Private Project

Old Sana’a City: Samsarat Al-Nuhas

Yemeni jewelers at Samsarat Al Nuhas depended on tourism and international exhibitions to sell their work. However, the safety decline in Sana’a since 2006 reduced the number of tourists who used to fill Old Sana’a City. Many jewelers are also unable to participate in exhibitions abroad. Visa applications for Yemenis are made to be extremely difficult and getting rejected is common because of the constant fear of Yemenis seeking asylum and not returning to their war-torn home. Exhibitions used to be a key incentive for many Yemeni jewelers to keep creating new pieces and get wider exposure. The decrease in the demand for authentic Yemeni traditional jewelry led to cheaper material flooding the market with replicas from China and India. If nothing is done in order to salvage these crafts and practices, a huge part of this ancient culture is in danger.

  • Mariam Al-Dhubhani
    Director
  • Noor Abunaba
    Producer
  • Nada Bedair
    Editor
  • Mohammed Al-Jaberi
    Cinematographer
  • Film Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Virtual Reality
  • Genres:
    Heritage, Culture, War, Heritage site, UNESCO Heritage Site, 360, VR
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    Yemen
  • Country of Filming:
    Yemen
  • Shooting Format:
    VR 360
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
Director Biography - Mariam Al-Dhubhani

Mariam Al-Dhubhani is a Yemeni-Russian award-winning journalist and filmmaker. Al-Dhubhani is currently doing an MA in Museum and Gallery Practice at UCL Qatar. She first pursued her passion for media during the 2011 Arab uprisings and co-founded her first media production. Al-Dhubhani’s films have been screened globally in festivals such as Carthage, Interfilm, and Oaxaca. She also utilizes Virtual Reality in highlighting stories from Yemen.

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Director Statement

Whenever Old Sana’a City comes up, people cannot help but to exoticize it and romanticize about it. How can anyone not? It is after all the crown jewel of Sana’a with its unique architecture, culture, traditions, and history. There are so many stories to be told, and Samsarat Al Nuhas is one of many that has a community within communities of Yemeni crafts and practices. Yayah’s story helps not only to show the struggles of silversmiths and shop owners at the Samsarah but also to document the current situation Old Sana’a City is in under the ongoing war in Yemen. Reminding the world that this place is important and something needs to be done to preserve and protect it.