Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, despite a history of trade and commerce due to its strategic position on the ancient spice routes. Yemen was occupied by the Ottoman Turks until 1918, when it became a British protectorate. In 1967 the last British troops left and the southern part of Yemen adopted a Communist oriented government, resulting in the mass emigration of thousands of Yemenis to the north. North and south Yemen were unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990, although there remains much civil unrest and armed conflict between the two. Yemen is a very tribal society, with an estimated 6,000 sheiks still presiding over various rural areas, and 70% of the population living outside urban settlements.1.