YEMEN

                                                  

Location
The Republic of Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. It is bordered on the north by Saudi Arabia, on the south by the Arab Sea and the Gulf of Aden, on the east by the Sultanate of Oman and on the west by the Red Sea.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Official name:

Republic of Yemen                                    

Capital:
City of Sana'a,
The Republic of Yemen is administratively divided into (20) governorates in addition to the Capital Secretariat.

Abyan 'Adan Ad Dali' Al Bayda' Al Hudaydah Al Jawf Al Mahrah Al Mahwit 'Amran Dhamar Hadramaut Hajjah Ibb Lahij Ma'rib Raymah Sa'dah Shabwah Ta'iz  z

National flag:

It consists of three colors ranked from top to bottom as follows: (Red- White- Black) It is believed that each color of the flag repents a theme about the country itself.  The color ”red” represents the .blood of the people who have died for their country, the “white” color represents the purity of the country, and the black represents the so called dark days of the country.  Looking at the flag from another perspective we can also say that the colors represent the wide range of diversity in the color of people that live in Yemen.  Form red to black and the white that run through the two of them.

National Anthem

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The Emblem of Yemen is represented by a falcon, symbolizing the people's strength and them soaring in the horizon of  freedom.  The unfolding of both wings on the national emblem is supported by a base on which the name "The Republic of Yemen" is written with a drawing of the Marib Dam and a coffee tree inscribed on it.

fficial language.

 Arabic:   To find out more Check the links lest 

Currency
  Riyal ( Average exchange rate is 199.50 Yemeni Riyals per US dollar- ( JULY, 2007)
Universal Timing:

GMT +3 hours

Electricity

220 volts / 50 Hertz

International country code

+967

Population

According to the final results of the general census for the year 2006, the number of population of the Republic of Yemen reached (20.975.000). The population is growing at a rate of (3.0%) per annum; the male populations constitute percentage of 50.99% of the total population. The female population constitute percentage of 49.01% of the total population

Outlets into and out of Yemen:
Air outlets
( Sana'a International Airport - Aden International Airport - Taiz Airport – Al-Hodeidah Airport – Al-Mukalla Airport - Seyoun Airport)
Sea Outlet
( Aden port – Al-Makha port – Al-Hodeidah port – Al-Mukalla port - Nashtoon port )
Land Outlets
(Haradh Outlet - Albuka'a Outlet - Elbain Outlets - Shahin Outlet - Serfait Outlet- Al-Wadeah Outlet
Official Government Website

Arabic    --      English   

Ministry of foreign - Arabic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings

 
 
   
Salam aleikum,”(Peace be upon you) is an Islamic expression, use to express greeting to friends at large. Yemenis demonstrate their brotherly ties by embracing and kissing each other, among same sex.  Kissing, hugging and handshaking are acceptable among the same sex but it is rare to shake hands among different sex; however it is some times acceptable depending on individuals. 
 
The embracing and kissing are accompanied by exclamations like “Keyf Halak Ya akhi” (How are my brother?) and “anta bekhair” (Are you well?).  Formal words of greeting are “Salam aleikum” (Peace be upon you).  The answer is “wa-aleikum-as-salam”(And peace be upon you).  Other forms of greeting are “Sabah al-kheir” (Good morning) or “Masa’a al-khier” (Good evening) which are answered with “sabah an-nur” or “masa an-nur.”  The handshake is commonly used among same sex, especially when meeting foreigners.  Some traditionalists may refuse to shake hands with foreign women.  While women do not shake hands with  men or foreign at all.
 

 

 

                                                           Clothing

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Jambia Showroom”
Yemeni clothing vary from one area to another in terms of the colors and the various designsCloth restrictions are the product of a number of interacting factors like religion,  weather and degree of adhering to traditionsThese factors together determine the type of clothes worn by the Yemenis peopleIslam does not determine specific attire, but rather imposes some limitations on the form of clothing.
A majority of women in Yemen wear lithma or bourga’a, what is know by most a veil.  They also were Hijab, which is the Islamic requirement for women.  The Balto, is the black robe that is worn above their cloths. Women wearing the Hijab and Balto are mainly motivated by their free will and religious beliefs. Economy and the aesthetics are not that important to them They consider the Hijab and Balto an important means of protecting their dignity in society, they also realize the pressures of western ideas of being beautiful so the Hijab and Balto provide them an escape from these pressures.
The clothing of men in Yemen is of two types, the first being traditional, based on what area you live in.  The second is the modern type.  An example of the traditional cloths worn in Yemen is the Thobe, which is usually a tailor made white robe, a sport coat or blazer, and the most important accessory the Jambia, which consists of three part., the first is the Jambia, which is a steel curved blade and the handle of the blade is usually made from the horns of animals.  The second is Asib, which is simply the case that holds the blade, and lastly the Mahazaq or Hisam, which means the belt which carries the blade and case.  We call it Jambia to stress the importance of the main part which is the blade and handle.  ًWe considered  the Jambia to be the most important article of  our tradition we have inherited it from generation to generation.  The second type as we mentioned are the modern dresses, they prefer to wear the more up to date attire, which include jeans, t-shirts, sports wear, and pretty much all the latest fashions in the world today.  They don’t feel any pressure in society for their choice of leaving their traditional dress. There are also those who wear both traditional and modern depending on the occasions. 
 
 

 

 

Use of Alcohol

 

Drinking Alcohol is not permitted for Yemenis since it is forbidden in Islam. As Muslims, using Alcohol by drinking or even in cooking is considered prohibited. For non- Muslim visitors, they are free to consume alcoholic beverages for private consumption but it is not allowed to do so in public places.
  

 

 

 

 

Eating Style

 

 
“Launch”
 
 
, “salta, fahssa,”
 
 
 
 
 
bint al-sahan”
“Fresh Strawberry goose”

 

 
There are many types of food that are served in Yemen such as rice, meat, fish, salta, fahssa, vegetables and salads. Meat and fish are prepared in many special ways and they vary from one place to another. Different dishes of food are served between breakfast, lunch and dinner.  For instant, for breakfast we eat scrambled egg, a flat bread called Khobz and tea.  For lunch you will find us enjoying a fairly large meal, this would include rashush or malooge, salta, fahssa, marak, fish “mukhbazaacada, meat boiled in soup, fetta tumar “dates” or fetta moze “banana” and for a desert a sweet bread covered with honey called “bint al-sahan”.   Dinner is considered by many the lightest meal of the day.  We eat roti which is formed bread with beans, peas, liver or any other type of meat.  Every meal starts with “bismillah” (in the name of Allah) and is eaten quickly. It’s more likely that Yemeni people use their right hand at all times while eating. In special occasions, Yemenis might use knives, forks and spoons depending on the individual, place or occasion.   Pork is strictly forbidden for Muslims.  Besides, all, our traditional food the general pubic and visitors of Yemen, can enjoy a variety of different foods from all over the world.
 
 

 

 

      Conversation Style

 

 

 

 

 
When Yemenis are talking to people, they like to talk face to face. The speaker like to engage the listener by looking at his face and eyes, this gives the speaker a great feeling of attention. It also shows the speaker that the people listening are paying attention. We believe that if we look into the speaker’s eyes, we will understand if he is telling his true feelings or not.  The use of  body language is also a big factor in the way we communicate.  Don’t be alarmed if you witness two people rising their voice with one another, in Yemen it is considered normal for some too yell someone name or have a conversation from a far distance.  So don’t fear. J
 
 

 

 

 

 

Sense Of Humor

 

 

 

 

 

 
Many Yemenis like to have fun and enjoy life.  For this Yemen is also called “Yemen Al-Saida’a,” which means the Arabic Felix.
Yemenis find the best way to express themselves in making fun and saying jokes, even when the joke is on our selves.  And of course, we love to hear jokes as well.  For insistent if we see a group of people smiling or laughing we feel like enjoying returning the smile or even laughing along with them. Sometimes even if they are using a different language and we don’t know or understand the reason for their laughter.
But aware that making jokes about religious issues (God – Prophetess - Holy books) would be very offending for a Yemeni or any Muslim in general.
 
 
 
 

 

 

DANCING

 

We as Yemeni people enjoy dancing and watching people dance.  Dancing in large groups is preferred by the general population, our dancing is considered traditional, in which we use instruments like drums and there are different types, which make different sounds.  Drums are used for a dance called bara’a  Jambia dance.”  This dance is preformed at weddings, and this is the only time that we display our Jambia’s by removing it from it’s case while dancing.  We also use the O’ud, which is an Arab version of the guitar.  The style of dance that accompanies the O’ud is call “Lahgisana’ani.  We like to dance very much,   there are different types of dancing beside what we have mentioned above and they are based on different areas.

 

 

 

 

 Respect for Authority

 

 

 

Yemenis respect authorities simply because they understand and appreciate the efforts they make to ease the lives of the people; they follow the rules made for them. At the same time you may see them “running a red light, but reading the street signs.”J  However, there is no special style when talking to authorities in Yemen.  It maybe, you gain a new friend by simply asking for direction. We feel equality with mutual respect among us.

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION

 

 
When are in public they are very careful in trying not to offend anyone, by doing anything not acceptable by the culture of this land.  Things like displaying affection to individuals of the opposite sex are not seen in public, even if the individuals are engaged or married.  Yemenis feel totally uncomfortable when seeing couples kissing or hugging each other in public. Yemenis consider walking hand to hand with your wife as something tolerable. Following Islamic law is vital in the way they interact in public.
 

