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Greater Middle East
About Ali Abdallah Salih

Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih President Ali Ali Abdullah Saleh was born on March 21st 1942 in Bait Al Ahmar village in the Sana'a Governorate. He joined the armed forces in 1958 at the age of 16, and continued his studies while serving as a soldier. In 1960 he joined cadet school. Along with other young officers cadets, he was responsible for the planning and execution of the September 26th 1962 revolution. President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded on numerous occasions while defending the revolution and the Republic. In 1963 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and during the 70-day siege of Sana'a he showed heroic acts. He attended the School of Armour and specialized in armored warfare in 1964.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has represented Yemen alone and within delegations to many countries. He displayed leadership and courage and was continuously promoted to senior military posts including Military Commander of the Taiz Governorate.

On June 24th 1978 he was appointed as member of the interim Presidential Council of the Republic and Deputy Commander-In-Chief of the Armed forces. A month later he was elected President of the Yemen Arab Republic and the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces. In 1979 he was unanimously promoted to Colonel in appreciation of his efforts to rebuild the Armed forces. On August 30th 1982 he was elected Secretary General of the People's General Congress and was awarded the order of the Republic, which is the highest order of the state in recognition of his devotion to public duty.

On May 20th 1990, the Shura council unanimously granted him the rank of General in appreciation of his great efforts for the reunification of the nation, and on May 22nd 1990 he was elected as the president of the Presidential council and hoisted the flag of the Republic of Yemen in the city of Aden, thus declaring the reunification of Yemen and ending partition for good. He was re-elected as the president of the Presidential Council on October 11th 1993 following the April 27th 1993 general election.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh challenged the attempts made to redivide the nation by the secessionist conspiracy. He led battles to defend unity and safeguard democracy during the war of summer, 1994 until victory was achieved for Yemeni unity on July 7th 1994.

On October 1st 1994 he was elected president of the Republic by the parliament. He was granted the rank of Marshal on December 24th 1997 by parliament in appreciation of his contribution to build the modern state. On September 23rd 1999 he was re-elected president of the Republic of Yemen in the first direct presidential election by the people of Yemen.

And his Excellency received on October 10, 2002 an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Philosophy from Chosun University, Korea.

Yemen MapYemen

Official Name: Republic of Yemen  Yemen Flag

Area: 527,970 sq. km. (203,796 sq. mi.); about the size of California and Pennsylvania combined.
Cities: Capital --Sanaa. Other cities --Aden, Taiz, Hodeida, and al-Mukalla.
Terrain: Mountainous interior bordered by desert with a flat and sandy coastal plain.
Climate: Temperate in the mountainous regions in the western part of the country, extremely hot with minimal rainfall in the remainder of the country. Humid on the coast.

Nationality: Noun and adjective --Yemeni(s).
Population (2003 est.): 19.3 million.
Annual growth rate: 4%.
Ethnic group: Predominantly Arab.
Religions: Islam, small numbers of Jews, Christians, and Hindus.
Language: Arabic.
Education: Attendance (2002 est.)—64% for primary level, 44% for secondary level. Literacy (2003 est.)--50% overall, including 30% of females.
Health: Infant mortality rate --65.02/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--61 yrs.
Work force (by sector): Agriculture --53%; public services --17%; manufacturing --4%; construction --7%; percentage of total population --25%.

Type: Republic; unification (of former south and north Yemen): May 22, 1990.
Constitution: Adopted May 21, 1990 and ratified May 1991.
Branches: Executive --Prime Minister with Cabinet.
Legislative --bicameral legislature with 111-seat Shura Council and 301-seat House of Representatives. Judicial --the constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sanaa.
Administrative subdivisions: 18 governorates subdivided into districts. Political parties: General People's Congress (GPC), Yemeni Grouping for Reform (Islaah), Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP), Baathist parties, Nasserist parties, and Muslim fundamentalist parties.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
National holiday: May 22 (Unity Day).

GDP (2002 est.): $9 billion.
Per capita GDP (2002 est.): $840.
Natural resources: Oil, natural gas, fish, rock salt, minor deposits of coal and copper.
Agriculture (est. 15.2% of GDP): Products --qat (a shrub containing a natural amphetamine), coffee, cotton, fruits, vegetables, cereals, livestock and poultry, hides, skins, tobacco, honey. Arable land (est.)--5%.
Industry (est. 42% of GDP): Types --petroleum refining, mining, food processing, building materials.
Trade (2002 est.): Exports --$3.5 billion: crude petroleum, refined oil products, hides, fish, fruits, vegetables, cotton, coffee, biscuits, plastic pipes. Major markets --Thailand, China, South Korea, Singapore, India.
Imports --$2.8 billion: cereals, feed grains, foodstuffs, machinery, petroleum products, transportation equipment. Major suppliers --United States, France, Italy, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia.
Exchange rate (1st quarter. 2003): Official—183 rials per U.S.$1 and floats based on an average of foreign currencies. Market--since floating the dollar, market rate usually reflects the official rate of exchange.
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