Ali Abdullah Saleh


(pronounced "ah-LEE ab-DAH-la sah-LEE")

"The Republic of Yemen will be a factor for stability and security in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region and a strong bastion for the Arab Nations, the Arab League and joint Arab action."

The Republic of Yemen was established on 22 May 1990 from the union of the two formerly independent states of the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) and People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Yemen borders on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. It should be noted however, that like most other borders in the Arabian peninsula, Yemen's borders with its neighbors are not well defined and are open to dispute.

Yemen covers an area of 527,970 sq km (203,849 sq mi) and controls the strategic strait of Bah al-Mandeb, connecting the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Yemen's population was estimated at 18.7 million in 2002, most of whom belong to various tribes. It is believed that about two million Yemeni nationals live outside the country, working as laborers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Large numbers of Yemenis also live in the United States, mainly in southern California.

Yemen's political capital is San'a (the former capital of YAR) with a population of 1.6 million as of 2001. The economic capital of the state is Aden (the former capital of PDRY). Islam is the official religion of the state, and its official language is Arabic. Yemen's exports include cotton, coffee, hides, vegetables, and salted and dried fish. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $820 in 2001; the currency is the Yemeni rial .


His Excellency Ali Abdullah Saleh was born 21 March 1942 in the village of Bayt al-Ahmar. Saleh's family belongs to the Sanhan tribe, which is part of the Hashid tribal confederacy. He received his early education in the village's religious school and is a follower of the Zaidi branch of Shi'a Islam. Saleh is married and has five children.


Office of the President
San'a, Yemen

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