Jan ,2 \NewNewss
Location and Area:
Yemen is an Islamic Arab country located in the southwestern of Arabian Peninsula, in the southwestern of Asia.
It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Sultanate of Oman to the east, Arabian Sea to the south and the Red Sea to the west.
It has many islands alongside the Red Sea and Arabian Sea, the largest one of all is the island of Suqutra, around 150 km away from Yemeni nearest coast.
Ancient geographers used to call Yemen “Arabia Felix”. In the Old Testimony it was mentioned as the south and it was said that Yemen’s name was attributed to (Aiman Ben Ya’arob Ben Kahtan). In the Arabic cultural heritage and as the Yemenis themselves, its name derived from the Arabic word (Yuomn) which means the blessedness or welfare and this agrees with the name of the ancient name Arabia Felix.
On the other hand, some of the Arab historians said it is called Yemen because it is located in the right direction of Al-Ka’aba. All in all, its present name is “the Republic of Yemen “
Geographical Features and Topography:
Yemen has got a very spectacular topography ranging from high mountains to mysterious dunes desert and from fertile flatlands to more than 2000 km of breath-taking beaches on the Arabian Sea in the south and Red Sea in the west.
The geographical features are divided into five divisions as the following:
The Coastal Region is more than 2500 km extended alongside the Red Sea in the west, the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean in the south and the Arabian Sea in the east.
This region includes the governorates of Aden, Hodeiddah, Lahj, Abyan, al-Maharah and parts of Hadramout.
The Mountainous Region
It begins in the north and extends southward to the area called Bab Al-Mandab, where it makes a turn eastwards alongside the Arab Sea, ending in Al-Mahara. The mountains highest ranges from 1000 meter to 3600 meter above sea level.
The mountainous region contains several valleys such as:
Valleys, whish pour its waters in the Red Sea, like Wadi Haradh, Wadi Moor , Wadi Sordod ,Wadi Siham ,Wadi Rasian Wadi Zabeed and Wadi Moza’a .
Valleys, which pour its waters in the Gulf of Aden and the Arab Sea, are Wadi Tuban, Wadi Bana, Wadi Ahwar and Wadi Hudramout.
Valleys, which pour its waters in the desert, are Wadi Khap, Wadi Algoof and Wadi Athnah in addition to Wadi Harreap and Wadi Jerdan and others.
This region includes the governorates of Sana’a, Hajja, Al-Mahweat , Sa’ada , Dhammar, Al-Bidha , Al-Dhale and Taiz.
The Region of Eastern Plains:
It is consisted of sedimentary rocks and lies at the eastern and the northern of the mountainous region and it spans is adjacent to it. It reaches its maximum highest at 1000 meters and waters drop to it from the mountainous region.
This region includes the governorates of Al-Mahara, Al-Jawf, Shabbwa, Hadhramout and parts of the governorate of Sa’ada.
The Region of Al-Rub’o Al-Khali (Empty Quarter)
It is the Yemeni desert region without plants and characterized by its moving dunes sands. In the past, the Al-Rubo’ Al-Khali used to be called the largest Yemeni desert or Al-Ahqaf desert.
The Yemeni Islands:
There is a large number of the Yemeni islands spread alongside the Red Sea and the Arab Sea. Yemeni islands are characterized by unique topography and spectacular environment.
The Red Sea includes the largest number of the islands which constitutes an archipelago alongside the Yemeni beach.
The Island of Kamaran is the largest and the most important one in the Red Sea, it is inhabited by people and rare animals. There are also the islands of Baklan, Al-Tir, and Al-Fashet in the north of Kamaran and in the south of it there are the islands of Zuqar and the archipelago of Hunish which includes the Greater Hunish and the smaller Hunish, while the island of Meyoun controls the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab and it splits it.
There are also several small islands; the important of them are the islands of Abdul-Kori, Al-Akhawin, Samhah and Derrssah.
In the Arabian Sea, Yemeni islands spread close to each other, the largest and the most famous one of all is the Island of Suqutra.
Suqutra is a 3625 km². It is located in the Indian Ocean, some 450 km south of the Yemeni economic city of Aden but it is a part of Hadramout province of Yemen.
With estimated population of 45,000, Suqutra Island has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau permeated with karst caves, and the higher mountains reaches to 5000 feet.
The climate is generally tropical desert, with rainfall being light, seasonal (winter) and more abundant at the higher ground in the interior than along the coastal lowlands.
The monsoon season brings strong winds and high seas making marine transportation from June to September inaccessible.
However, in July 1999 a new airport opened in Socotra.
The long geological isolation of Socotra and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora.
Surveys have revealed that more than a third of the 800 or so plant species of Socotra are found nowhere else. Botanists rank the flora of Socotra among the ten most endangered island flora in the world.
One of the most striking of Sucutra’s plants is the dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari), which is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. Its red sap was the dragon’s blood of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye.
The island also has a fairly rich bird fauna, including a few types of endemic birds, such as the Suqutra Starling Onychognathus frater, the Socotra Sunbird Chalcomitra balfouri, Socotra Sparrow Passer insularis and Socotra Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus.
Fourteen mammal and 175 bird species that live today on the island have been recorded as endemic species. Being virtually isolated from the rest of the world for a long period, Suqutra remains one of the most fascinating places on earth.
Its unique character with greatest Biological diversity makes Socotra a potential candidate for designation as one of the new 7 wonders of nature.
Suqutra Island has been recently nominated to become one of the new 7 wonders of natural monuments. The competition is adopted by the Swiss foundation new7wonders.com to choose the most wonderful natural landscapes all over the world.
Yemen is one of the countries of the largest cellular radiation due to the sun’s perpendicular upon it around the year but the diversity of its geographical features gives rise to diversification in its climate.
In the coastal regions, the climate used to be hot and moist in the summer whereas in the winter it is often moderate.
In the inner and mountainous region, the climate usually ranges from cool in the winter to moderate in the summer, the moderate climate also prevails in the slopes and plateaus regions where the average of temperature ranges from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius in summer whereas it goes down to fall below zero in winter.
The average of moistness may reach up to 80 percent with an average of rainfalls ranges from 300 to more than 1000 mm per a year .The climate, which prevails in the eastern region, is widely different since it is characterized by drought and the temperature there exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in summer, while it goes down to 10-15 degrees Celsius in winter.
The rainfalls rate doesn’t exceed the average of 50 –100 mm, particularly at the bounds of Al-Rubo’ Al-Khali (the Empty Quarter). Between the above two climate regions lies the central region which spans from the north and the east of Sana’a to the bounds of Marib.
The entire area of Yemen’s territory has come under the influence of the torrential winds which are coming from the east; it is also influenced by the air’s downfalls in the west which used to be accompanied by rains in summer season.
The Republic of Yemen has nearly 23 million people (according to the latest census conducted in 2007).
Arabic is the official language of the country with English being the most widely used as a second language.
Islam is the official religion of the whole country.
Traditional Industries and Handicrafts:
There are many traditional industries and handicrafts in Yemen, which have been handed down throughout the generations. Such industries and handicrafts are characterized by their beauty and attractiveness, particularly those associated with architecture, ornaments and decoration, traditional weapons, clothes and garments, earthenware and stoneware, leather products, and tools and materials made of palm fiber and leaves, etc.
Handicrafts centers exist throughout the Republic and such products can be sampled in the traditional markets of many cities and at the weekly markets called (Souks)