Yahya

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Yahya

 

(full name, Yahya ibn Muhammad Hamid al-Din; also Yahya Mahmud al-Mutawakkil). Born 1867 in Sana; died Jan. 17, 1948, near Sana. Yemeni state figure.

In 1904, Yahya was chosen imam of the Zaidi sect and became the leader of an uprising of Yemeni Zaidi tribes against the ruling Ottoman Empire. In 1911 he won recognition of his autonomous rule over Yemen by the Turkish sultan. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, Yahya declared himself king of Yemen. He subsequently united the tribes of North Yemen into a single state. In 1928 he signed a treaty of friendship and trade with the USSR. An isolationist, Yahya strove to strengthen the reactionary feudal-theocratic regime. In foreign policy, he led Yemen on an anti-imperialist course. A conspiracy led to Yahya’s assassination.