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Pages from the history of Arabia Felix (Yemen)



The Republic of Yemen lies in the South of Arabia (The Arabian Peninsula), south-west of Asia, between latitudes 12 and 18 degrees to the north of the equator and surrounded by water shelves, bordered by Saudi Arabia on the north, the Indian Ocean on the south, the Sultanate of Oman on the east and the Red Sea on the west. Most of theYemen lands tend to be mountainous.



The area of the Republic of Yemen is estimated to be a million and half km² which is the previous total area of the two parts of Yemen, (the Empty Quarter, Asir, Najran and jizan) which has been successively taken by Saudi Arabia from the former Arab Republic of Yemen in 1926,1933,1934. There was also an agreement, which is related to this case, called Altaeef Agreement which was signed after the war between the two countries. The Alsharawrah and Alwuday’ah cities were related to People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen but in the end of 1961, the first one has been given away by Britain to Saudi Arabia during its occupation of the south from 1839 to 1967, to make a dispute between the government that is going to leave behind after its evacuation and Saudi Arabia. The second city has been occupied by Saudi Arabia after an unexpected terrestrial and aerial attack in 1969. This attack was not organized by any agreement. Finally, Aldaywamah Island was the last thing that had been taken away by Saudi Arabia in 1998.  

On the twelfth of June 2000 another agreement has been signed in Jeddah between the two countries, which named Jeddah Agreement)




The population of the Republic of Yemen is about 20,000,000. The minority of them are Jewish with darker tone skin ,because they have mixed with orginal people from  Somalia, Guinea and India in the past. The unit of the Yemen society is the tripe. Yemeni people are Moslems and are divided into Shiah whose people follow Zaidee belief relating to Imam Zaid bin Ali bin Hussein bin Ali bin Abee Taleb, and the Sunnites whose people follow the Shafaiee belief relating to Imam Mohammed bin Edrees Al-Shafaiee.



Yemen is an agricultural country. The most famous product is coffee, which was exported through Macha port on the Red Sea. This coffee used to be called Mocha Coffee.

Yemen Products: Cotton, Corn, Wheat, Barley, Fruits and Vegetables.Yemen industry: textiles, leather, hey, jewelry, glass and fishing. Natural resources: oil (It was discovered in 1984 in the North by the American Company and in the South in 1986 by the Russian Company), salt, coal, copper, iron, sulfur, lead, tin, silver, gold and uranium (some are still undiscovered)


Districts and Main Cities

Sana’a is the political capital.

Aden is the commercial and economical capital.

Other cities: Taiz, Lahj, Marib, Shabwa, Al-Baidha, Abyan, Al-Hodeidah, Hadramout, Ibb, Al-Jawf, Al-Mahara, Sa’ada, Al-Mahweet, Hajjah, Dhamar, Amran, Aldhale.

The position that Yemen has occupied today has scened a remarkable civilization lasted more than three thousand year. Yemen was inhabited by two countries (Awsan and Qataban). Qataban lies to east of Aden and west of Hadramout. Its capital was Tamno. It also became a powerful country four hundred year BC. In the first century BC, it reaches its glorious peak. Fifty years BC, it started to produce gold as a currency. In the first century A .D . it was gone.

Hadramout state:

First, it settled at the volley that is known with the same name. Then it expanded toward Almahara coast. Thafar city was also part of it.

Maeen state:

It settled in Al- Jawf area. Its capital was Kernao. It lasted from 50 years B.C. to 115 years B .D.

Sheba state:

This state lasted from the 9th century B.C. to 115 years B.C. it expanded to include most of the south of Arabian Peninsula. Its first capital was Serwah. Since Mareb had the authority to give orders 610 years B.C., it became the second capital. Sheba was famous by its queen Belqees.

Hemyar state:

The first one was settled 115 years B.C., but the second was settled 300 years A.D. Its capital was Thafar. Maeen and Sheba countries, which were very powerful, have also joined to Hemyar country. It has been completely gone with the falling of Mareb Dam in the middle of the 6th century A.C.


