Yemen (Republic of Yemen, Al-Jumhuriya al-Yemenia) is located in
the Middle East. Bordering countries are Saudi Arabia and Oman.
While South Yemen, with its capital Aden, was a British colony until 1967, North Yemen, with its capital Sanaa, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The north was capitalist-oriented and supported by the west, while the communist south received help from Moscow. In 1990, after the collapse of world communism, a unification took place - however, relations between the parts of the country remained poor. In 1994 a civil war broke out, which ended two months later with a victory for the North.
Yemen is a very traditional country where tribal affiliation is still very important. Accordingly, society is not characterized by excessive loyalty to the central government, which repeatedly leads to conflicts being resolved by force of arms. At the beginning of the millennium, a conflict with the Houthis clan broke out in the north, which has now escalated into a civil war in which a wide variety of groups are involved. The civil war is repeatedly interrupted by negotiations and armistices, only to break out again shortly afterwards.
Visas must be applied for at the responsible embassy - this requires an invitation from a Yemeni travel agency. Since the beginning of 2010 it is no longer possible to obtain visas upon arrival.
There have been no commercial flights to Sana'a since 2016. (Status: Oct 2022)
There are no railway lines in Yemen.
Buses run between all major cities in the country. However, it is not always possible for tourists to use them, as on many routes the government only allows private cars to be transported.
Entry overland is actually only possible from Oman. Here it is very uncomplicated. The borders with Saudi Arabia are effectively closed to individual travelers.
Occasionally passages on dhows to Djibouti or Somaliland can be booked on site. However, there are no regular ferry connections. For passages, especially to Somaliland, one should take into account the danger of kidnappings by pirates.
Permits are required to visit many places and routes. Some routes may only be used with an armed escort, while others are strictly off-limits to foreigners. The list of routes that require approval or are closed is constantly changing. The local police issue the permits and provide information about unsafe areas.
The official language is Arabic. English and to some extent also French is understood in the hotels frequented by foreigners in Sana'a and Aden.
In the bazaar in the old town of Sanaa there is almost everything you can imagine: from groceries and household goods to weapons and the very common qat, an intoxicating drug. Before buying a curved dagger typical of the country, you should find out about the gun laws in your home country - otherwise you will soon be rid of the dagger when you return to Europe.
Yemeni cuisine is Arabic, but clearly has influences from the geographically close African cuisine.
There is a wide variety of hotels in Sanaa and Aden, from the simplest hostels to 5-star hotels.
Unfortunately, the security situation in Yemen has
deteriorated significantly in recent years.
The occasional unrest in the north has escalated into a full-fledged civil war, the remnants of which have now reached the Sana'a area in the form of attacks. There is also - recently also in the cities - the danger of kidnappings by various groups. Most of the foreign victims are released after a relatively short time, but there have also been fatalities in the past. Before excursions, you should always seek local advice and heed it if possible. Some areas may not be visited at all, others only with military escort.
The German embassy in Sana'a is closed and cannot provide consular assistance. In an emergency, Germans should contact the embassy in Amman (Jordan).
The afternoon in Yemen is reserved for qat chewing. Around noon, almost all Yemenis retreat to enjoy the intoxicating drug for a few hours. During this time and often even afterwards, you can do next to nothing, i. H. if you need paperwork such as permits or flight bookings, you should have them done before the lunch break if possible. Otherwise, with a lot of luck, there would still be the early evening hours - although many offices are already closed by then.
The state is named from the Arabic or Sabean word yamīn - “right, right”. The origin of the name is associated with the ancient system of orientation, in which the east was the front side, and the south was the right side: if in Mecca, at the sacred stone of the Kaaba, you face east, then Yemen will be on the right, in the south. Strabo, Pliny and other Greek and Roman authors called Yemen "Arabia felix" - "happy Arabia" (sometimes translated as "fertile Arabia").
Yemen is located in the south of the Arabian Peninsula. It is washed
by the waters of the Red and Arabian Seas of the Indian Ocean.
It shares land borders with Oman (to the east) and Saudi Arabia (to the north).
The northeast of Yemen is covered with hot rocky desert, where the rain does not fall for years. In the Yemeni mountains, which separate this desert from the coastal plain, it rains heavily every winter.
