Yemen – The Happy Land

Here are some interesting facts about the Happy Land, Yemen!

  1. Known as “Happy Land”

In The Past, Yemen Was Known As The “Happy Land”. The term means “fortunate” or “happy.” It was called so because Yemen was more fertile than most of the Arabian Peninsula.

Fig: Fertile Land of Yemen

2. Narcotic Khat-plant, a part of Yemeni Culture

Chewing the Narcotic Khat-plant is part of Yemeni culture. Khat or Qat is a plant widely cultivated in Yemen. The juice of this plant has an amphetamine-like effect. Chewing khat is also believed to assist in the decision-making process.

Fig: The Narcotic Khat-plant

3. Yemen Is Home To World’s Oldest Skyscraper City

With about 7,000 inhabitants, it is the seat of the District of Shibam in the Governorate of Hadhramaut. It is referred to as the “Chicago of the Desert”, or “Manhattan of the Desert” for its mudbrick-made high-rise buildings.

Fig: Shibam, Manhattan of the Desert

4. Caffe Mocha orginated here

Mocha is a city located on Yemen’s Red Sea coast. The city served as a major hub of the coffee trade from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The caffè mocha, a popular chocolate flavored variant of caffè latte in today’s world derives its name from Mocha in Yemen.

Fig: Caffe Mocha

5. Rub’ al Khali, The Largest Continuous Sand Desert On Earth

The largest continuous sand desert on Earth is the Rub’ al Khali, which means “empty quarter”. It occupies an area of 650,000 square km and lies partly within Yemen. The name was given to it because it’s a huge stretch of unbroken sand desert that has bested kings, adventurers, and nomads for thousands of years.

Fig: The Rub’ al Khali Desert

6. Home to the “Kingdom of Saba

Yemen was home to the ancient Queen of Sheba, also known as Balqees in Arabic, who was mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran. The ‘Kingdom of Saba’ , was the most powerful and important kingdom in the region at the time.

Fig: Queen of Sheba

7. First Country to grant Equal Voting Rights

Yemen was the first country in the Arabian Peninsula to grant women the right to vote. Women’s political participation in Yemen is significantly higher than that of other countries in the region. In 1993, 21 women ran for parliament and two of them won seats back. Although, it is the same country that has some strange law on the Yemeni women which is that a woman is considered only half a witness when asked to testify. 

Want to know more about such strange laws? Check out this cool blog of the weirdest and strangest laws around the world!

Yemen votes out President Saleh | The World from PRX
Fig: Voting by Women in Yemen

8. Land of largest desert in Asia and the second-largest desert on Earth

The Arabian Desert which at 2,300,000 sq km is the largest desert in Asia and the second largest on Earth, covers much of Yemen.

Fig: The Arabian Desert

9. Yemen- Home To The Dragon Blood Tree

The island is home to an unusual species of tree called the Dracaena Cinnabari i.e. the dragon’s blood tree. The locals say that the trees either grew from the blood of two brothers fighting to the death or from the blood of a dragon that was injured fighting an elephant.

Fig: The Dragon Blood Tree

This is all for Yemen, hope you find it insightful. Do let us know how did you like these facts in the comments section!


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