Period of Once Yemeni Government

Although the 16th century A.C. carried some of Yemeni characters in the Islamic middle ages, it differs from all the others due to what happened in this century. It also affected the latest centuries until now. At the beginning of this century, the Portuguese found a direct seaway to India through Ras Al-Raja Al-Saleh and started to alter the eastern commerce through this new way. For this reason, the economic structure, which Yemen has known since its beginning has cracked, which was relied on beside prosperous agriculture to make Yemeni people work on world trade between the east and the west. The disturbance of economic and social structures and some new political situations with no doubt were the reasons that made Yemen in the 16th century launch its modern history. The old Greeks have also called it Arabia Felix. Location of Yemen beside its prosperous nature and agriculture was the main factor that affects the Yemen history through ages. The prosperous nature of Yemen has been very important to its location by making it a place for civilization. It was not only the location but the Red Sea was the road that carried to the old world the first principle of commercial and cultural connection between the three old civilizations which were surrounding the Arabian Peninsula, Pharaoh civilization, Assyrian and Babilian civilizations in Iraq and Al-Sanad volley civilization in Pakistan. Since sea road was very secure and less expensive, it became the best way for traveling. As a result, the connection between Egypt and Babel used to be across the sea through Yemeni merchants. The most ancient thing that connects Egypt to Yemen was the expedition that King Sahor sent to that country about 2550 B.C. The commercial and civilized relations continued until the Romans occupied Egypt. After that, they cared for transporting the Indian commerce directly from Egypt without Yemeni merchants’ help. They also were tough competitors. The terrestrial commerce was in the Romans’ hands. Romans navigators was also afraid while crossing Bab Almandab narrow gate on the Red Sea or while anchoring in some ports. Because of that, Romans sent a powerful expedition from Egypt to Yemen in the twenty-fourth years B.C. but it failed to accomplish its mission.

Old Yemenis have realized the importance of prosperous agriculture in building an agricultural economy in their country. As a result, they built dams to benefit from rainwater. The famous dam was called Mareb Dam. They also have dug many wells and canals and were professionals in planting mountains. Its neighbors because of its prosperous nature and agriculture envied Yemen, especially in its weak period. That was presented when it was the prey of the disputes between two big old countries (Bezantah empire and Persian empire) in the east. This dispute has disappeared behind religious mottos.

It seemed to be returning some of what Sheba had owned in the late third century when Shamar Yahreish has ruled Sheba and Thea Redan. He also extended his kingdom to the east and joined Hadramout, Yamamah and Mecca. The news of the last three of Islam were not certain but we may say that the most important event that happened in that time was as followed:

The spread of Christianity in some parts of Yemen and Najran, which was the most important center.

After Al-Hemeari (Abou Nawas) became Jewish, he persecuted the Christian elements in Yemen, especially in the famous furrow incident in 533 A.C. Bezantah Caesar pushed Alnajashi to send a powerful expedition to Yemen to save Christians. Abrahah, who was the leader of the expedition to Mecca, was able to defeat Abou Nawas group and settled a Habashian country in Yemen, which lasted about half a century.

Bezantian Persian struggle hasn’t stopped by Bezantah victory so it extended Persia to Yemen and got rid of Bezantian power that was represented in Alhabash rule. When one of Hemirian princes has gone with Seif Bin Thee Yezen to destroy Alhabash rule with the Persian king’s big army help, he defeated them. Then Persians pulled back leaving Thee Yezen as a king in his country accompanied by a Persian ruler. After a period of time, Islam spread in Yemen to make a new history.


Independent Yemeni states


Ziadiah state (818-1019):

The founder of Ziadiah state was Mohammed Ziad, who was sent by Al-Abasian caliph (Al-Mamoon) to destroy Al-Alaween’s revolution in Tehamah, was able to expend his power to Jizan and capturing Aden, Hadramout and Alsher in the east. He headed to mountains and captured Sana’a, Sada and Najran. Its rulers were Persians. Its center was Zabeed.

