Sana’a “The City of Light” [Archives:2007/1089/Front Page]

September 27 2007

By: Hamed Thabet
For Yemen Times

SANA'A, September 26 ) High-tech lasers and projectors focused their lights on the walls of Bab al-Yemen (Gate of Yemen) displaying images of Yemen's popular and historic heritage. The show reflected cutting edge technology and one of Yemen's most prominent cultural symbols.

The Germen and French Embassies in Yemen in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Mayor of Sana'a held lighting show on Bab al-Yemen last week. The show is going to continue for ten days during Ramadan. During the opening ceremony, French music producer and musicians with the support of Yemeni technicians played music.

The show is taking place in two areas, the first one was held outside the Gate, while the other took place in the inside.

Before the ceremony started there was a large audience to the point it got so crowded like never before. People were wondering what the performance is going to be about, and how will it be displayed.

When the lights and music commenced, people were so excited, laughing and screaming. People of all ages: elderly, adults and children and almost every one attended. The majority of people loved the show. They danced with the Yemeni songs and the atmosphere was just perfect to them. Yet a minority got bored complaining that the show had no purpose.

Julian Clec'h, who is responsible for cultural activities at the French Department of Culture in Sana'a, said “Every year we are used to hold a cultural program. However, this year the program is different than the previous years, as there are more facilities for the festival.

And of course, in addition to having for the first time, the laser light art creation that is now on show.”

Moreover, he commented that doing this program helps to exchange cultural ideas and views between the countries; Germany, France and Yemen. These types of lighting shows are usually used during festivals in France and Germany. Because of this, the team behind the project chose to introduce this show here in Yemen.

“It is worthwhile to mention that the lantern used in this show holds a very similar symbol to the one which is usually used in Germany and France,” he added.

Tobias Rosenberger and Rene Liebert are the new Media Artists. They are well known professional technicians in lights, sounds, videos events and interactive installations. Rosenberger said he has installed various videos in different places in order to have greater possibilities to play them all at the same time, at the Gate. He also mentioned each speaker broadcasts various sounds in order to make the show more exciting for the audience.

The video shows are made in such a way basically to reflect arts, life and historical places in Yemen, Germany and France, in addition to showing the daily living styles in these countries. These shows are displayed on many walls at the Gate. It is important to mention that everyday some changes are going to be witnessed in the programs.

The head chief (Aqel Al-Hara) of Bab Al-Yemen, Adul Mallek Al-Khabat said “before the show there were many questions asked by the people in Bab Al-Yemen whether holding such a musical night with light and sounds especially in Ramadan is proper, as it is the month of prayer and fasting. But we told them that this is to exchange cultural ideas and views between the two countries and Yemen, and in order to introduce Yemen to the world which will help tourism. So after the explanations and answers that have been given to people in Sana'a, they started to help the project for make it successful, and as we can see tonight that they are all excited and enjoying the Show.”