The Capital of Spirit [Archives:2006/946/Culture]

May 15 2006

By: Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh
Sana'a! Capital

Of the spirit!

Her gates are seven

And Paradise

Her gates are seven.

Each gate will satisfy a desire

For you, traveler,

And from whatever gate you have entered:

Peace be upon you,

Peace be upon Sana'a.

Sweet in her water, sweet

In winter the drought is a friend

In summer even the dogdays are light

At the down-pour of sunlight

She awakes,

Departs from the dusk of time

A lady,

The perfection of femininity.

Did she rain down from a book of mysteries?

Or did some rhymes conjure her

From the spring of an ancient



(Mecca is the Capital of Qur'an

Paris is the Capital of Art

London is the Capital of Business

Washington is the Capital of Might

Cairo is the Capital of History

Baghdad is the Capital of Poetry

Damascus is the Capital of Roses

And Sana'a is the Capital of Spirit.

She guards a trove

Of dreams in her depths,

In courtyards where lustrous weddings take place.

Qasidahs are born from her rock,

But it's the color white that writes them

And the night that inscribes this story, weighed down

By clusters of melancholy

And braziers of perfume.

On the smooth inner wall

Of Bab al-Yaman

A poet writes:

Sana'a! Hospice of Light! Enter

In peace, kiss the ground ten times

And draw from her fresh beauty

A nectar that will add a lifetime to your life.)

A poem from The Book of Sana'a