Stephen H. Franke submitted some excellent background reading for discussion
Two excellent books - that should be mandatory reading for Middle East FAOs - are Victoria Clark's Dancing on the Heads of Snakes and Steve Caton's Yemen Chronicle. Victoria provides an excellent recent history along with a recounting of her interviews with political and tribal leadership. Steve's book is an ethnography based on his experiences researching poetry and mediation during tribal conflicts. Perhaps the best anthropological work on Yemen; it is highly readable and flows like a well-crafted travel essay.