I was pretty ignorant about Yemen. Until last Saturday I’m not sure I would have pointed it out absolutely correctly on a globe, though I knew it was somewhere in Arabia.  In my younger years, Aden featured regularly on the news, mainly as somewhere where British soldiers were shot at. Aden was the centre of something called a protectorate, which I think meant that while we had colonized the city itself, we’d been happy to support a whole hotchpotch of local rulers in the area around it, so long as they mostly played ball with us.

After it got independence in 1967, South Yemen became a socialist republic, receiving support and in particular arms for Russia. North Yemen was an Arab Kingdom (once under Turkish rule)   and later a republic, and the two countries soon decided in principle on merging to form a single state of Yemen, though it wasn’t until 1990 that this finally happened.

Four years later, may of those in the south were fed up with the union – they  didn’t seem to be getting  much out of it while people from the north were getting jobs and taking over land in the south.  Southerners rose up and began a civil war in 1994, aiming to leave the union and were soon defeated.

© 2009 Peter Marshall

Why I needed a crash course in the history of the Yemen was because there were around a hundred supporters of South Yemen demonstrating opposite Downing Street on Saturday afternoon. Most of their placards were in Arabic, and they didn’t have a press release- or at least not in English. Perhaps the event was meant more for the Aden TV crew who were there than a British audience.

More about the event, the history of the Yemen, some rather gloomy prognostications and some pictures on My London Diary. It’s not enough for me to take pictures, I need to try and put the events I photograph into some kind of political perspective.

2 Responses to “Yemen?”

  1. rahhal100 says:

    Hi am from Yemen,,, I would like to elaborate with u on this matter.
    So feel free and contact me on this mail

  2. Hi, feel free to post your thoughts here, though this is essentially a photographic blog. I also posted about the event on and you might prefer to comment there.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.