 

 

 

 

Concept of Time

 

 

Time is a very valuable thing, Yemenis feel that it is important to be on time.   If not on time, arriving 10 minutes early shows respect, however, this depends on the relationship and to whom there is an appointment with. In general the Yemenis are always trying to be on time.
 

 

 

 

 

Influence of Religion

 

 

 

 

 

Historically Yemenis used to worship the sun & afterwards converted to Judaism then Christianity before accepting Islam as an official religion for the country.
The influence of all three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, have all played their part in influencing what we know as Yemen.
Such major change in the life of Yemenis reflects their desire in following the messengers of Allah in their pursue to seek the truth.
1400 years ago, the mass majority of Yemenis converted to Islam after the prophet  Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) prophesied to his companions that in a land called Yemen they would find people who had faith and practiced wisdom “Al-Iman Yemeni wa al-Hikma Yemeni,” which is translated to “The faith exists in Yemen and the wisdom is within the Yemeni people.”  The prophet Mohammad then sent his companions to tell the Yemeni people about Islam.  The people of Yemen accepted the invitation of professing “There is No God but Allah and Mohammad (PBUH) is his messenger”.  Since that time Yemen has been an Islamic country. It is important to note that when some one says that he/she is a Muslim it is a necessary for them to believe in the concept of accepting and respecting other people's beliefs, cultures and religions.
For that reason more than 50000 Yemeni Jewish lived in peace & harmony for more than 1400 years before the majority decided to migrate to Palestine during the 60s of the last century, but still there are more than 2000 Jewish families living side by side with their Muslim brothers as Yemeni citizens practicing their religion in free atmosphere.
Islam in Yemen has had a big influence in the society and culture of this country and continues to teach each generation the true peaceful values of Islam.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

             Relationship/Sexuality

 

 

The Islamic law controls the society and life in everything. So sexual relations before marriage is prohibited in Yemen. According to the Islamic rules even the friendship relation between males and females (as it’s known in many other countries boyfriend/girlfriend relationship) is restricted. It's not commen to see a man holding a woman’s hand in the street unless they are married.  Also, it's prohibited to kiss each other (male and female) in the street by the Islamic rules and you'll be banished by the law if the police caught you in the action.  Women and men are not allowed to enter close relationship with each of the opposite sex, they should avoid anything that may stimulate feelings of desire. Men are also advised to become married as soon as they come at an age where feelings of the opposite sex begin to surface   It's not common to see gays and lesbians in Yemen.  The Islamic religion doesn't allow this kind of relationship and it does NOT accept these two kinds of people to live in its community. The punishment for this is the death penalty.

 

 

 

 
 
 

Others 

 

 

Marriage is the most important event in a person’s life.  In villages, the boy’s mother begins by looking for   a suitable wife for her son, and once a family has been identified, the marriage is negotiated by the father.  Due to strict segregation between the sexes and the practice of veiling, men are unable to find their own brides.  Only in big cities are young people left to choose their own mates.  Early marriage is still common, but among the educated elite the trend is to marry in one’s twenties after completing one’s education.  The marriage contract is concluded between the father of the bride and bridegroom in the presence of Al qadi (judge).  The bridegroom should pay Almahr (amount of money), the girl receives a substantial share in the form of gold, dresses, materials and other valuables.  A typical wedding celebration lasts three days and often involves over 200 guests.  Men and women celebrate separately in different houses, and then gather in the bridegroom’s house to share a big meal, chew Gat and listen to an O’ud (lute) player and singer.  In the evening they join together in the street, which is decorated by many colored lamps suspended between the houses.  A musician playing the Mizmar (an oboe-like instrument) entertains the guests, and religious and tribal songs are sung.  Jambia dances are performed to the rhythm of drums.  The bride celebrates in her parents’ house or special wedding palace together with a great number of female friends and relatives.  On different days she wears the traditional wedding costume and a white Western wedding dress.  A female singer and flutist may entertain the guests, or Western disco.  Arabic belly-dance music may be played and the guests are invited to dance.  On the wedding night, the bride is brought by her father and other relatives to the groom’s house to meet her future husband.  From the moment she crosses the doorstep she belongs to the house

 

Other names of country

o     Arabic: al-Jamhuriya al-Yamaniya (formal)

o     Danish: Yemen

o     Dutch: Jemen, Republiek Jemen (formal)

o     English: Republic of Yemen (formal)

o     Finnish: Jemen

o     French: Yémen m

o     German: Jemen m

o     Icelandic: Jemen

o     Italian: Yemen m Norwegian: Jemen, Republikken Jemen (formal)

o     Portuguese: Iémen, Iémene, Iêmen m (Brazil), Yémen, Repْblica f do Iémen m (formal)

o     Spanish: Yemen, Repْblica f ءrabe del Yemen m (formal)

o     Swedish: Jemen, Yemen

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 Update By Eissam Al-Ameer in September 2007
 
 
© 2007 Ship for World Youth Alumni Association