Al-Yafariya state (840-1003):

Yafer was the founder of this country, who was nominated by caliph to be in charge of Sana’a before he founded it. The disputes started between Yafer family members so this weakened the country to be destroyed later.

Ziadian Emamate state (898-1962):

Hussein Al-Rasi from Ras near Madena Almonawara was the founder. The country center was Sadah, in spite of, Hussein couldn’t capture the whole country, and he made it popular in Yemen in 1962.


Imam (King) Yehya Bin Hameed Al-Deen  1918 -1948

Imam (King) Ahmed Bin Yehya Hameed Al-Deen 1948-1962

Imam (King) Mohamed (Al-Badr) Bin Ahmed Hameed Al-Deen 19-25/09/1962



Al-Najahiya state (1013-1150):

Najah, who was originally from Habash, founded it on the ruins of Ziadian country. The rulers of the country were Al-Ahbash as a result. Zabeed was its center, which was close to the beach of the Red Sea across Habashian coasts.


Al-Soliehiya state (1045-1138):

It was founded by Ismail Mohammed Al-Soliehi, who was a propagandist for Ismailian belief, was one of Emam Esmail Jafer Al-Sadeq companions, who secretly contacted with Fatimian caliphs in Egypt considering them Emams of Ismailian belief. The country center was Jeblah. He was able to unite Yemen parts after destroying small independent countries in Sana’a, Zabeed, Aljanad, Aden, Hathramot and Jezan. This unification didn’t continue except for afew years. After that, some countries have gained independence, which were Zerea state in Aden, Al-Hatimiya state in Sana’a and Solimaniya in Jizan. Ismail’s wife, “Queen Arwa AlSoliehi”, has succeeded him. The Fatimian power remains until Ayobians have been destroyed. There is still an Ismailian group in Yemen called Bamba related to Najranian Bam tribes.


Ayobia state (1174-1229):

There is no doubt that extension of Fatimiya country to Yemen via Alsoliehiya country was one of the factors that encouraged Saleh Aldeen Alayobi who destroyed Fatimiya country in Egypt and addressed Abasian caliph to send his troops there. When princes of Al-Mekhlaph Alsolemani asked him for help in Jezan against who didn’t submit to them, he sent his brother Noran Shah in 1173 with a lot of skillful troops who destroyed independent countries and buit Ayobia country whose sovereignty was for Kordians.


Al-Rasoliya state (1229-1454):

This country was founded on the ruins of Ayobia country by Kordians and Mamaleek elements that Ayobians have brought to Yemen. This country also played an important role in Yemen history. In its powerful period, it succeeded to unite most of Yemeni regions under its control. It also extended its power to eastern African coast and Mecca in some places and commercially contacted with other countries toward China in the east.


Al-Taheriya state (1454-1517):

Bano Taher was the founder, who was Rasolians from Aden and Lahj. The kings of the country tried to unite Yemen under their control but they couldn’t because of Ziadian Emans and some Mamaleek. Hence Yemen remained split between them until the period of Al-Sultan Amr Abdulwahab Altaheri who succeeded to unite most of the country parts under his control. In his period of rule, Aden was the most commercial country in the world but he was killed near Sana’a that he tried to liberate from Mamaleek who settled in Zabeed. Al-Sultan Al-Taheri was not satisfied by their existence, so they brought him down. This causes a big commotion and disturbances in Yemen for along time. Mamaleek or the member’s of Sultan Amer were not able to control the situations in Yemen. This followed by a long dispute between three powers, Ziadian leaded by Imam Sharaf Aldeen and the rest of Altaherian families and Mamaleek. When Authmanian came to Yemen in 1517, Ziadian power has extended to most of Yemen. Representatives the Authmanian power on the coastal in the Red Sea, as well as Altaherian power in Aden included Mamaleek’s power.


