First Francophonic Week in Yemen [Archives:1998/12/Culture]

March 23 1998

The first Francophonic week in Yemen was launched on Friday 20 March at the French Cultural Center in Sanaa.
Activities during the week, which is really ten days include songs by the Quebec singer and poet Jean-Pierre Berub, who will perform in Sanaa, Aden and Taiz.
“Mr. Berub will visit the universities of Sanaa and Aden to hold singing ateliers with the students,” said Denis Meunier, a teacher of French at the French Language Center, Faculty of Arts, Sanaa University. Mr. Meunier is also the principal organizer of the Francophonic activities.
Berub, 54, recorded his first album in 1975 in Paris. He has written the lyrics and music for about 250 songs. In 1993, Berub’s first book of songs and poetry, ‘Mon Clown’, was published. Two years later, Berub published his second book, ‘Avante de Recommencer a Vivre.’
‘Since 1994, Berub performed in 135 shows in France and toured other countries with his art.
“These activities aim to introduce the Francophonic culture to the Yemeni public, French language students, and intellectuals,” announced Mr. Meunier.
French is spoken both as a first and second language in more than 65 countries around the world.
“The French language is increasing in popularity, especially among university students,” he indicated.
“French is taught in a few secondary schools in Sanaa, Aden, and Taiz as well as in six university language departments: Sanaa, Taiz, Aden, Hodeida, Dhamar, Ibb, and Hadhramaut.”
These events are supported by governmental bodies and several foreign private companies operating in Yemen.
“The Yemeni public will have something different to enjoy,” said an exuberant Meunier.
Pour Les Gents Qui Aiment
Pour les gents qui aiment
Pour ceux qui tiennent
Qu’il neige des diamants
Sur ces amants aux cheveux blancs
Qu’il pleuve des rubis
Sur ces amants aux cheveux gris
Pour les gents qui donnent
Ceux qui pardonnent
Qu’il pleuve des toiles
Pour que la sagesse tincelle
Que brille le soleil
Qui fait la jeunesse ternelle.