A translated version of this piece is Available in: العربية (Arabic)
It is located in the heart of Sana’a, in a lost corner inside Change Square. The official name of that small alley is unknown, but everyone knows where Restaurant Alley is. It is a place where one can eat and gather. A rare destination where, uniquely, unity and equality are assured in a land torn apart by war, corruption and conflict.
still shot from the video
The Alley welcomes people from all social and political classes; the poor person sits on a table facing the novelist. The army men share bread with the young. This has been the atmosphere of Restaurant Alley since it opened in the late eighties.
The Alley has been an inspiration for many of Yemen’s artists and creative thinkers. Wajdi al-Ahdal, one of Yemen’s most prolific writers, has found the Alley to be a source of inspiration for his 2017 novel The People of Restaurant Alley. Today, emerging artists and filmmakers marvel at the structure of the Alley, in the hope of capturing the magic for their audience.
The People’s Street is directed by Anwar Sabri, a Sana’a based emerging filmmaker. He has worked on a number of commercial video projects. His first film, Zafan (2017), is a short film that portrays the struggles and perseverance of a group of four Yemeni break-dancers.
Al-Madaniya is pleased to present Video 05. We encourage all Yemeni video artists, animators and creatives to submit their work for future issues.