Yemen is a Middle Eastern country that is situated in the southernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Because of its location, it is very important to shipping nations. The border is on the water passage that links the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea. When trying to compare the size of Yemen to something more familiar, it can be said that it is just a little smaller than the state of Texas in the U.S.
The country is one of the poorest nations of the Arab world and has over 21.6 million inhabitants throughout the country. The term ‘Yemen’ is derived from the Latin word “Happy Arabia”. Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, which is part of the country’s history.
The predominant religion of Yemen is Islam, making up approximately 99% of the entire country. The country is therefore filled with Muslim traditions, including the modesty rule for women, though in the heavily populated areas, it is not uncommon to see men and women in more western attire.
There are religious holidays throughout Yemen, which can slow down the entire country. Tourists traveling during these holidays must be respectful, regardless of religion to avoid problems. Ramadan is the most important of the holidays as it lasts for an entire month.
Yemen has a variety of different climates as a result of the different landscapes throughout the country. The coastlines can experience rainfall and cool winds while the eastern side is covered in deserts and receives less than two inches of rain each year.
The Yemenis have had to go through war, poverty and various political changes and so they have learned to adapt. Most locals are very generous despite their lack of wealth. The average annual income is less than $1,000 US, which is why very few Yemenis travel past their own country’s borders. The pace of Yemen life can vary. While it is a little faster paced in the larger cities, some of the smaller villages have a very slow and relaxed way of life.
Yemen values many different things throughout the country including poetry, sports and some traditional dancing. These are what brings tourists into the country and what helps to entertain the Yemenis on a daily basis. Camel racing is a very traditional sport held in the desert areas of Yemen and soccer is one of the most popular sports to see throughout all of Yemen.
The Yemen flag consists of three horizontal stripes of equal proportion. Red is on the top and symbolizes the bloodshed during the battles of independence throughout Yemen. The white in the middle stands for the hope of the future and the black at the bottom is for the troubled history that the nation has had to endure.