Nassir Abdulah Forgotten Yemeni Poet [Archives:2001/45/Culture]

November 5 2001

There are many obscure poets in the Yemeni cultural arena who enchanted the people with beautiful and expressive poems. Thus, we shall commit ourselves to remember these creative people and honor them whenever possible in memory of what they have produced. The poems of Nassir Abdullah depicted the real life of the Yemeni society in all its aspects. Undoubtedly, the sensitive folklore poetry, which is one of the highly demanded genres of art in Yemen, plays a vital role in the life of the Yemenis. Nassir’s poems are vigorous and diversified as they tackle different issues. Nassir Abdulah treated in his poems the issue of the British occupation of the South and criticized the despotism practiced against the people under this ruthless occupation. Nassir Abdullah was sent to prison due to his zealous poems instigating the people to rebel against the colonizers who accused him of inciting the population against the government of Her Royal Majesty Queen of England. Later on, the English authorities released him on the condition that he should not use poetry that could encourage people to resist the British occupation in the former South Yemen. However, Nassir did not stop writing poetry against them as he became fiercer in condemning the British occupiers which caused him to be detained several times. Nassir Abdullah was so active in calling for the strike of the cotton workers because he was himself a farmer. The strike was made against the much too low prices demanded by the British for cotton production. Indeed, cotton cultivation was brought in to Yemen by the British colonizers in the wake of the World War II in an attempt to substitute its losses in the protectorates, particularly India, that had gained independence after the war. Nassir Abdulah expressed his indignation over the British manipulation of cotton in one of his poems and asked how the colonizers would make huge profits from buying cotton for so low prices.
It is clear that Nassir Abdulah was one of the prominent figures in the society, who contributed in the struggle of the nation through his poems and who tackled several issues pertinent to the people’s active life in South Yemen.