A proverbial Yemeni storySaidah saves the day: “If it wasn’t for Saidah of Beit Radam, all Radamis would be dead” [Archives:2006/956/Last Page]

June 19 2006

By: Fatima Al-Ajel
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– You should have seen me yesterday, I saved a little baby and a house from burning!”

– “Yeah Sure! “If it wasn't for Saidah of Beit Radam, all Radamis would be dead.”

-“Really yesterday I saw smoke coming from my neighbor's house. I had to break in and turn off the fire and save their small girl who was sleeping in the house.”

– ” Why did you not call the firemen?”

– “I did, but they took a long time and I had to do something!”

– “Yes, you are as the proverb said. “If it wasn't for Saidah of Beit Radam, all Radamis would be dead.”

The story

Once upon a time, there were two Sana'ani (from Sana'a) tribes who had been fighting for a long time, one of which was called Beit Radam. One day, the other tribe decided to attack Beit Radam village by night and take them by surprise. The enemy prepared well for the attack and began moving in the evening.

That same night, Saidah, a member of Beit Radam tribe, was returning from a neighboring village when she saw the enemy's army moving toward her village. Acting at once, she ran to inform her tribe and alerted the whole village.

The Radamis (those from Beit Radam) awoke and prepared to face the other tribe, which was shocked to find Beit Radam tribesmen armed and awaiting them. Despite their discreetness and planning, their plan was ruined because of Saidah's quick and instinctive response. Beit Radam won the battle and the village was saved, thanks to Saidah.

The next morning, the Beit Radam villagers went to Saidah's house and thanked her for her great effort in saving the village. “You're the reason our lives are saved,” they proclaimed and kept repeating, “If it wasn't for Saidah of Beit Radam, all Radamis would be dead.” As a token of their appreciation to her, Bait Radam villagers named a well after her.

Amusingly, it seems Saidah again saved the day some years later; however, this time, it was the well bearing her name that saved lives in Beit Radam. A time came when drought overcame the area and there was hardly any water to drink. All of the village wells were dry except Saidah Well. Surprisingly, it was the only well filled with water. Citizens came from all areas to draw water from Saidah Well, so they again repeated the same proverb that Saidah Well saved the villagers from the water shortage.

Since that time, many Yemenis, especially those in Sana'a, use the proverb to acknowledge when someone saves the day or does something for the sake of helping others in a grave situation.