Yemen, officially known as the Yemeni Republic, is an Arab country located in Western Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen is the second largest country in the peninsula, occupying . The coastline stretches for about . It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east. Its capital and largest city is Sana'a.Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about to the south of mainland Yemen. Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. In 275 AD, the region came under the rule of the later Jewish influenced Himyarite Kingdom. In the 6th century, Yemen was caught between two rival empires: the Christian Byzantine empire and the Zoroastrian Sasanid Empire. Islam spread quickly in the 7th century. Yemen was difficult to control because of its rugged terrain and tribal character. Several dynasties emerged from the 9th to the 16th century, the Rasulids being the strongest and most prosperous. The Ottoman Empire conquered Yemen in 1539. Although their rule was limited to the southern coastal regions, and were met with periodic tribal revolts from Zaydi tribes in the northern highlands. Imam Qasim The Great gathered support and launched concerted effort to expel the Turks from the country.
Due to its strategic location, the British Empire conquered the city of Aden in 1839, the British expanded their authority eventually forming what became Aden protectorate. The Ottomans returned in 1872 and signed a treaty with the British in 1905, which divided Yemen into "north" and "south". after World war I, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen was established in northern Yemen while the south remained under British rule. The Yemeni Arab republic (North Yemen) was established in 1962 after a Coup d'état led by Abdullah al-Sallal, sparking the North Yemen Civil War between the republicans and Royalists. In October 1963, Arab nationalist groups started an armed struggle to end British presence in Aden. Southern Yemen gained independence in 1967, establishing a socialist state. Due to the different political and economic structures, the two Yemeni states did not unite right after their revolutions. Yemeni unification took place on 22 May 1990, when North Yemen was united with South Yemen, forming the Yemeni Republic.
The majority of Yemen's population live in rural or tribal areas, and it is one of the least developed countries in the world. Under President Ali Abdullah Saleh rule, Yemen was described as a kleptocracy. According to the 2009 international corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Yemen ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed. In 2011, series of street protests began in January 15 against poverty, unemployment and corruption as well as against Saleh's plan to amend Yemen's constitution and eliminate presidential term limit, in effect making him president for life. He was also planing to have his son Ahmed Saleh to succeed him.
The United States considers AQAP to be the "most dangerous of all the franchises of Al-Qaeda". The U.S sought a controlled transition that would enable their counter-terrorism operations to continue. Saleh handed over power to his vice Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and was granted immunity from persecution. A national dialogue conference was launched on March 18, 2012 to reach censuses on major issues facing the country's future. The closing ceremony was held on January 25, 2014. Yemen will become a multi-region federal state. President Hadi's term was extended for another year in order to appoint and monitor two committees. One to choose between two federal regions (North and South) or six; and the other one to draft a new constitution. The committees are expected to finish their assignments by January 2015.
How places in Yemen are organized
All places in Yemen
Further information on historical place organization in Yemen