Yemen is one of the oldest settlements in the Middle East.
Land-cultivating communities of the Semitic peoples developed in its
area around 2000 BC. Early on, Yemen was located along important trade
routes, thanks to which prosperous cities were born in the region.
800 BC – 500 AD. in the period between the 19th and 20th centuries, Yemen was influenced by the Minaean, Saba, Himyar, Qataban, Hadramaut and Ausan kingdoms, which maintained a lucrative spice trade. The Romans called the region "Arabia Felix" ("Happy Arabia") because of the wealth generated by the spice trade. In 26 BC, the Roman emperor Augustus sent expedition to conquer Arabia Felix and secure the region's trade for Rome. However, the expedition commanded by the prefect of Egypt, Aelius Gallus, failed.
The Kingdoms of Yemen competed with each other for trade routes, and as a result of numerous wars, Himyar became the ruling kingdom of the region in the 2nd century, which conquered most of the region with the support of Aksum.
The region was plagued by a severe drought in the 6th century. The spice trade waned in the 550s and the rainwater dam of the important city of Marib broke, making farming in the area difficult. Himyar fragmented into small city-states and tribal communities, and Aksum occupied a significant part of the coast until the Arabs conquered the region in the 6th century. Ethiopian Christianity gave way to Islam and Yemen became part of the Caliphate. At that time, the area was named Yemen, which means "the right side", referring to the location of the area in relation to Mecca.
After the collapse of the caliphate, northern Yemen remained under the rule of local imams. The Imams represented Zaidiism, a younger branch of Islam, and they established a theocratic political system that has survived to the present day. Yemen had several ruling families of imams throughout history.
The Egyptian Sunni caliphs conquered the coastal region of Yemen in the 12th century. Their empire disintegrated in 1250. Yemen remained fragmented until 1517, when the Ottoman Empire conquered the region and made it a province. The Yemeni tribes drove the Ottomans away in 1636 and the Ottomans were able to conquer Yemen again only in 1872.
The division into North and South Yemen took place after the British
conquered the southern part of Yemen. The British captured the port of
Aden and the eastern and southern parts of what is now Yemen in 1839.
The area was first ruled as part of British India until 1937 when the
protectorates of East Aden and West Aden and the colony of Aden were
formed. By 1965, most of the tribal states that had influence in the
region had joined the Federation of South Arabia, which was ruled by the
British. The British left in 1967, when the People's Democratic Republic
of Yemen was established. It became a socialist one-party state with
close ties to the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and the radical
At the same time, in the north, Ottoman power was limited to the cities, while the rural tribes were under the rule of the imam. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I and the Kingdom of Yemen declared independence in 1918. The first ruler of the country was Imam Yahyan al-Badr. The kingdom was closed and backward and Yahya was a cruel ruler. He was assassinated by Yahyani's subjects in 1948 and succeeded by his son Ahmed al-Badr. Ahmed was assassinated by revolutionary republicans in 1962 and the state became the Yemen Arab Republic. At the same time, the country drifted into a multi-year civil war, during which more than 250,000 people were killed.
Relations between the Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen were mainly good. At the same time, there was a border dispute, over which the states had skirmishes in 1972 and 1979. The states negotiated unification in the 1980s, but mutual suspicions and the civil war in South Yemen in 1986 prevented reconciliation. North and South Yemen finally united in 1990 to form the current Republic of Yemen.
The post-reunification peace lasted for four years before the North
and South fought a brief but bloody civil war in which the regime's
military forces defeated the separatists of the South. Yemen has had
border skirmishes with Eritrea in 1995 and with Saudi Arabia in 1998.
In 1994, the parliament voted Ali Abdullah Saleh as president. In 1999, the country's first direct presidential elections were held, in which Ali Abdullah Saleh was re-elected.
Since the 1990s, an estimated 700,000 refugees from troubled Somalia have flowed into Yemen.
In October 2000, terrorist attacks were carried out in Yemen against a US warship and the British embassy. In 2001, President Saleh announced that his country would join the United States in the war against terrorism. The war against terrorism developed into an internal conflict in the country where the Yemeni government and the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda even fought for the control of the provinces. The conflict still continues.
