Yemenis have been settling in Britain for well over a century and a half. In fact, they are the longest established Arab community in the UK.
In the 19th century, many arrived in Britain as seamen and traders and they settled close to ports such as London, Cardiff and Bristol. In 1939 the British annexed the city of Aden.
This was a major port en-route from Europe to East Africa, the Middle and Far East and Australasia. Many Yemenis sought work in the port and on the ships.
After World War Two with labour shortages in Britain many Yemeni workers and their families came to the UK, often to work in the steel industry.
However, in the 1980s when the UK economy fell into recession, a considerable number of Yemenis returned home.
Significantly more settled here during the 1990s as they fled the civil war raging in their country. Most settled in London, however as there were existing communities in Sheffield, many were attracted northwards. South Shields, Liverpool and Hull were also areas of Yemeni settlement.
There are approximately 70-80,000 people of Yemeni origin living in the UK according to the latest available census figures (2001). In Sheffield, there are estimated to be 2,500 people of Yemeni origin. The main community centres are Burngreave, Darnall and Firth Park.
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