Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Melody of Our Alienation, An Invitation To Understand Sana'a

I thought a tweet won't do it justice. It's so good and so compelling and multi-layered. How can A tweet give all that justice.


My city.

Sana'a is the heart of Yemen; it's one of the oldest populated places in the world. The Oldest .. in the World. A city of contrast. You hate it and love it in the same time.

هي الداء والدواء.

Here is an invitation to see, and not merely to look, but to see, Sana'a through some of the most creative young people's eyes - #SupportYemen organization. It's an invitation to understand the resistance of this city and it's continuous attempt to stay sane amidst the madness. Some described the video as a sigh of despair, which is understandable, given what Sana'a has gone through especially from 2011 & onward - Bloodsheding has been the loudest language. Nevertheless, the goosebumps I got while watching meant nothing but realizing the spirit of my city. It's simply a chance to remember that where life exists, there's always hope.

The short video's beauty comes from all that amazing mixture of great cinematography, genuine scenes, amazing choice of poetry, the compelling narration, the music... just so beautiful.

It's been nearly 4 years since I left Sana'a. I know that I can always have a glimpse of it through, "The Melody of Our Alienation" and I'll let all those tears fall over and over and over again.

ولابد من صنعاء وإن طال السفر...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Aden, 1989

Post-colonial era, #Aden, 1989. Picture by Susanne Dahlgren.

Monday, December 15, 2014

(Graphic) Prominent Separatist Southern Movement Activist Murdered by Security Forces

Khaled Al Junaidi, a well-known southern's right to independence defender and campaigner was murdered today by a group of security forces in Aden.

According to eyewitnesses, "Al Junaidi was driving his car along with other activists as they were checking on the civil disobedience action taking place in the city (which Al Junaidi has been campaigning for, for awhile). Then, a car belonging to Yemen's central security forces started chasing him and started shooting at them as they both engaged in a semi-car-race. The security forces shot Al Junaidi and the car stopped. Then, the security forces arrested those who were with him. And as Al Junaidi was bleeding, the soldiers took him and dumped him in front of a hospital, and they left."

There are conflicting accounts on how Al Junaidi was killed. Some say it was execution because the shot was precisely on his heart, and some say that it was arbitrary killing. Either way, Al Junaidi was killed not only to silence his voice & activism, but also because as a southern citizen he was regarded as a second-class citizen with no dignity.

Reactions on Al Junaidi's murder indicates the divison between the north & the south, and the disparity between the two regions' concerns and interests. His murder did not grab the same attention in the two regions. It took several hours for local "northerner" press to report on the news, while all southern media was already reporting the news. Plus, very few opinion northerner leaders condemned the murder. That was a telling detail on the widening gap between the two regions.