At the beginning of the 21st century, there have been many unrests in the country. The country's central government proved to be weak and different separatist groups gained power in remote areas. The country's confused situation was also taken advantage of by Somali pirates, who established bases on the coast of Yemen. In addition to the conflict against al-Qaeda, in 2004 the Houthi rebellion broke out in Sa'dah province. In 2007, South Yemen began to demand autonomy, which escalated into the country's third conflict in 2009.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was re-elected in 2006. He
originally came to power in North Yemen in 1978. In the 2003 election,
the General People's Assembly party, which supports the president, won a
majority of votes, 235 seats to the opposition's 63. In February 2009,
the parliament decided to postpone the elections for two years to carry
out reforms and to avoid an escalating crisis in the country.
In early 2011, the Tunisian revolution fueled unrest, and President Saleh promised to step down at the end of his term in 2013. On March 18, the situation escalated and police began shooting at protesters, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. On March 20, the president dismissed the government. The commander of the country's 1st division announced that he had sided with the protesters against Saleh.
President Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia after being wounded in a grenade attack on June 3, 2011. Both Western and Arab countries urged him not to return to calm the situation.
Saleh relinquished power after months of protests in an agreement signed in Riyadh in November 2011. Power passed to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, although Saleh remained "honorary president" for three months. During that time, new elections were held. Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi was the only candidate in the 21 February 2012 presidential election.
In 2014, preparations began for a constitutional amendment that would make Yemen a federal state. The reform would be intended to finance the dissatisfaction of the Yemeni regions with the supremacy of the capital and to expand their administrative rights.
The Arab Spring uprising derailed Yemen into deeper instability. The new government has not managed to extend its power to the entire country and this vacuum has been filled by al-Qaeda, the Houthi rebels and the separatists of South Yemen. In 2012, Yemen, with the support of the United States, began a military operation to recapture the lost cities. The operation was initially successful, but since then the advance of the government forces has stopped. Al-Qaeda responded to the operation by carrying out several terrorist attacks in different parts of Yemen, and among other things, the bombing of Sana'a in 2012 killed 96 people.
In September 2014, the Houthis easily managed to take over the central government facilities and media in the capital Sana'a. Many suspect the Houthis of an alliance with ousted President Saleh, and the rebels have refused to withdraw from the capital. On 19 January 2015, rebels surrounded the residence of Yemeni Prime Minister Khalid Bahah and fired at his convoy. In February, the Houthis announced that they would dissolve the parliament and take control of the country. The National Council was established in place of the Parliament.
In March 2015, the Houthis captured part of the country's third largest city, Taiz. Even earlier, President Hadi had to retreat from the capital to the southern part of the country, Aden. The UN Security Council warned at the end of March 2015 that Yemen seems to be drifting to the brink of civil war. The council announced its support for the country's president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. The Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation against the Houthi rebels on March 25, 2015. It involves 150,000 troops and a hundred aircraft. Shia-led Iran and Iraq condemned the operation. Coalition forces landed in Aden in August, after which they have taken part in what has been described as a full-scale ground war against the Houthis.
The support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries participating in the coalition has been strong for the regime of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, yet the Huthi forces (Ansar Allah) have been able to keep the territories they have captured. Entering the 2020s, the Houthis still control the country's capital and western regions. The front lines have not changed significantly in recent years. In the fall of 2019, it was estimated that if the Yemen National Army (YNA), which is fighting together against the Houthis, and the STC (Southern Transitional Council), which seeks stronger autonomy for southern Yemen, start fighting more against each other, the balance may change in the Houthis' favor. As we enter the 2020s, 100,000 people are estimated to have died since 2015, and the country's humanitarian situation is catastrophic.
Unlike other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is a republic
with a bicameral legislature. The president, the 301-seat parliament and
the 111-seat shura council share power in the government. The president
is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of the
government. The people elect the president from at least two candidates
nominated by the government, and the prime minister is elected by the
president. The presidential term lasts seven years and the government
term lasts six years. Everyone over the age of 18 has the right to vote.
The Constitution requires an independent judiciary. The former laws of the south and the north have been combined. The legal system consists of separate commercial courts and the highest court located in Sanaa. As an Islamic country, Yemeni law is largely based on interpretations of the Koran. Unlike other strictly Islamic countries, foreigners are allowed to drink alcohol in Yemen. Many local residents use the drug khat.
