Declaration of Independence
South Yemen achieved freedom from the United Kingdom on 30 November 1967. North Yemen had achieved its freedom on 1 November 1918 from the Ottoman Empire. Both North and South Yemen were united as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.
Present day Yemen was referred to as Arabia Felix by the Romans. Yemen’s strategic location was highly valued. As the lucrative spice trade passed through Yemen, major powers vied for the control of the region, as the one who controlled or occupied this region, also controlled the spice trade. Northern Yemen had been under the control of imams; i.e. the Muslims who followed the preaching of Zayd ibn Ali. In 1832, the British took over the Aden port due to its significant location near to the Gulf of Aden and made it a British colony. However, majority of the territories of South Yemen had agreements of coalition and defense with the British Empire.
In 1918, North Yemen gained its freedom from the Ottoman Empire, and became a republic in 1962. On 30 November 1967, the British left the port and the region came to be known as South Yemen with Aden as its capital. The two republics of South and North Yemen were finally united on 22 May 1990.
The translated version of the national anthem is:
Repeat, O World, my song.
Echo it over and over again.
Remember, through my joy, each martyr.
Clothe him with the shining mantles
Of our festival.
Repeat, O World, my song.
In faith and love I am part of mankind.
An Arab I am in all my life.
My heart beats in tune with Yemen.
No foreigner shall dominate over Yemen.
November 30, the Independence Day, is a very significant day in Yemen. It is a public holiday. The Yemenis begin their day by offering prayers. Many Yemenis prefer to celebrate the day with their friends and family members. On this day, celebratory speeches are given by the president of the country and government officials. Besides, you can also witness official celebrations in Yemen’s capital, which are broadcast across the nation. National flags can be seen flying from buildings and magnificent military parades are held in the capital. On the occasion, huge gatherings are also organized across the country.
- President: Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi (2012)
- Prime Minister: Khaled Bahah (2014)
- Total area: 203,849 sq mi
- Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Sanaá
- Other large cities: Aden, Hodiedah, Tiaz
- Population (2012 est.): 24,771,809
- National name: Al-Jumhuriyah al-Yamaniyah
- Government: Parliamentary Republic
- Monetary unit: Rial
- Language: Arabic
- Religions: Islam, small numbers of Christian, Jewish, and Hindu
- Ethnicity/race: mainly Arab; but also South Asians, Afro-Arab, Europeans
- Industries: petroleum refining and crude oil manufacture; small-scale manufacture of cotton textiles, leather goods, food processing, handicrafts, aluminum products, cement, and commercial ship repair
- Agriculture: fruits, grain, pulses, vegetables, coffee, qat, cotton; dairy products, livestock (cattle, goats, sheep, camels), poultry, fish
- Natural resources: fish, petroleum, marble, rock salt, small deposits of copper, gold, coal, nickel, lead, fertile soil in west.
- Chief trading partners: China, Thailand, UAE, Singapore, France, Saudi Arabia, India, U.S., Kuwait (2011)