Yemen Culture

Yemen Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Yemen

According to ETHNICITYOLOGY.COM, Yemen is a country located in Asia. Daily newspaper distribution is limited (15 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 2000). Yemen has three daily newspapers, of which the government-owned ath-Thawra (‘Revolution’), published in Sana, is the largest with an edition of 110,000 copies, followed by ar-Rabi Ashar Min Uktubar (’14 October ‘), published in Aden, with about 20,000 copies. After the civil war in 1994, the formerly very free press was restricted, and several newspapers were forced to cease. A few independent newspapers were later started with government-loyal editors.

Yemen’s two former radio and television companies formed the state-owned Yemen Radio and Television Corporation in 1990. Radio and TV are broadcast in two channels each. There are 65 radio and 283 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ANIMALERTS, Yemen stands out for its architecture. In the lowlands, the older houses are usually built of clay, brick and reeds while stones are usually used in the highlands. Perhaps the most spectacular are the traditional clay houses in northern Yemen.

The characteristic high-rise buildings in clay are normally owned by an individual family. White decor on the facade is made of plaster. The houses can be up to nine floors and have a view room, mafraj, at the top. There the men often gather to talk and chew qat (see Agriculture and Fishing).

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes the old districts of Sanaa and Shibam in Hadramawt, as well as Zabid, which was the capital from the 1200s to the 1500s and is located near the Red Sea. In the old city center of Sanaa many houses have now been damaged by war and some have been completely demolished. A large part of Zabid’s old buildings is also considered to be in danger, partly because there is no money for renovations, and partly because the houses are demolished to make room for more modern buildings. Another problem is that antique art objects are smuggled abroad for sale.

Yemen is known for its oral poetry, which is also performed as music. Most notable in the Western world is the Jewish musical tradition, thanks to Israeli artists with a Yemeni break through internationally with melodies and lyrics from folk music, especially the singer Ofra Haza.

The silversmith is a very highly valued art form. Even in that area, the Jewish element was large in the past because many of the Jews were active as blacksmiths, but this has decreased through emigration to Israel.

The most well-known object associated with Yemen is janbiyyan, an artificially designed dagger the man carries (see Customs and customs). Women’s jewelry has shown great diversity, such as necklaces, headbands, earrings, nose and bracelets and belts. Small containers for texts with Korancitat have always been popular, not least as amulets.



Saudi alliance avoids UN criticism

June 15

In the UN annual report on children in war, the Saudi-led alliance that fights Yemen’s hibels is not on the “shame list” of those responsible. This is despite the UN report saying that the war in Yemen required 222 children’s lives in 2019 and that there were four attacks against hospitals and schools. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) are upset and point out that other major powers also avoid UN criticism for how they treat children in armed conflicts.

Donor meeting meets half the need

June 2

The UN receives promises of assistance to Yemen at a donor conference, but the pledges do not go so far as to meet the needs year-round. Aid for $ 1.35 billion is promised by 30 countries, but UN agencies have estimated that just over $ 2.4 billion is needed. Saudi Arabia hosts the virtual donor meeting, held more than five years after the country entered the military in Yemen, and promises half a billion dollars. The United Kingdom and the United States, which are both major arms suppliers to the Saudis, promise $ 200 million and $ 225 million respectively. According to the UN Secretary-General, 30 of 41 major UN programs in Yemen are jeopardized unless more money flows in.


UN appeal for Yemen

May 28

The fact that the corona pandemic reached Yemen has devastating effects, not least for the children, warns several UN organizations in a joint plea for support. $ 2.4 billion is needed by the end of the year, including $ 180 million for covid-19 operations, according to Mark Lowcock, UN Secretary-General responsible for humanitarian operations. More than twelve million children need emergency help. In addition to the two million Yemeni children who lose their schooling as a result of the civil war, schools for another five million students have been closed to reduce the risk of transmission.

