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Yemen: in the country of the queen of Sheba

A documentary directed by .



The ” magyal”, is in Yemen a daily gath­er­ing where friends chew the ” kât ” together, talk­ing and lis­ten­ing to music or poetry. A musi­cian is show­ing us his instru­ment, the ancient lute, which can only be found now in Yemen and in the Comoros ; the ” qan­bus ” or ” Sana Oeûd”, at the har­mony table which has been cov­ered with goat skin. The singer can enhance his lyric poetry by hit­ting out a crystal-like sound from a cop­per tray. In the Yemeni soci­ety music can’t be sep­a­rated from poetry. The words of the song must be fully under­stood to feel the emo­tion con­veyed by the singer. The Bedouin clar­inet player is play­ing a last tune on views of the towered-houses of the old town of Sana. Silence takes over when dawn grad­u­ally switches from dark­ness to day­light. Then pro­fane music is replaced by the muezzins’ sacred music, their voices echo­ing each other from one minaret to another.


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