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Greater Yemen

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Title: Greater Yemen  
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Subject: List of Yemen-related topics, Yemen, Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad ibn Ali al-Idrisi, Spanish irredentism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Greater Yemen

Yemen in red, unofficial claims in pink

Greater Yemen (Arabic: اليمن الكبرى - Al-Yaman al-Kubrā) is a geographic term denoting the present territory of the Republic of Yemen as well as the Saudi regions of 'Asir, Najran, Jizan, adjacent islands in the Red Sea, adjacent parts of Tihamah and the Omani governorate of Dhofar.

Greater Yemen is also a political term denoting the irredentist aspiration that these areas be united under a common state. These claims are based on the historical notion of Bilad al-Yaman as well as the Rasulid state of the 13th-15th centuries and the Zaidi state of the late 17th and early 18th centuries which encompassed most of the territory of Greater Yemen.

In the 20th century, Imam Yahya, King of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (North Yemen) attempted to realize these aspirations but only managed to consolidate his control in Upper Yemen, Lower Yemen, Marib, and Lower Tihamah. He was forced to acknowledge Saudi control over Asir and was unable to dislodge the British from the Aden hinterland or Hadhramaut.

In 1990, the formation of the Republic of Yemen saw the majority of Greater Yemen ruled as a single polity for the first time in nearly two centuries.

See also


  • Negotiating the Saudi-Yemeni international boundary
  • History of Yemen
  • Yemen: About The Yemen - Part 1
  • Yemen's Historical Capital
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