Introduction / History
The Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula are considered to be the original Arabs. The Arabian culture was developed by tribes of nomads and villagers who lived in the Arabian Desert. It was also from there that Arab migrations began, eventually leading to the expansion of the Arab world.
The social structure of the Yemeni Arab consists of four classes of people: the Sayyid, or wealthy (who trace their decent to the grandson of Muhammad), the Qatani, (tribesmen), the Shafi 'ite townsmen (merchants, artisans, and craftsmen), and the Akhdam (slaves). Most likely they carry this social structure with them wherever they migrate, including Libya.
Where are they located?
Yemeni Arabs seldom move to other countries. However, a small number have migrated to other countries including Libya.
What are their lives like?
Little is known about the lifestyle of the small number of Yemeni Arabs who have migrated to other countries like Libya. It is assumed that while many of them keep their old social customs and traditions, their occupations and living conditions are different in Libya than they are in Yemen.
Despite Islamic teachings, the reality that there are different classes of Arabs still persists. Yemeni Arab society is patrilineal, which means that inheritances are passed down through the males. Since children are considered a family's greatest asset, females are valued for their ability to bear children.
Social life is extremely important to Arabs. They like to share a daily coffee time by sitting on the floor and drinking coffee from cups without handles. Their diet basically consists of wheat bread and porridge made with boiled meat or chicken.
What are their beliefs?
The Yemeni Arabs have had a close association with Islam throughout their history; and today, nearly all of the Yemeni Arab (both in the Republic of Yemen, and in Libya), are Muslims. About half of them are Zaydis Muslims, 40 percent are Shafi 'ites, and five percent are Ismailis.
What are their needs?
Yemeni Arabs, be they in Yemen or Libya, have almost no chance to hear that Jesus Christ is the only one who can save sinners. They are only exposed to various forms of Islam, a religion that only counts Jesus to be a teacher or prophet, but not the final Savior.
Ask God to give Arab believers opportunities to share the love of Christ with Yemenis in Libya.
Pray that their traditional Muslim culture will soften, creating open doors for the gospel to be preached among them.
Ask the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of Muslim Arabs towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Savior that Christians worship.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches and a Disciple-Making movement among Yemeni Arabs in Yemen and Libya.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
ReferencesView Arab, Yemeni in all countries.