There is very little known about the countries that reside in the Middle East. We have an image of the region as a major player in the oil industry. We think of deserts and of men wearing turbans when we hear of Middle East. But it seems that our knowledge of the area is restricted to these ideas only. To give you more information on this part of the world, here are some interesting facts about Yemen, one of the countries in the Middle East.
The country of Yemen is located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits opposite the Horn of Africa. Yemen is bordered by two countries, Saudi Arabia and Oman, and by the Gulf of Aden. But the Yemen that we know of today used to be separated into two different countries, North Yemen (Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (The People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen). And it wasn’t until 1990 that the two countries got together and formed the Republic of Yemen.
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region. Its economy depends highly on oil. Even though oil is greatly in demand in many other countries, there are also other countries that can provide oil and so Yemen cannot live relying on their oil production alone. There are plans on diversifying the economy, encouraging tourism, and using the scarce water resources more efficiently. But these plans are still on hold because of the current situation in the Middle East.
However, despite the fact that it is one of the poorest and among the least known countries in the Arab world, Yemen is also the most spectacular. It has spectacular views, striking scenery, amazing pre-Islamic and Islamic architecture, and a deep sense of the past. And you will be able to observe these in and around their major cities, Sana’a (capital), Ta’izz, Sa’dah, Mareb, and Aden.
The country is generally a dessert. The most fertile lands in Yemen are all located in the western part of the country. The western coastal strip is where coffee plantations are found, as well as farmlands. Coffee is another product Yemen is known to produce. And it was in Yemen that the distinct type of coffee, mocha, was cultivated.
Yemen used to be a rich country. Ancient Yemen was sought after by many other kingdoms. It was a highly prosperous place. Romans used to call Yemen Arabia Felix, which means “Happy Arabia”. Yemen was a known trader of frankincense, myrrh, and spices. Sadly, this is not the case for modern Yemen anymore.