|Ruins of the Great Dam of Marib|
Yemeni Crisis (2011-present)
I have managed to learn and know almost nothing:
People in Yemen started protesting in 2011 against poverty, unemployment, corruption, and the then-president Saleh’s plans to change the constitution to stay in power forever.
Saleh stepped down, a man named Hadi got to be president, but then the Houthis – their flag reads, "God Is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam" – took over the capital with the help of Saleh. Saleh was shot dead by a sniper in December 2017 (this last December!), resulting in a new civil war and a Saudi-led military intervention aimed at restoring Hadi’s government.
The war has blocked food imports. A famine affects 17 million people.
Almost one million people have cholera, due to the lack of safe drinking water, caused by depleted aquifers and the destruction of the country’s water infrastructure.
In 2016 the United Nations reported that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of humanitarian aid in the world with 21.2 million.
The Romans called it Arabia Felix (happy Arabia), as opposed to Arabia Deserta (deserted Arabia).
Have you heard of the Queen of Sheba? Apparently she used to live in Yemen, ruling over the Sabaeans, whose state flourished for over a thousand years and included parts of modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. Judaism, Christianity, and then Islam all touched Yemen. It’s been notoriously difficult to administer for a long time.
It was the Sabaeans who built the Great Dam of Marib around 940 BC. The dam was built to withstand the seasonal flash floods surging down the valley.
الله، ٱلْوَطَن، ٱلثَوْرَة، ٱلْوَحْدَة
Allāh, al-Waṭan, ath-Thawrah, al-Waḥdah
“God, Country, Revolution, Unity”
Revolution and unity. Hmm.
Per capita GDP (nominal, vs. PPP, whatever that means) in Yemen: US $1,500 US
In Canada: US $48,000
Did you know that Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands?
Things I couldn’t touch on:
Aden and the Queen
Marxist South Yemen
Until next time.