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Yemeni Arabic (majority)  · Standard Arabic

Yemenis or Yemenites (Arabic: يمنيون) are the nationals of Yemen.

Social hierarchy[edit]

There is a system of social stratification in Yemen that was officially abolished at the creation of the Republic of Yemen in 1962 but, in practice, this system has not disappeared and Yemeni society is still organized around hierarchical ranks. The difference between ranks is manifested by descent and occupation and is consolidated by marriages between people of the same ranks.

There are five status groups. At the top of hierarchy, there are the religious elites, also called sada. These are then followed by the strata of judges (quad). The third hierarchical status is the qaba’il, who are the peasants who belong to tribes and who live mainly from agriculture and trading. The fourth group is called the mazayanah. This group is composed of people who had no land and provide different kinds of services such as butchers and craftsmen. Finally, at the bottom of the hierarchy are the slaves (a’bid) and even further below them Al-Akhdam, which means servants.[1]


The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in the United Kingdom, where between 70,000 and 80,000 Yemenis live. Over 20,000 Yemenis reside in the United States, and an additional 2,812 live in Italy. Other Yemenis also reside in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and the former USSR. A smaller number of modern-day Pakistanis are of Yemeni descent, their original ancestors having left Yemen for the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia over four centuries ago.[2] 350,000 Yemenite Jews live in Israel. In 2015, due to the conflict in Yemen, many have migrated to the northern coasts of Djibouti and Somalia.

Notable Yemenis[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hall, Bogumila. “Subaltern Rightful Struggles, Comparative ethnographies of the Bedouin villagers in the Naqab, and the akhdam slum dwellers in Sana’a.” Ph.D. diss., European University Institute, 2016.
  2. ^ Yemenis in the UK


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