According to the Yemeni constitution, any child of Yemeni parents who has reached the age of 40, who can exercise their political rights, is of good character, fulfills their obligations set by Islam, has not committed shameful crimes or has atoned for them, and is not married to a foreigner, can run for president.
With the unification of socialist South Yemen and North Yemen in 1990, a new family law came into force, which was a clear deterioration in the position of women in the South.
In Yemen, there are no laws to prevent underage marriage, and international attention has been attracted in recent years by the divorce sought by 10-year-old Nojoud Ali from the man to whom she was married. In 2010, child marriage was banned with a new law, which also sparked protests against it. However, the law was not put into effect, and the parliamentary committee interpreting sharia law rejected it as being against Islam. In 2006, 52.1% of Yemeni girls were married before the age of 18. A quarter of them get married under the age of 15, which causes them considerable physical and mental problems.
According to Freedom House's 2022 report, Yemen is not a free country. Yemen, which has experienced several smaller internal conflicts in the past, has been ravaged by a civil war involving regional forces since 2015. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their allies supported that year's government of President Abd Rabbu Mansur against the Ansar Allah (Supporters of God), also known as the Houthis. This armed rebel movement has its roots in the Zaidi Shiite community, which forms a large minority in northwestern Yemen. The civilian population has suffered from direct violence by both sides, as well as from hunger and disease caused by the interruption of trade and aid. Elections are late, normal political activity has stopped and many state institutions have ceased to function.
Yemen belongs to the Middle East and is located at the southern tip
of the Arabian Peninsula between Saudi Arabia and Oman. The total area
of Yemen is 527,968 square kilometers. It has 1,906 kilometers of
coastline on the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Yemen
administers several islands and island groups, such as the Hanish,
Kamaran and Perim islands in the Red Sea, and the Socotra island group
in the Indian Ocean. In 2000, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement
that resolved the long-lasting border dispute between the two countries.
Yemen's mountainous interior is surrounded by narrow coastal strips in the western, southern and eastern parts of the country, and a mountainous desert in the north on the border with Saudi Arabia. Tihamah is more than 400 kilometers along the coast of the Red Sea, where fishing, trade and oase farming are practiced. The mountains in the interior of the country vary in height from a few hundred meters to more than two kilometers. The highest peak in the country is Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb with a height of 3,760 meters. Among the highlands there are wades, i.e. river valleys, which are dry in the warm summer months. There are no permanent rivers in the country.
Many animals are found in Yemen, such as desert lynx, striped hyena,
foxes, hares, porcupines, mongooses, monitor lizards, agami, jumping
moles and chameleons. Mantle baboons and rock tamans are common on the
lower slopes, but gazelles have decreased due to hunting and South
Arabian leopards live only in remote areas.
Many small plants grow in Yemen. After the rains, the desert of Rub al-Khal blooms, when cacti and acacias, as well as various types of heather, burst into flower. The white crinum Crinum yemense attracts attention, but the most spectacular is the adenium (Adenium obesum) of the adenium family, called the desert rose. Trees are rare in North Yemen, as a lot of them have been cut down for firewood.
In terms of ecotourism, Yemen's main attraction is its diverse birdlife, which is especially abundant during the spring and autumn migration seasons, when large birds of prey migrate across Yemen to and from Africa. The area is home to species that pass through the Red Sea coast from Africa to Europe. Birds are also abundant in areas with water most of the year.
Temperatures are usually quite high in Yemen, especially in the country's coastal areas. Precipitation is usually low, but varies at different altitudes. In the country's highlands, summer is mild and rainy, and the average temperature is around 21 °C. The winters in the region are cold and moderately dry, and the temperature occasionally drops below four degrees. The beach strip of Tihamah, located on the west coast of the country, belongs to the tropics. There, temperatures sometimes rise above 54 degrees Celsius, and the humidity varies between 50 and 70 percent. Rain comes to the area in irregular downpours, and the average annual rainfall is about 130 millimeters. The average temperature in Aden is 25 °C in January and 32 °C in June. The annual rainfall is 127 millimeters. In the highest mountains of southern Yemen, it rains between 520 and 760 millimeters per year, while in northern and eastern Yemen there can be years without rain. The eastern part of Yemen is a dry and warm region.
