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Yemen: Queen of Sheba, Stained Glass Windows, & Ful
Want to know more about Yemen? Are you a lover of travel, geography teacher, homeschooling or involved parent, student, or life-long learner? In an effort to make world geography more meaningful and memorable, I've compiled all you will need to locate Yemen on a map, cook a Yemeni meal, watch YouTube clips on Yemen, color the flag, create a Yemeni craft, read a great book about Yemen, and more!
Please DO NOT copy this elsewhere without giving proper credit: http://iijuan12.hubpages.com/hub/y-is-for-yemen
Where is Yemen?
Locate Yemen on this map of the Middle East. Use this map of Yemen to label the capitol, Sana'a. Mark other relevant features (rivers, mountains, famous locations, etc.) if desired. If you'd like to spend a bit more time researching the country, you can add the language, currency, type of government, religion, and/or famous landmarks. Write them on the back of the map. You can easily find all this information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemen.
Where is Sana'a, the capital of Yemen?
Fun Facts About Yemen
According to legend, the Biblical Queen of Sheba was Yemeni. The Sabaeans, who attacked Job's oxen and donkeys, were from present-day Yemen, and their fortified city can still be visited today. Job was supposedly buried in Yemen.
Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the entire world. Yemeni people claim that Shem (the oldest son of Noah) founded the city.
Ancient Yemen was a prosperous place; the Romans called it Arabia Felix, "Happy Arabia." Yemen's wealth was based on its trade in frankincense, myrrh and spices.
Yemen became known in the 14th century for a new crop, coffee. Yemeni Coffee arabica was exported all over the Mediterranean world.
North Yemen was ruled by local kings until 1962, when a coup established the Yemen Arab Republic. In May of 1990, North Yemen and South Yemen (ruled by the British and then Marxists) reunited to become the current country of Yemen.
Visit Yemen on YouTube
Prepare and serve a salad (lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, diced onions, olive oil, and lemon juice), Malooga (flat bread), Ful, Saltah, black tea (served with cardamon, mint, or cloves and possibly sweetened condensed milk -- as dairy milk isn't commonly used), and honey cake.
All items should be served in communal dishes, meaning everyone will eat from the same dishes. Instead of utensils, use the flat bread to pinch or scoop up the food. If a utensil must be used, a spoon is an acceptable utensil that can be offered.
Tear off pieces of this flat bread and use it to scoop or pinch up your food.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp yeast
- 5 - 6 cups flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup browned butter (semn)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Add the rest of the water, 4 cups of flour and salt. Mix with hand, adding more flour to form a stiff dough. Knead for at least 10 minutes or until dough is smooth, not sticky, and pliable.
- Cover dough, and place in a draft-free place. Set aside for 1 hour or until risen.
- On a surface sprinkled with flour, cut dough into mounds of the size of what you do for a large pizza. Let sit for 5 min. Preheat oven at 550 F. Mix the warmed semn with oil in a small bowl. Prepare a large surface by sprinkling flour. Place one of the mounds on the surface and pat down and stretch into a rectangle, 1/2 an inch thick (about 20 x 15). You can use a rolling pin but you need to use extra flour to prevent sticking.
- Brush entire surface with the semn-oil mix, or use your hand. Fold dough in half towards you. Brush the top surface with semn-oil mix and fold it in half towards you again. Brush with semn-oil mix and fold in half sideways. Brush again. Fold sideways and brush with mix again. Finally brush surface and pinch corners together to form a ball. Place ball on the floured pan and, move on to the next one. By the time you have finished layering the last one, the first layered dough would be ready for baking because it had time to rest. Pat down the dough mound into a large round the size of a thick large pizza and place into a greased baking sheet. Brush and eggwash (1 egg + 2 tablespoons milk) or buttermilk on top. Bake in hot oven until bottom is brown and top has brown spots (it won't fully brown). (This recipe came from triedandtrueeats.blogspot.com.)
