Time Magazine- Brief History of Yemen

Here is a very concise history of Yemen. It covers around 2,500 years in 8 paragraphs so it certainly is not an in-depth look but does provide a solid general overview and is a quick read.

In sum, Yemen was a vibrant market center referred to as Arabia Felix or “Happy Arabia” by the Romans. In 7th century AD, Islam arrived in Yemen and by the 9th century, the Zaidi Shi’a sect had implemented a theocracy in the North. Sana’a and the Port of Aden flourished through the years as important centers for textiles & spices. In 1904, after the Ottomans and the British asserted control over North and South Yemen respectively during the previous century, they agreed to create a boundary between their spheres of influence. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire post- WWI, a Zaidi Imam took power in Northern Yemen and his family ruled until his son’s ouster in 1962 at the hand of Arab Nationalists aiming to establish a Republic. South Yemen rid themselves of British protectorate status in 1967 and was taken over by radical Marxists in 1970. They created a People’s Democratic Republic backed by the Soviets. Finally, North and South Yemen unified in 1990 and current Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, formerly the President of Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen), took control.

That is an already brief 8 paragraphs put into one but hopefully it has a couple interesting points. I will get into current affairs and history of contemporary Yemen from here on out.

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