiopian Empire and then later the Persian Empire.

In the 7th century, Islam moved into the area. The land was controlled by various Islamic leaders for many years after that. From the 16th to the 19th century the Ottoman Empire controlled Yemen.

In the 20th century Yemen was divided up into North and South Yemen. The South became a communist state in 1970. Hundreds of thousands of people fled from the South to the North an the countries battled for many years. In 1990 the two nations unified and became the Republic of Yemen.

Country of Yemen Map

The Geography of Yemen

Total Size: 527,970 square km

Size Comparison: slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Geographical Coordinates: 15 00 N, 48 00 E

World Region or Continent: Middle East

General Terrain: narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula

Geographical Low Point: Arabian Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m

Climate: mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east

Major cities: SANAA (capital) 2.229 million (2009)

The People of Yemen

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Arabic

Independence: 22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen 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]); note - previously North Yemen had become independent in November of 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)

Nationality: Yemeni(s)

Religions: Muslim including Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu

National Symbol: golden eagle

National Anthem or Song: al-qumhuriyatu l-muttahida (United Republic)

Economy of Yemen

Major Industries: crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; cement; commercial ship repair

Agricultural Products: grain, fruits, vegetables, pulses, qat, coffee, cotton; dairy products, livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, camels), poultry; fish

Natural Resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west

Major Exports: crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish

Major Imports: food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals

Currency: Yemeni rial (YER)

National GDP: $57,970,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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