Last Updated: Fri Apr 15, 2011 21:00 pm (KSA) 18:00 pm (GMT)

Revolutionary music: Singing and marching in Yemen

Yemenis come together in Tagheer (change) Square to sing about the revolution. (File photo)
Yemenis come together in Tagheer (change) Square to sing about the revolution. (File photo)

Tagheer Square in Sana’a, Yemen, has become a stage for musical expression.

A song about the revolution is now the new national anthem. In the chorus of the song, the singer jubilantly repeats “Revolution, revolution.” Crowds eagerly join in and sing along.

Many Yemenis say they have tolerated enough from Ali Saleh’s regime.(File photo)

One protester said he used to be ashamed to sing Yemen’s official anthem, but he is proud now to sing the songs of revolution that he feels are now more properly the song of his country.

Another protester agreed. “When we heard the (official) anthem, we did not join in,” he said in an interview with Al Arabiya television. “We found that it reflected stagnation and corruption.”

These new anthems—the songs of revolution—better reflect the lives of everyday Yemenis, they said. The lyrics tell the oppression Yemenis have been enduring, the need for a change in the regime and the desire for a more positive future.

Slogans expressing Yemeni frustration.(File photo)

“Revolutionary songs all seek freedom, social justice, combating poverty, solving all the social issues in Yemen,” said Dr. Abdul-Moamen Shoga’a Aldeen, professor at Sana’a University and a youth activist advocate.

The citizens at Tagheer Square chanted in unison calling for the overthrow of the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Previously, only a few members of the public would have memorized the official anthem, as normally, one would only hear it in certain events. But Tagheer Square’s anthem, born of revolutionary fervor, is repeated morning and night.

This song represents the wants and needs from the society as a whole, and they say they won’t stop singing until justice has been settled in the country.

(This story originally aired on Al Arabiya television with correspondent Ehab Alchuafi. Noora Faraj translated this report. She can be reached at noora.faraj@mbc.net.)

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