Authmanian existence:


First existence in 1538

Second existence (1571-1635)

Third existence and the last (1872-1918)


Authmanians continued to control most of northern parts of Yemen to be replaced by Imamate rule instead of them. In 1839, Britain has occupied the southern part of Yemen.

On 26 of September 1962, the revolution has started in the north finishing royal rule. As a result, 14 of October 1963 revolution has began against British occupation and against what was called Arab Southern Emirates Unification which included Aden and 22 Sultanates, Emirates and tribes. All of them were under British protection until 30 of November 1967, the day that independence has declared. It was expected that British departure would cause a whole united Yemeni country but the National Front that was in charge has declared its independence and starting a new Yemeni country that took the name of People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. Its capital city was Aden. In the north, Arab Republic of Yemen has initiated by making Sana’a its capital city. The authority has also moved in that period from military leadership that was newly supported to tribal leadership and different military forces with Egypt. The southern leadership has justified its refusal of the Yemen unification with the reactionary flow frown it’s point of view which is an ideological situation that find it’s base in adopting political systems in the south, after ideological Leninian Marxism. While political system was heading in the north toward more preservation and

traditionalism that causes increasing of political conflicts between the two parts throughout 30 years ranges between internal conflict and international partial conflict with the statement “ two wars have broken out in 1972 and 1979), the rule sequenced by ten presidents five in each part.



Unification Steps


(Indications and Results)


In October 1972, at the first meeting in Cairo between Muhssein Al-Eni in the north and Ali Nasser Mohammed in the south, followed by the first Summit meeting between the president of the two parts, judge Abdulrahman Al- Eryani and Salem Rabaae in the capital city of Libya “Trablos- Tripoli”, sponsored by Libyan president, colonel Moammar Al Qadhafi, the constitution of the united country of Yemen has been agreed on. After this date, several meetings were held in Yemen as follows:


-Taiz, Al-Hodeidah in 10, 12/10/1973 by Al- Eryani and Rabaae.

-Qatobah, a country located in Ibb region north, near the southern borders or what used to be called Al-Atraf in 15/12/1977 by Ibrahim Al-Hamdi and Salem Rabaae. It has been agreed on forming the Yemeni Higher Council under their headship, Ministers of Foreign Affairs membership, Ministers of Defense and Ministers of Economy who should alternately meet every six-month in the capital cities of the two parts.

-Sana’a in 15/8/1977 by Al-Hamdi and Rabaae

-Sana’a in 02, 04/10/1979 by Ali Abdulah Saleh and Ali Nasser Mohammed, the prime minister on behalf of Abdulfatah Ismail who never visited the north.

-Aden in 03/11/1981 and 02/12/1981 by Nasser and Saleh, which was the first visit for a northern president to the south. Its importance existed in activating the Yemeni Higher Council. Its meetings were accurately arranged until the events of 13/01/1986 to be stopped for a little while. After the success of Yemeni summit meeting that was held in late 1986 in the capital city of Libya between the president Ali Saleh and Haedar Al-Attas sponsored by Al-Qathafi. The unionism journey has recovered and started its first step again in the leadership in the north and the new leadership in the south presented by Ali Salem Al-Beidh the general-secretary of socialist’s party in several numbers of Yemeni regions from 1987 to 1990. In other Arab capital cities it was as followed:


Nasser - Al-Eni 

(Cairo 1972)


The first Yemeni summit in Tripoli in 1972 from  the right: Robaae - Qathafi - Eryani and Ibrahim Al-Hamdi The first stand at the left end.



Al-Hamdi -Robaae

(Qatobah 1977)

The conciliation meeting in Amman in 94 from the right: Al-Attas - Al-Beidh - King Hussein - Saleh -Al -Ahmar.