Fight between former alliance brothers

May 11

Southern Separatists and forces fighting for the Yemeni government are at odds with Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan on the south coast, east of Aden. Obituaries must have been required in both camps. The clash comes from the fact that the alliance between the government and the Södern Transitional Council has once again broken down (see April 26). It is claimed from separatists that the opponents of Zinjibar belong to the Islamist party al-Islah’s armed branch, which supports the government.

Both the Houthis and the government must deal with infection

May 5th

The Huthi rebels confirm the first death victim in the covid-19 viral disease in the capital Sanaa: a man from Somalia found dead in a hotel. Thus, it is clear that the corona center is found both in parts of Yemen held by the Shiite Muslim rebels and in areas controlled by the government side or its allies.


First deaths in coronary pandemic

April 30th

Yemen reports its first confirmed deaths in covid-19 viral disease. At the same time, new cases of infection have been discovered in the port city of Aden, the country’s second largest city. Yemen’s first infection case was confirmed on April 10 in the Hadramawt oil region, where nightly curfew was imposed and neighboring regions closed the borders. Health care is in disarray as a result of the war and Yemen has been plagued by several infectious diseases during the war: cholera, malaria and dengue fever. The World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to arrange medical equipment and quick training for people who are caring for coronary illness.

Separatists in the south proclaim self-government

26th of April

The South Transitional Council, which represents separatists in southern Yemen, abandons its agreement with Yemen’s Saudi-backed government on power sharing (see November 5, 2019). The separatists proclaim autonomy and once again place soldiers in the port city of Aden (see August 10, 2019). The government has had Aden as its base since 2015 when it was expelled from the capital Sanaa by its main opponent, the skin movement. The Transitional Council now justifies its decision to take control of the government’s inability to manage Aden, where floods have recently claimed several lives and led to long power outages. Six out of eight provincial governors in the south declare that they do not support the transitional council.

Journalists are sentenced to death

April 11

A court in Sanaa, controlled by the Huhtir rebels, sentenced four journalists to death on charges of treason and espionage. According to Amnesty International, the Shi’a Bells have detained ten journalists since 2015.

Unilateral ceasefire is dismissed

April 9

The Saudi-led alliance that runs counter to the huthir bells in Yemen is launching a unilateral ceasefire that will last for two weeks. The objectives are stated to be two: to create space for UN-led peace talks and to enable measures against the spread of the pandemic covid-19. The Huthi movement dismisses the ceasefire as “a ploy”. When the two weeks expired on April 24, the fighting has not ceased, but the unilateral promise of ceasefire is extended for a month.


UN appeal on ceasefire in light of pandemic

March 26

Five years after the outbreak of the large-scale war in Yemen, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for the ceasefire (in Yemen and other countries where war is raging) to protect civilians, especially in light of the virus pandemic that is spreading across the world. Positive reactions are coming from the warring parties in Yemen. UN peace coordinator Martin Grifftihs urges them to move from word to action and agree on a ceasefire. As yet, no disease case in covid-19 has been confirmed, but the infection can have disastrous consequences in war-ravaged Yemen.

Bahailers doomed and pardoned

March 25th

A health-controlled court pardons a leader in the Baha’i life-view and 20 of his faithful relatives who have been held captive in Sanaa. Manager Hamid bin Haydara, who was arrested in 2013, had previously been sentenced to death by an appeals court. The message that he is pardoned is left by Mahdi al-Mashat, who represents the political branch of the Huthirebel. The Huthis stand near Iran, where the Shi’ite religious leaders dislike Bahai.

Huthier takes the city in a strategic position

March 1st

The Huthi rebels take control of al-Hazm, the capital of al-Jawf province on the Saudi border. The city is of strategic importance because a holding of power there makes it easier for the Houthis to threaten the Marib province just south of al-Jawf, where there is oil. Marib is in the hands of the Saudi government. Both the rebels and the government forces have been making casualties for several days of fighting over al-Hazm.


The Minister of Defense escapes mine

February 19

The defense minister manages but eight of his bodyguards are killed as the result runs on a land mine east of the capital Sanaa, where the defense minister has inspected a section of the front against the huhirebells. The Huthis have recently been reported to have advanced their positions against the government’s forces both north and east of Sanaa. The capital has been in rebel hands since 2014.