Four UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Yemen. Shibām's Fortified Old Town is Yemen's oldest World Heritage Site, accepted for listing in 1982. It is one of the world's earliest and best-preserved examples of layered urban planning. The country's capital, Sanaa, has been on the world heritage list since 1986. The city has been inhabited for over 2,500 years and was an important place for the spread of Islam in the 6th and 7th centuries. Zabid, which was the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th centuries, was an important center of Arab culture for hundreds of years thanks to its high-level university. It was accepted as a World Heritage Site in 1993. The most recently accepted site is the Socotra group of islands in the Indian Ocean, which was selected for the list in 2008 due to its rich and unique nature.
Yemen's economy is highly dependent on the country's oil and natural
gas resources, which generate about 65 percent of government revenue and
25 percent of gross domestic product. However, compared to neighboring
countries, Yemen's oil reserves are small. In 2016, the country's proven
oil reserves were estimated at three billion barrels. Besides oil and
natural gas, other important natural resources are productive
agricultural land in the western part of the country, fish, rock salt
and marble. The country also has some coal, gold, lead, nickel and
Yemen has tried to reduce the effects of dwindling oil resources by diversifying the economy, for example with an economic reform program that began in 2006, which aims to support other areas of the economy and attract foreign investment. At the beginning of 2010, the international community founded the group Friends of Yemen, whose purpose is to support Yemen's economic and political reforms. In the same year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a program in which it supports the country with 370 million dollars over three years. Despite these efforts, Yemen continues to suffer from economic problems and will have to deal with the problems of dwindling water resources and a high birth rate in the future. Corruption is also a big problem in the country.
Due to the country's poverty, Yemen has a poor infrastructure
compared to other countries in the Middle East. The roads are generally
in poor condition, although several plans have been made to improve
them. There are 71,300 kilometers of roads in the country, of which only
6,200 kilometers are paved. There is no railway in the country, but
there are plans to build a railway between Yemen and Oman. In 2021,
there were a total of 57 airports in the country, 17 of which are paved.
Four international airports operate in the country: Aden, Sanaa, Ta'izz
and Hodeidah international airports. Yemenia is the national airline of
Yemen. 51 percent of its shares belong to the governments of Yemen and
49 percent to Saudi Arabia. The main port cities in Yemen are Aden,
Hodeida, al-Mukalla and Mokka.
In 2021, Yemen had a total of approximately 8.2 million internet users, or a quarter of the population. The low number of internet users is due to the limited bandwidth in Yemen's outdated telephone network and the poverty of the population, as not everyone can afford a computer. Many people also cannot afford to get a phone, and therefore there are few phone users in the country compared to the population. However, the number of telephones is increasing, and in 2021 there were approximately 1.2 million landline telephones and 15 million mobile telephones in use in the country.
Tourism in Yemen is hampered by a lack of infrastructure and weak security in the country. Foreign tourists being held hostage is a real threat. Current tourism statistics are not available, but in 2005 the number rose from 274,000 the previous year to 336,000. In December 2012, two Finns and one Austrian were taken hostage in the center of Sana. Similar cases have happened regularly in the country. Among other things, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland urges to avoid traveling to the country in 2023 as well.
Yemen's Ministry of Communications controls the country's newspapers
and owns the country's only radio and television stations. According to
the US State Department, there are nine government-controlled, 50
independent and 30 party-affiliated newspapers in the country. The
government controls news broadcasts and rarely gives permission to
present material that deals negatively with the government. According to
the US State Department, the country also periodically shuts down
political and religious websites. According to the law, newspapers must
be approved by the government, and their content is limited. In some
cases, journalists have been beaten and arrested.
The country's television and radio network includes the state-owned television and radio channels Republic of Yemen Television and Republic of Yemen Radio. Due to the large number of illiterate people, television and radio are important means of communication. The most important Arabic-language dailies are Al-Thawrah and Al-Ayyam, in addition to which the country also publishes two weekly English-language newspapers, the Yemen Times and the Yemen Observer.