Ful (Spicy fava beans)
This is pronounced "fool" and is served all over Sana'a as a very common "fast food" item from restaurants. Serve it in a communal plate and let everyone scoop it up using flat bread.
- 2 cans fava beans (substitute kidney beans if you can't find fava beans)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 5 diced tomatoes
- 5 -10 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons diced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons diced fresh coriander (or use 2 tsp. dried)
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and brown them, about 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients except for the fava beans. Coarsely mash the beans and add to the mixture. Cook until ingredients are well blended. This tastes better the next day but can be eaten immediately. Serve with flat bread, which you will use as a utensil to scoop up the ful. (This recipe came from recipes.wikia.com.)
Saltah (Yemeni Lamb or Beef Stew)
This is served in a communal dish. You can either eat this with a spoon or scoop it up with pieces of flat bread.
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 lb lamb or beef
- 2 medium chopped onions
- 4 potatoes (peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes) (or use Simply Potatoes diced potatoes & onions)
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 5 cups beef broth
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add meat and onions. Cook, while stirring often for about 10 minutes. Then add the potatoes, tomatoes, salt, pepper and broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 1 hour or until meat and potatoes are well cooked. Check from time to time and add a little water if needed. Stir in eggs and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes. (This recipe came from www.world-recipes.info.)
Bint al Sahn (Honey Cake)
The traditional way of eating this is to break off pieces with the fingertips and dip into butter and honey that remains on the serving platter. It may also be served by cutting it into wedges and spooning butter and honey remaining on the serving platter over top.
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1/4 c warm water
- 3 c. flour
- 1 t. salt
- 4 beaten eggs
- 3/4 c. ghee or melted butter
- melted ghee or butter (for serving)
- warm honey (for serving)
- Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour and salt. Make a well in center of the flour mixture. Pour beaten eggs and the yeast mixture into the well in center of the flour mixture. Stir to blend and then kneed well. Slowly mix in the 1/4 c. warm melted ghee, continuously knead dough throughout this process. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. If dough seems to dry add a small amount of water at a time. Flour your hands and dive the dough into 16 balls about the size of a large egg. On a lightly floured board place a dough ball and form into a very thin round shape, using the heel of your hand. A rolling pin may be used. Brush a baking sheet with ghee. Place the completed round on the baking tray and brush well with melted ghee. Shape 7 more rounds. After completing each round place on top of the previous round, press the edges with fingertips and brush well with ghee. Repeat this process with the other 8 rounds . You will have 2 stacks on the baking sheet, be sure to brush the last round with the ghee. Let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. If you tap the base of the tray there should be a hollow sound to indicate the cakes are done. Serve hot with generous amounts of melted butter and warm honey on top. (This recipe came from www.arabicnews.com.)
Design a Yemeni stained glass window
Most traditional homes in Yemen have stained glass windows. After looking at some designs on the Internet, cut out 2 pieces of white construction paper in a half-circle. Holding the pieces of paper together (so that the patterns will match), cut out a pattern in the white papers. On one sheet of paper, glue pieces of colorful tissue paper over the holes in the half-circle, being careful to not let the colors overlap into other areas. Paste the other sheet of construction paper over where you glued the tissue paper so that the glued tissue paper will not show up. Make a hole at the top and hang your "stained glass" piece at the top of your window.
This 212 page book has gorgeous photographs and is a delight to simply flip through.
Pray for the people of Yemen
Yemen is one of the least evangelized countries in the world yet so many of the people are hungry to know more about Christianity. The harvest is plentious but the laborers are few! To find out about the religious nature of Yemen and specific ways you can pray for the country, go to operationworld.org.
Yemeni Folk Tales
This 104 page book captures many fascinating folk tales of Yemen.
I've been to Yemen. Have you visited Yemen yet?
Yemen is currently the only country that begins with the letter Y.
Ready to visit another country?
Go to Around the World in 26 Letters to find links to all the countries we "visited." Each webpage features a menu, craft, books, video clips, worksheets, and more!
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