Large catch exchanges are promised

February 16th

The government side and the huhire rebels have agreed on the first major exchange of prisoners during the war. Neither the number of prisoners nor when they are to be exchanged emerges, but according to the UN and the International Red Cross Committee, it is an important step to fulfill the agreement that the parties concluded in Sweden at the end of 2018.

Civilian casualties and armaments

February 14th

A Saudi fighter plane crashes in northern Yemen. The Huthis say they shot down the plane with an air defense robot. The following day, at least 31 civilians lost their lives in air strikes described by UN sources as Saudi revenge. The Saudi-led alliance fighting on the government’s side is criticized for not sparing civilians. But the UN has previously reported that the huhirebells have also gained access to advanced weapons, which are likely to be of Iranian manufacture, deliveries prohibited by the UN arms embargo.

Al Qaeda leader killed by US

February 7

US President Donald Trump states that Qasim al-Raymi, designated as leader of the al-Qaeda terror group on the Arabian Peninsula (Aqap), has been killed in a US operation in Yemen. Trump does not say when it happened, right. Aqap has carried out a series of attacks against Western interests since the turn of the millennium, and recently took on a deed performed on a base in Florida in December 2019. The perpetrator at the base in Pensacola was a Saudi military and had been sent to the United States for education. The organization Site, which tracks how extremist groups behave on the Internet, confirms on February 23 that the leader was killed. A successor is named: Khalid bin Umar Batarfi.

Medical air bridge from Sanaa

February 3

Seven children in critical need of care are being evacuated from the capital Sanaa to Jordan’s capital Amman along with parents. Negotiations with the warring parties to prevent the UN-labeled plane from being reported have been going on for months. The UN hopes to carry out many more similar patient transports, some to care in Egypt, and six days later 24 seriously ill Yemenites are being flown out. Since 2016, the capital’s airport has been closed for civil aviation. According to the Houthis who control the city, 32,000 people want to be evacuated to receive care abroad. The airspace, on the other hand, is controlled by the Saudi-led alliance that militarily combats skin movement.


Unicef ​​takes care of child soldiers

January 27

The Huhis have handed over 64 child soldiers to the UN organization Unicef, reports media that are close to the rebel movement. The soldiers, under the age of 18, must have been recruited to fight for the government side but captured by the Huhtis. The young people must undergo a rehabilitation program through the United Nations. During the war years, the UN and other organizations have accused all possible fighting groups, including the Houthis, of using child soldiers.

Huthier bans new banknotes

January 19

The Huthi movement prohibits the use of banknotes issued by the Yemeni National Bank. The central bank was moved to Aden by the government side after the huthirebels took the capital Sanaa in 2014. The Huthis are now threatening Yemenis with ten years in prison if they deal with the banknotes the Riksbank has issued in recent years. For ordinary people, the hassle, which has contributed to the collapse of Yemen’s currency in value, has led them to increasingly use dollars or Saudi money.

High death rate in attack at evening prayer

January 18

A military training area in Marib east of the capital Sanaa is attacked just as soldiers on the government side have gathered for evening prayer. At least 111 people die, according to government data two days afterwards, when many of those who did not die have died directly from their injuries. This means that the attack is one of the deadliest that has occurred since the unrest in Yemen five years ago and several neighboring states entered the war. The government side accuses the Huthira rebels of carrying out the attack.

Warning for dengue fever

January 14

At least 78 children have died from diseases related to the mosquito-borne dengue fever, says Save the Children, which warns of an epidemic. 52,000 suspected cases of illness have been registered, unclear for how long. Last year, 192 deaths were confirmed, most in the cities of al-Hudayda and Aden.

The Huthis release Saudis

January 1st

The Huthi rebels release six Saudis who have held them captive. The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC), which acts as an intermediary in the handing over of prisoners of war, considers it hopeful that the parties, step by step, fulfill promises that can help to reduce the war (see November 28, 2019).

Yemen Culture

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