I want to share with you something interesting. It is for Yemen – in the late XIX century. I found book with travel notes of one Bulgarian traveler. The book is printed in 1906 in Sofia, in Bulgarian language. But the author R. V. Radev knows very well English and Turkish language. There is no more information about this man – Mr. Radev…
But i found in his travel notes something interesting for Yemen. There is no specified year when is made this travel. Only printed year – 1906. But R. V. Radev describe Arab rebellion in Yemen. I search for information, but there is no rebellion in this part of the world, South Arabia, in this period – beggining of the XX century. The Arab revolt against Ottomans is 10 or 15 years later 1906… And i found small text in an Australian newspaper from 1892 – http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39572103 And my opinion is that R. V. Radev is made describe of this revolt – Yemeni revolt in Sana`a in 1891-1893. I searching but can`t found more materials – i think R. V. Radev words are unique for this event?
In my article (in Bulgarian) i copied parts of Radev`s text and here is English version – may be is interesting for you:
“Much like the Bedouin in the vast desert – one of those few unknown patches on the Earth’s surface, unexplored by Europeans – the Arab of the Happy Arabian coast today fights a legendary battle that turns fighters into heroes, invulnerable even to the slashes of the vengeful, merciless blade of Istanbul. A revolutionary network with its center in Syria is redoubling its efforts and preparing to sweep over all of Arabia, which has an estimated population of 12 million. Standing in the path of these millions is nothing more than one or two hundred thousand government clerks, looters, Turks and a few garrisons, spread around fortified checkpoints – a battle that would take no more than a couple of days to reach a favorable outcome, were it not for the proverbial scuffles between the various chiefs of the numerous tribes inhabiting Arabia, or for Turkey’s underhanded tactics in handing out bribes – gifts to some, privileges and unlimited power to others. Turkey sows the seeds of rivalry among the Sheikhs so they would fight and destroy each other. Neither the masses, nor the intellectual class, the rich Arabs, seem to understand that it would take no more than a couple of hours to resolve the issue of freedom and independence for Arabia, for which so much blood has, and continues to be shed.”
“Today, the battle is limited to Yemen, a strip along the Red Sea – a wealthy country called Happy Arabia (Arabia Felix). The rebel leader – Mahmoud Yahya is truly happier than his predecessors, for he boasts an army of several thousand fighters. For lack of strict organization and ammunition, he never enters an open battle. Instead, he prefers hit-and-run tactics – the scourge of any standing army, forced to be constantly vigilant, constantly haunted and attacked by small cavalry squads on horseback and camels, bringing fire to the Turkish camp like a hurricane, wreaking havoc, taking victims, giving some of their own in return, before vanishing into thin air like ghosts into the desert – that vast graveyard from which armies never return. Feizi pasha is now sentenced to waste away and wait for his own imminent downfall; his forces deserting him, dying out from the heat or illness; starvation is their reality, looting – their livelihood, demoralization – their present, and the grave – their inevitable prospect.”
There is good portrait of Yemen by R. V. Radev – about nature, people, British interests. I attach photos from book: