In the south of the Arabian Peninsula lies the country of Yemen – so it is called colloquially, in fact, the full name of the state is “Republic of Yemen. On its shores is washed by the Arabian Sea and – in part – the Red Sea, in addition, it borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman.
On the one hand, Yemen is one of the richest countries in the Arab world, heavily dependent on oil production (and unfortunately Yemen has few natural resources), and only in the last decade have begun to implement economic reforms.
But on the other hand it is in Yemen, where the peoples and beliefs of the Middle East are intricately blended. Sightseeing tours in Yemen give the opportunity to see its special daily life – and let us not forget that scientists unanimously consider this land one of the oldest centers of our civilization.
Ancient and Modern Yemen
People lived and built their statehood here several millennia before our time. Already by the 4th century the kingdoms that existed here had united into one country under the rule of the Himyarite rulers. Their names:
They adopted Judaism and made it the state religion, so the Jews in Yemen have always felt comfortable (note that there are many Jewish photographs in the exposition of the Dar al-Hajar Palace Museum). Two centuries later the Aksum Kingdom brought Christianity here, which was also tolerantly accepted by the Yemenis, and a century later there were Iranians-Sassanids, who opened the Islamic era.
A rich and varied history could not fail to make the country special, as travelers invariably note after a tour to Yemen.
Once you get to Yemen, you realize that its culture is really different from what you can see in the neighborhood. Yemeni music is especially interesting. The singer Ofra Haza comes to mind first, whose family immigrated to Israel from Yemen: her magical voice made her famous all over the world. But this is only a small part of the country’s musical culture. There are many interesting artists, both popular (eg, famous outside Yemen, a rock band Mosh ben ari), and unknown to the general public, but no less wonderful, of course, you can hear them only personally, making a tour in Yemen.
Standing alone are the folk songs composed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, considered by UNESCO experts to be a pearl of cultural heritage.
One of the reasons tours in Yemen turn into a very special trip is the local cuisine. Like the country itself, it is not like its Middle Eastern surroundings. Local recipes from the time of Ottoman rule have retained a fair amount of Turkish influence; Jewish culinary motifs are not absent as well.
As a result, the Yemeni chefs offer a variety of dishes from lamb and chicken (beef is cooked here rarely and rarely) and actively use such a dairy product, as buttermilk (rich in various useful fractions that are obtained in the manufacture of butter). Characteristically, other dairy products are hardly used in Yemen.
The most important dishes that await the hungry traveler during a tour of Yemen:
- salta of stew and tomato-garlic sauce (served with tortillas, a side dish of rice, or boiled eggs);
- shakshuka (usually made of lamb with lots of vegetables and spices, and served with white flatbread).