Where is the Refuge? The Melody of our Alienation

The power of the spoken word and the captured image can be woven together in a way that evades description.

I thought I had finished synkroniciti’s short cycle on Yemen, when I ran across this beautiful poem by Yemeni poet Dr. Abdulaziz Al Maqaleh read so sensitively by Sarah Ahmed. It is a lament for the city of Sana’a, the longtime capital of Yemen, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It reduced me to tears.


The soft, sensual sibilance of Arabic, the restrained elegance of Tony Anderson‘s Ember, which makes a perfect musical backdrop, and the moving images of Sana’a and its residents, especially the young girls in white dresses running freely among the growing flowers and the crumbling ruins, imbue this short film with deep longing, nostalgia and hope.

May we hold this lovely city and its people in our thoughts. Even more, may we work to end participation in her destruction. Thank you to director Abdurahman Hussain and all who worked on this stunning piece of documentary video. You can read more about Hussain here. Such splendid, human work.

I hope one day that I will be able to visit this incredible, resilient city and to pay her and her citizens respect. Peace!

If you would like to read more of our series on Yemen please check out these links:

Portraits of a Nation: The Devastating Beauty of Yemen

In a Land of Queens: Daughters of Yemen

The Hidden Feminine: Examining the Female Image in Yemeni Art

4 thoughts on “Where is the Refuge? The Melody of our Alienation

    • Thank you! We are running a set of posts on each of the countries on the infamous travel ban. We just ran four posts on Yemen and they have really drawn my soul toward that nation. Sana’a, Haraz, Ta’izz, Socotra… such history, such architecture and such beautiful people and land. I hope the war will end soon. Thank you for stopping by!

      • What a cool series! I saw you had other posts and still need to read them. Someone in California is doing something similar with food. He’s trying to review a local restaurant from each of the countries in the ban. I hope the war ends soon too. I’ve only been following since October, but have discovered such a wonderful country! Did you see a man who has visited every single country recently went? I think he was their only tourist!

      • Thanks! We all have a voice and it feels good to use it to help others. I am so glad to hear about that man who visited Yemen; it is such a fascinating place, as you know! Happy to follow you.

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