The Yemens and Oman: Far Away but Not Forgotten
Situated on the southern fringes of the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemens and Oman are the most remote part of the Middle East for the European, American, or indeed even the Arab traveller. Apart from the port of Aden, which flourished as a trading and entrepôt centre on the Suez-Red Sea route to the Orient, the other regions were cut off from major trade routes or markets. A growing number of tankers and other shipping plying between the oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf and Europe passed the shores of Oman and North Yemen from the 1950s onwards, but neither country had adequate port facilities. There was in any case little reason for these ships to break their journeys to call on such inhospitable lands. The closure of the Suez Canal in 1967 resulting from the Arab-Israeli War meant that Aden was no longer significant as a transit port. In consequence the isolation of these corners of Arabia from the outside world became almost total, and although the canal has reopened again, Aden had not been able to regain its former role. In a period when the rest of the Middle East was becoming increasingly opened up to the outside world, the reverse seemed to be happening in these particular areas.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Middle East Arabian Peninsula Suez Canal Economic Campaign
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