7 Facts about Yemen


1. Until 1616, coffee was essentially a monopoly run by Yemen. Merchants were forbidden to sell live coffee plants or seeds. That changed when Pieter van der Broecke, a Dutch merchant, stole coffee seeds and brought them back to Holland. 40 years later, coffee had traveled as far as Sri Lanka


2. 3 men from Yemen tried to sue NASA for invading Mars, claiming they had inherited it from their ancestors 3,000 years ago


3. Due to its isolation, a third of the plant life on the island of Socotra (Yemen) is found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as the “most alien-looking place on Earth”


4. Chewing of the drug Khat is so popular in Yemen that its cultivation accounts for 40% of the desert nation’s water use


5. Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Yemen are yet to have a leader who has completed secondary school


6. The USA was one of only 7 countries to vote against the setting up of the International Criminal Court, along with China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen


7. Between 1977 and 1978, Ethiopia and Somalia (both communist at the time) fought a massive tank war in the Ogaden desert. The USSR, East Germany, North Korea, Cuba, and South Yemen backed Ethiopia, while China and Romania supported Somalia in one of the most bizarre wars of the 20th century