February 18 2002

First Ever Yemeni Radio Series to be Published The well-known Yemeni radio soap opera, Musid wa-Musida, produced by the household name, Abd al-Rahman Mutahhar, is soon to appear in book form in English and Arabic with illustrations by the satirical cartoonist, Muhammad al-Shaibani. The British academic and researcher, Dr Janet C.E. Watson, who has already authored three books on Sanani Arabic, is currently preparing the ArabicEnglish text for the book, which has the provisional title, Musid wa-Musida, Social Issues Through Popular Culture. The research and publication costs are being provided through a grant from the British Embassy in Sanaa, administered by the British Council. It is hoped that this project will serve as a cultural bridge between the English-speaking expatriate community in Sanaa and Yemeni citizens. Janet Watson and Abdulrahman Mutahhar are grateful to Yemen Times for offering to publish English translations of this well-loved program on a weekly basis. The translations which will appear in Yemen Times will form part of the planned book.
Janet Watson
25 Briardene, Durham, UK DH14QU
He who sees Musid in the marketplace..
Written by
Abdulrahman Mutahhar
Translated by
Janet Watson
Mus’ida: Now tell me, my crazy husband, did we go out in the car to buy the shopping or did we go out to have an argument with other people in the middle of the street?
Mus’id: What could I do, Musida. I didnt chose it to happen. The whole thing suddenly popped up out of the blue!
Mus’ida: The only thing that popped up out of the blue was you! Honestly, I dont know anyone like you! What on earth have I done now?
You know perfectly well what youve done! The people who clean the street, who take away all the rubbish which makes the city an eyesore, told you to wait until they had swept that pile of rubbish out of your way. You thought you were above them and couldnt care less for their efforts, though, and simply ploughed through the pile of rubbish scattering it all over the street.
Mus’id: I was in a hurry. I wanted to get your shopping and take you back to the house, and then go back to sign on at work!
Mus’ida: Oh so thats it is it! You were trying to help me, and I threw it back in your face.1 Well you didnt consider the street cleaners in helping me, did you! You went and hit that mans car, breaking his brake lights, and all because of your arrogance with the poor street cleaners, and because of driving too fast down a street packed with traffic and pedestrians. Wheres all that modesty and patience that you keep going on about, eh?
Mus’id: Oh go on! Why dont you just get a rod and give me a good hiding?!
Mus’ida: I dont need to, youve already given yourself a good hiding! You thought you were above the street cleaners and the rules of the road. You smashed that drivers rear lights and stopped him being able to go to work. Then you and he went and blocked the road, and everyone came rushing out to see what his Lordship was doing. The money we were going to use to buy the shopping was used to pay for the lights, and we came back home without any shopping, all because of your legendary patience and brilliant behavior! As the Yemeni proverb goes, He who sees Musid in the marketplace congratulates his poor family!
1 The original is a Yemeni proverb.