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Tihama, Yemen

Last modified: 2021-08-25 by ian macdonald
Keywords: yemen | tihama |
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[Tihama] image by Ivan Sache, 4 June 2017

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About the Flag

Tihama is a coastal region extending from Hijaz to Hodaidah. Part of Tihama now belongs to Saudi Arabia (since the Taif Treaty), Prior to 1941, the region of Tihama was occupied by the Ottomans (twice), their ports were completely destroyed by the Italians during the Italian-Ottoman War and then controlled by the British. Parts of Tihama were ruled by the Idrissi Emirate, and then the Zaydi Imamate (under Imam Yehaya). The Tihamans track their first revolution to 1918 (against the corrupt Ottoman rule). Tihama has the majority of Yemen's valleys - including Wadi Moor which is the biggest in Yemen - and fisheries, as well as several farmlands. Between the area of Bora' and Al Sokhnah is a forest (3-5 km long) protected by UNESCO. Also, the region of Tihama is wealthy in historical artifacts, many of which are traced back to the Himyarite Kingdom.

The tribes of Tihama weakened significantly since 1920. Many of the people in Tihama practiced trade and embraced civilian life long ago. Since the early 1970s, the standards of living have not improved and the centralized government oppressed the people. Historically, Tihama had fertile farmlands, fisheries and valleys, yet they remain poverty-stricken. Some of the lands have parched due to the lack of management/ maintenance. Other fertile farmlands are managed and owned by powerful individuals outside of Tihama. Fisheries are monopolized by people in the former government and some who are still in the current government.

In February 2011 (Yemeni Revolution), the people of Tihama finally had the courage to speak up about their oppression. Tihaman Hirak is a massive movement that is not limited to a specific group and is open to all its directorates. They have thousands of members. A few individuals belonging to this movement call for armed resistance.

Extracts from Threatened Unity: Understanding the Tihaman Hirak, Yemen-Iaty blog, 16 July 2013

The flag of Tihama is horizontally divided celestial blue-white-green.
The photo was originally published on Tweeter on 25 January 2015 by Abubakr Al-Shamahi: "Anti-Houthi protesters in Hodeida today, waving the Tihama flag (Anadolu)". Anadolu is a Turkish press agency.
Ivan Sache, 4 June 2017