November 30, 2010

National Days – Yemen and Benin

1. On which two continents are Yemen and Benin located?

2. Which two European countries colonized Yemen and Benin?

3. What do Yemen and Benin celebrate on this date?

Answers: 1.Yemen is on the Arabian Peninsula, in the “Near East” portion of Asia; Benin is on the southern side of the "bulge" of Africa – 2. The U.K. colonized southern Yemen; France colonized Benin – 3. Yemen celebrates its Nov. 30, 1967, independence from the U.K.; Benin celebrates the Nov. 30, 1975, renaming to Republic of Benin. The former name, Dahomey, was the name of just a portion of the nation, so a more neutral name was chose. Benin is the name of the body of water next to the country.

By the way:

Yemen's main national holiday is on May 22, which is Unity Day, celebrating the 1990 joining of North and South Yemen. 

Benin's main national holiday is August 1, celebrating its independence from France in 1960.

These are a few of my favorite things...
...about Yemen and Benin.

  • Yemen is the only nation on the Arabian peninsula to have a pure republic form of government. The other nations have kings (or sultans) of some sort.
  • More than 200 islands, located in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, are part of Yemen. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin.
  • I read that almost everybody wears ceremonial daggers or swords—on a daily basis! I can't help wondering if “almost everybody” really means “almost every adult man”?
  • Shibam, in Yemen, is called the oldest skyscraper city of the world and also “the Manhattan of the desert.” Its many-storied buildings are made of mud bricks. With some buildings 100 feet tall, these are the tallest mud buildings in the world.
  • This website has a short, slow-fade slide show of Yemen. 
  • A memorial about the slave trade has been erected on the beach of Benin. Called The Door of No Return, it shows that slavery was a one-way trip into horror for most people.
  • Here is a photo gallery of animals you can see at Benin's Pendjari National Park.
  • Grand Popo is one of the most picturesque beaches of Benin.

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