Al- Beidh-Saleh


-Algeria in 4/9/1973 by Al-Ereani and Rabaae sponsored by the president Hawari boumedien

The prince of Kuwait Jaber Al-Sobah sponsored al-Kuwait in 28/3/1979 by Ismail and Saleh. Including so many meetings on the national and Arabic list, the most important one was the meeting that was held in Aden in 30 of November 1989 between Saleh and Al-Beidh which the constitution of United Yemen plan has been signed.

The reason that Yemeni leadership has chosen such a date came as a compensation for what happened before 23 years ago. The joy that Yemenis had due to the independence of the south, has been gone because of the beginning of Sana’a blockade, which continued for 70 days by besieging revolution to destroy the Republic system in the north. At noon on Tuesday the 22nd of May 1990, it has been announced from Aden the reunification of two parts of Yemen under the name of Republic of Yemen. Al-Beidh, the former general-secretary of socialist’s party, who is staying in Oman since July 1994 after he has failed to reinstate himself as the Vice-President as he used to be before unification. As the general-secretary of General Public Party has become the president, Yemen started a totally new phase. It’s aimed to encourage democracy and multi-politics. The parties have reached more than 40 parties that form the political map in Yemen today. They are as followed:


General People’s Congress – Yemeni Socialist’s Party – Yemeni Islah Party (Islamic) - National Arab Socialist Baath Party (in Iraq) divided into two parts – (Truth Party) (Al-Haqq) and Baath Party (in Syria) - Nasserite Popl Unionist Organization - Democratic Nasserites - Nasserite Correction Organization - League of the Sons of Yemen (leaded by Abdulrahman Al-Jafri) - League of the Sons of Yemen (out of Al-Jafri authority) - Nasserite Unionist Party – Nasserite Al-Soqoor Organization - Unionist Assembly - September Democrats - National Democratic Front - Liberation Front - National Front Popular Organization - People's Forces Union – Unionism Forces Front – Unification and Islamic Work Organization – Al-Manbar Party – Republic Party – Islamic Forces Union – National Arab Union Party - National Cohesion Conference – Yemeni Advanced People’s Organization – Social Nationalist Party – Allah’s Party – consultation Party – Yemeni Fronts Organization – Peace (Al-Salam) Party – Yemeni Revolution Party – Liberated Migrants Party – Nasserite Revolutionary Leadership – Islamic Democratic Movement – Nasserite Arab Islamic Organization – Yemeni Qatanab Organization – Revolutionary Correction Front – Liberation Front Party – Nasserite Stationed Organization – Yemeni Reform Party – Revolutionary Democratic Party – Democratic Front– green party.



Al-Rasheed for Yemeni Geography by Hussein Aldhamari.

The first Authmanian unclosing in Yemen (1538-1635) by  Dr. Saeed Mostafa.

Modren &Contemporary History of Yemen (1516 - 1918) by Dr. Hussein Al-Amri.

Althwabet Journal released by General People’s Congress.

Political Researches released by Yemeni Foreign Ministry.

26 September Journal released by Political Guidance Administration that belonged to Military Forces.

Al-Watheqa Journal – Alwhdawee Journal- Althawra Journal – Al-Thawri Journal – Al-Sahwa Journal.

Saudi Expanded Greed in Yemen by Dr. Mohammed Al-shehari.

Politics Encyclopedia by Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Kaeali.

Yemeni Union in the present and future by Khaled Al-Qasemi.

Yemen News Agency (Saba)

Politics for Asking and Answering Program broadcasted by London Radio.

Nawafeth Journal.

Emirates of Southren Yemen 1937-1947 (1989) by Najeeb Saeed Abu Azzdeen

 Five Nationalities and One Homeland by Talat Yaqoob Al-Gaseen.

Belqees The Woman of Puzzles and Devil of Gender by Ziad Meni.

Yemen after Union by Aedah Saree Aldeen.

Old Yemen History Book for the sixth grade.

Jacques Herbert Yemen (He is a former Canadian Senator)

The Ancient Land of The Queen of Sheba.

A book (published by Yemen Embassy in the capital city of Canada (Ottawa) In January 1996.



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