“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.


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