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The highlands in the west have regular seasonal rains.Terraced agriculture (millet, wheat, barley, grapes, coffee, tobacco, vegetables, fruits, qat) is practiced, and goats, sheep, cows, and donkeys are raised.The central mountains consist of wide plateaus and basins.Fields are watered from wells and rainfall is sufficient for most crops.The most commonly used foreign language is English, and Russian is still understood in Sana'a and Aden. The notion of allegiance is shaped by kinship, the native land, language, faith, and a shared culture.
At that time, caravan traffic became less important than the shipping route between Egypt and India.It is an area of fishing, commerce, and trade in the ports of al-Mukha (Mocha) and al-Hudayda as well as agriculture in oases (the main crops are millet, maize, sugarcane, watermelons, tobacco, and cotton) as well as livestock breeding.Handicrafts are made in Zabid, Bayt al-Faqih, and other centers. The name of the country is derived from the legendary ancestor Yaman, the son of Qahtan, or from the Arabic root ymn ("the right") since Yemen is located to the right of the Meccan sanctuary of Kaaba.
Some scholars compare the Arabic word yumna ("happy") with the Roman name for the southwest Arabia, Arabia Felix ("Happy Arabia").
This region includes urban centers such as Sana'a and Sa'da.