The history of the island dates back to about 1000 BC, from which the earliest evidence of the island's settlement and graves come.
The first inhabitants of Socotra were apparently South Arabian tribes with ties to the Sabeans.
Around 500 BC the island was one of the most important exporters of aloe, vermilion, frankincense and myrrh. In 300 B.C. became a paradise for merchants who found here not only valuable goods, but also water, rest and diversion.
It is said that even Alexander the Great himself was enchanted by Socotra with its natural wealth and magical atmosphere. In the 1st century it appeared on Greek maps under the name Dioskouridou. According to some sources, on the island in 50 AD the apostle St. Thomas was shipwrecked and introduced Christianity.
It is very likely that for many centuries Muslims and Christians lived in harmony on the island. Many years later, around 700 A.D. Socotra was part of the Islamic State stretching from the Levant to northeastern India.
At the beginning of the 16th century, Socotra came under the rule of the Yemeni sultans, between 1876 and 1967 it was a British protectorate.
In November 1967, the British granted Yemen independence.
Officially, since 1990, Socotra has been part of the Republic of Yemen, under which it still falls today.
The island is shrouded in many myths and legends, according to one of them, it was the fiery nest of the mythical Phoenix bird, which left it once every 500 years to rise from the ashes in Heliopolis, Egypt, and endow human homes with life-giving fire.
Modern history of Socotra
For its unique endemic species and unpolluted environment, Socotra has attracted the interest of botanists and scientists. Long-term projects for environmental protection are mainly concentrated in the programs of many universities focused on environmental development throughout Europe and the world.
"Control" over the island is currently ensured by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Large investments in infrastructure, construction and other "God-pleasing" projects do bring a better life for local residents, but at the same time they create a very thin line between good and evil perpetrated on the unique culture of Socotra.
How to preserve the sustainable development of tourism, use natural resources sparingly and support social development that respects the needs of all? I can't answer this philosophical question unequivocally...
Hopefully, the new governor of Socotra will find a balance so that there are no negative impacts and devaluation of the unique natural wealth.
And his responsibility and efforts to preserve this diversity, richness and cultural identity for future generations were not just pre-election clichés.