Yemen: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world Yemen including economy and exports, government and theocracy, the Middle East region.


The economy of Northern Yemen is one of the poorest in the Middle East. Exports stand at 6% of imports. All industrial and most consumer products have to be imported.

Exports include mocha coffee (the name comes from the port of Al-Mukha), which is one of the most prized coffees in the West. There is a growing export business in gat, the leaves of an evergreen shrub, which produce a mild narcotic effect when chewed.

Yemen was under a theocratic regime for centuries, as the Zeidi Imam (religious leader) and his tribes dominated the rest of the population, and kept the country in an incredibly underdeveloped state. In 1962, nationalist elements in the military overthrew the Imam, but civil war ensued that lasted for 6 years. Saudi Arabia came to the aid of the Imam, in an effort to prevent the growth of a republic of any kind in the peninsula, and especially one that was linked to Egypt and Nasser. Egypt came to the aid of the new Government, and introduced its own troops into the country. The civil war continued for several years, ending finally in 1967 when Egypt agreed to withdraw its troops after its defeat at the hands of Israel and in return for Saudi financial aid in recouping from that defeat.

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