YEMEN

BRIEF HISTORY

The Al-Qasimi dynasty of Yemen rose to prominence after the first Ottoman occupation of Arabia Felix in 1517. Qasim bin Muhammad was proclaimed as Imam in 1591 under the title of Al-Mansur Billah. His son and successer succeeded in expelling the Turks in 1636. Thereafter, the dynasty consolidated its power and extended its rule into South Arabia. However, dynastic quarrels over the succession sapped its powers during the eighteenth century, leaving local governors and deputies free to establish independent domains in various parts of the former Imamate. During a period of weakness, the Turks re-established themselves at Hodeida, ostensibly as part of their efforts to defeat the Wahhabis. They captured the capital, San'a in 1872. The Imams continued to receive the allegiance of the people in the countryside and in the northern fortified towns. The Turks were forced to accept the spiritual and temporal rule of Yahya bin Muhammad, head of the Hamid ud-din branch of the dynasty in 1913. However, he continued a passive opposition to Ottoman rule until the advent of the Arab revolt in 1916. In concert with the British and the Arabs, he instigated an armed revolt. Assuming the title of King in 1918, he was recognised as such by the European powers in 1926 and 1934. However, the country remained almost closed to the outside world, violence and rebellion continuing as if a national sport. Yahya, was himself assassinated in 1948 and an usurper proclaimed in his stead. Although defeated and beheaded, King Ahmad, Yahya's eldest son, faced several rebellions, including two serious revolts by two of his brothers. His death prompted a coup d'etat by pro-Nasser military officers against his eldest surviving son, Muhammad Al-Badr. This led to a long and bitter civil war between Royalists, supported by the Saudis, and republicans, supported by Egypt. Although a peace was established during the early 1970s the two sides have never been fully reconciled. Attempts at union with Egypt and South Arabia have not always proved successful, often resulting in continuing bloody revolts and revolutions up to the present day.

STYLES & TITLES:
The Sovereign: Imam and Commander of the Faithful, and King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen, with the style of His Majesty.
The sons of the Sovereign: Amir (personal name) bin (father's personal name) Hamidaddin, Saif Al-Islam, i.e. Prince with the style of His Royal Highness.
The wives of the sons of the Sovereign: Amira (personal name) bint (father's personal name), i.e. Princess with the style of Her Royal Highness.
The daughters of the Sovereign: Amira (personal name) bint (father's personal name) Hamidaddin, i.e. Princess with the style of Her Royal Highness.
The grandsons of the Soveriegn, in the male line: Amir (personal name) bin (father's personal name) Hamidaddin.
The grand-daughters of the Soveriegn, in the male line: Amira (personal name) bint (father's personal name) Hamidaddin.
Other male descendants of the Soveriegn, in the male line: Sayyid (personal name) bin (father's personal name) Hamidaddin.
Other female descendants of the Soveriegn, in the male line: Sayyida (personal name) bint (father's personal name) Hamidaddin.


ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
The Royal Order of Merit: founded by King Yahya in 1939. Awarded in one class.
The Hamidaddin Order of the Crown of Yemen: founded by King Muhammad Al-Badr under the auspices of Prince 'Ali bin Ibrahim in exile on 21st July 1971. Awarded in four divisions and three classes.


GLOSSARY:
al-Mansur Billah: victorious with the help of God.
al-Maqam as-Sharif: the Royal Court.
al-Mutawakkil Al-Allah
: reliant on God.
al-Nasir-li-dinu'llah: helper of the religion of God.
Amir: prince, commander, provincial governor. A title used for the sons and grandsons of the Imam, descended in the male line.
Amir Al-Ajnad: Commander-in-Chief.
Amira: princess. A title used for the daughters and granddaughters of the Imam, descended in the male line, from the begining of the twentieth century.
Imam
: spiritual, sometime temporal, ruler.
Saif Al-Haq: Sword of Truth.
Saif Al-Islam: Sword of religion, a title borne by male members of the ruling dynasty.
Sayyid: title used by male descendants of the Hashemites of the Yemen, in the male line, and descendants of Kings of the Yemen from the third generation onwards.
Sayyida: title used by female descendants of the Hashemites of the Yemen, in the male line, and descendants of Kings of the Yemen from the third generation onwards.


SOURCES:
'Abd Al-Rahman b. Al-Hassan Al-Bahkali, Imams, Notables et Bdouins du Ymen au XVIIIe sicle. Institut Franais d'Archologie Orientale du Caire. TAEI XXX, 1992.
Burke's Royal Families of the World, Volume II: Africa & The Middle East. Burke's Peerage Ltd., London 1980.
Paul Dresch, Tribes, Government and History in Yemen. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989.
Who's Who in Egypt and the Middle East, 16th Edition, Cairo, 1950.
Who's Who in the Arab World, Publitec Publications, London, 1967-2000.
Yilmaz ztuna, Devletler ve Hnedanlar. Volume II: Turkiye (1074-1990). Kultur Bakanligi Yayinlari: 1101, Ankara, 1989.


SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Dr Morris L Bierbrier, FSA.
Al-Hassan Al-Hassan Hameed Addeen.
Al-Shereef Abdullah Hamidaddin.
Princess Alia bint 'Abdu'llah Hameed-Addien.
Prince Muadh Ali Yahya Hamidaddin.
Yahya Hamidaddin.
David Williamson.
 
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I would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have changes, corrections or additions to contribute. If you do, please be kind enough to send me an e-mail using the contact details at: Copyright Christopher Buyers
 
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Copyright Christopher Buyers, January 2001 - June 2008


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