Our Beautiful World

Yemen  




Where is Yemen? In the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsular. As close as possible to Djibouti and Ethiopia
on the African continent, with the Bab al Mandab strait in between, dividing the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean.

What is Yemen? A desert as we know Arabia? Well, what do we really know about this part
of the world. Honestly, I did not know much when I heard rumours about a volcano erupting in
a remote part of Yemen in the middle of March, 2000. I visited Aden, a former british colony
on the southern tip of Yemen back in 1956, but I do not remember much of that any longer.

I did see a lot of stamps from Yemen and the other arab Emirates back in the 70's and 80's,
when I was a stampdealer. But most of the stamps were issued by a foreign agent, whos main purpose was to print lots
of popular thematics, of which most of them had absolutely no connection with the country they were said to represent.

So again, I had to search Internet to learn a bit more about this country. And I was surprised.
First of all, because I found much more information than expected. And here I would like to
show you part of it - the part that has to do with the geography of Yemen.


(Photo:D&H Westins)

It's not at all a desert. You can even find orchids there. And forests! And huge mountains!
And volcanoes? Yes, see our volcano-pages. Click here.

The Queen of Sheba, whom once visited King Solomon of Israel, some 3.000 years ago,
came from this part of the world. The Queen, according to the Bible, travelled to
Jerusalem with a very impressive train, camels carrying balsam oil and very much gold and
precious stones. (Book of 1st Kings, Chapter 10, verses 1-2). The value of the gold alone is
said to be worth today about US$ 50.000.000!

This must indicate that the land from where the Queen came, must have been a very rich country.
The Queen truly came from Marib, which is on the northern shore of the Red Sea (?).
In modern times several ruins of old palaces from the time around 500 BC have been found.
Several mighty kingdoms were situated in the mountains of Yemen at that time.


(Photo:

The old yemenites digges out terraces in the rich soil on the mountainslopes. As far back
as in the 500 century BC they even build a very large dam, called the Marib-dam way
up in the mountains. During the next thousand years this dam gave water to terraces and the sorrounding land,
and the inhabitants could harvest greatly.

Everything grew up, and it is said that the mocca-coffee, which has reputation of being the
best coffee in the world, comes from this area. So suddenly some 1500 years ago, a
large earthquake destroyed the dam, and since then nobody has rebuilt it. That was
the end of the good times, and for centuries the people suffered. I'm just wondering why
nobody has, since if they were so clever at that time, people ought to be able to
build a similar dam today???

The southern part of Yemen is able to supply itself with vegetables, and some of
the most important exports are wheat, cotton and coffee even today.

When you look at pictures from Yemen, you just have to wonder how they live.
Take a close look to the picture on the top, and you will see several homes built right
on top of the hills. Take a look at the next photos, and imagine how you would like
to climb the hills when coming back home from school or work in the afternoon!

  

Talking about how people live, I came to think of a picture from the rice-fields in
The Philippines, which I found on my hunting for the Mayon-volcano recently.
It is called one of the wonders of the world, but when you look at the next picture,
showing how they do it in Yemen, I dont see why not that also is called one of the
wonders of the world:


(Photo: Majid Eshaq)

Taking a closer look, should reveal several hundres of terraces, built on the slopes by
someone who must just have loved that kind of work... Wonder if it is the highway
you can see coming up from the lower right corner, crossing the slope slightly
upwards to the left? Must be fun riding on your bike to school in the morning!

Of course, not everyone lives on top of the hills. The capital here is Sanaa, an old
city with many interesting ancient buildings. But here also you have the mountains in
the background:
  
(City of Sana (Photo: ) - Narrow Street (Photo: Momar Aldaram)

So then, what are the people like in Yemen? Different from other people?
People is people, whereever they come from:

  
(photos: Momar Aldaram)

 




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