Like its neighbors on the Arabian Peninsula, the Republic of Yemen
has a long and rich history. The southern Arabian region, which
present-day Yemen shares, was once the home of the Sabaean kingdom.
Led by the queen of Sheba, the kingdom formed an alliance
with King Solomon, as recorded in the Old Testament.In the era of the burgeoning spice trade, the people of the Yemen
region, which was advantageously located along the sea routes to
Asia, had opportunities to attain great wealth. However, the British
and other powers to the north eventually made their own claims on
trade in the region.In the years after losing control of their great ports, the Yemenis
have endured long periods of poverty and armed conflict, much of
which has been waged between their rival northern and southern
states. A much-needed unification between the north and south
finally occurred in 1990, but Yemen still struggles to resolve its
regional differences and compete with the oil-rich states of the
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