“Sana’a. Even if she slept on its sorrows for some time.
Even if she caved in and the numbness took too long,
Her morning shall revolt in the face of darkness.
And certainly, the rain will one day wash away her drought.”
The Melody of Our Alienation is a short film by Abdurrahman Hussein who has devoted all his creative abilities to Yemen’s miseries for the last six years. All Abdurrahman reports from Yemen narrate hope amidst despair and loss. There is always a light, a new day at the end of every dark episode.
For Sana’a he picked up a beautiful poem by Yemen’s most renowned poet Abdulaziz Maqaleh. The amazing blend of the poetry, the cinematography, original subjects has gained Mr. Hussein, a well-deserved place among young Arab filmmakers.
Yemen’s heart beats in Sana’a, and Sana’a’s heart is broken.
The spirit of this city floats
On the water of years
Do not wake her
Let her moan while her children drown.
Do not light her pale alleys,
For the streets are still wet
With the sweet blood of martyrs
Who died for their homeland,
And turned the pages of life too soon
Let her sleep to forget
Let her sleep to remember
Do not scratch with words
The tomb she has erected
For her grief.
Above it, moan the corpses
Below it, they are lost.
Poem 47 of the book of Sana’a by Abdulaziz Al Maqaleh
Translated from the Arabic by Huda Fakhreddine and Jayson Iwen
The historic city of Sana’a has embraced people from various regions and diverse backgrounds since the 4th century BC. It has always welcomed them through prosperous and difficult times. Now Sana’a – and all Yemen are experiencing turbulences again. Its winds carry melodies of estrangement and separation.
Abdurrahman’s The Melody of Our Alienation captures the fear, the devastation, the bloodshed, and yet the resilience of Sana’a. It is a reminder that no matter how alienated the city of Sana’a (and Yemen in general) feels now, its people are not strangers in their city. It is their home. It is where they belong. It is where they will make a difference as agents of peace.