The World Factbook published by the CIA estimates Yemen's population
at 31.5 million in June 2023. Yemen's population is the second largest
in the Arabian Peninsula, right after Saudi Arabia. In addition to the
high birth rate, the country's population is increased by the large
number of Somali refugees. According to the UNHCR, there were about
96,000 African refugees in Yemen in 2006, more than 90 percent of them
from Somalia. In 2007, the country's government estimated that there
were approximately 300,000 Somalis in the country. Regardless of Yemen's
own unrest, the flow of refugees continues; in 2022 tens of thousands of
Africans came to the country. In 2023, around 40 percent of the
country's population lived in cities. About 70 percent are literate.
The official language of Yemen is Arabic, although English is increasingly understood in major cities. About 95 percent of Yemenis speak Arabic as their mother tongue, but a few smaller Semitic languages are also spoken in the country. The largest of these is the Socotra language with 101,000 speakers (year 2004) and the second largest is Mehri with 68,000 speakers. Smaller languages include Šehri (3,000 speakers) and Hobyot (1,000 speakers). In the same year, the Somali language had approximately 726,000 speakers.
Yemen's ethnic minorities include the Hadrams and Mahras from the east. Centuries of migration between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula has given rise to the social group Akhdams, who are of African and Arabian descent. There are still remnants of the Yemeni Jewish community in the northern part of the country.
In 2017, the country, which suffered from a civil war, was in the grip of a severe cholera epidemic.
Yemen's population is predominantly Arab, and almost all are Muslim.
Yemenis are divided into two Islamic religious groups: the Shia in the
north and the Sunni in the south. Sunnis following the Shafi'i and
Maliki schools make up about 56% of the country's population. Wahhabism
has gained a small number of adherents in some areas of Jemin with the
support of Saudi Arabia. Yemen's Shiites are predominantly Zaidi and
make up about 42% of the country's population. Yemen is the only
significant area of influence of Zaidiism, and Zaidiism differs from the
12-Shia practiced in, for example, Iran and Lebanon. About 1.5% of the
population belong to the Ismailis, which are considered Shia. In the
2010s, the Zaidi people of the north, or the Houthis, rebelled against
the majority. In September 2014, the Houthis easily managed to take over
the central government facilities and media in the capital Sana'a.
According to the Open Doors organization's World Watch list, Christians experience extreme persecution in Yemen. Christians usually keep their faith a secret. Leaving Islam is forbidden in Yemen and the state considers all Yemenis to be Muslims. According to the organization, converts to Christianity are at risk of being killed by Islamic extremists and tribes. During the time of the coronavirus pandemic and wars, Christians have been estimated to be in a vulnerable position, as emergency aid has been distributed through local Islamic leaders who target Muslims.
Yemeni architecture reflects local building materials. In the
villages of the northern parts of Tihama, houses are made of wood and
straw, in the cities of limestone, in the southern parts of Tihama, of
wood and brick. Stone is used in the mountain area, in the desert both
fired and sun-dried clay bricks. Shibami's clay multi-storey houses are
a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Houses are traditionally divided into men
and women, and there is little furniture. There are pillows and
mattresses for sitting along the walls, sleeping mats are spread out at
night and put away during the day. The floor is covered with a carpet
woven from palm leaves or goat hair or imported from abroad. Closets and
shelves are hollowed out in the thick walls for storing things.
The basis of Yemeni food is sorghum, lentils and peas. A traditional breakfast includes sweet tea and bread made from sorghum, wheat or barley. For lunch, you can have a porridge-like stew made from fenugreek seeds with meat, eggs, vegetables and spices. A light dinner can consist of vegetables and or dates. Islam influences the food tradition: alcohol and pork are forbidden, and special sweet treats are prepared for evening parties during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Traditionally, the culture of coastal South Yemen has been more liberal and religion has played a smaller role, while the mountainous regions of North Yemen have been dominated by a patriarchal, old-fashioned culture.
Yemen has participated in the Olympic Games since 1992 with a team of 2–8 athletes. It has participated in judo, wrestling, taekwondo, swimming, gymnastics and athletics. There have been no medals. In the world football ranking maintained by the International Football Association, Yemen has been at its best in 90th place in August 1993.