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Who we are behind the windows© Sadiq Harasi

Letters from the nowhere

Life outside the city borders fascinates me, and I've always wondered what it could look like?

Despite my family’s rural origins, at times I feel the features of the city have overpowered them. With time, city society succeeded in dominating and transforming my family’s, and many other rural Yemeni families, way of being. It succeeded in the creation of an entirely new society, one that is devoid of the familiar rural characteristics I knew–the calm landscape and the kindness of its people had disappeared.

In the passing of over eight years of armed conflict in Yemen we have lost many things– ourselves included–and yet, the countryside has not lost its feeling and we have not lost the calm it stirs in us. The rural children, the rural people, have not lost their passion for working the land, their enduring stamina, ability to sing, generosity, colorful fabrics, and above all their steadfastness.

In every visit to my village–I get the overwhelming sense that they have not left their homes, only to visit their farms, only to sit at those evening gatherings, and their tribal positions. And each time I fail at hiding my fascination with resilience–and then I read ‘Solidarity’ and all I think of is that rural life. With its stories of rural life, their shared life in one home, a shared geographic location, a shared song repeated over and over.

Through these photos I tried to show the distinctiveness of rural society, and the people’s connection to the land, the animals, and with each other. As if as a third eye that looks behind a glass barrier, what I ultimately saw as the barrier between the urban life and its complexities.


Sadiq Al-Harasi

Sadiq Al Harasi © Privat Sadiq Al-Harasi is a cultural practitioner, writer/ storyteller, and visual artist based in Sana’a, Yemen. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering from Sana'a University.
His literary works were published within “Conflict: New Literature in Yemen” and “One Hundred Texts for 100 Writers” and his artworks “Photo Essay: Restaurant Street” for Al-Madaniya magazine. Sadiq considers photography a hobby through which he works and experiments with themes of memory, identity, and belonging. Sadiq seeks to bring together heritage and folklore in his artistic and literary productions.

Currently, he is the CEO at Yemen Art Base Foundation, and works as a project coordinator at Ramoz Foundation.