One evening in 2013

I made a series of low-exposure photographs during a power outage in Sana’a, not realizing that this would be the last time I’d see this place the way it was and always has been to me.

Power outages plagued the streets numerous times a day, and there was often no water to keep the country or its people hydrated. Tension was at an all time high with the Houthi rebel groups making their way through the country, and a simultaneous Saudi-led coalition just days away from destroying everything in sight. Despite this air of fear, an immense amount of Qat chewing led to a buzzing numbness of the people, spreading that undeniable Yemeni warmth.

A country so old, streets and corridors that have remained untouched since the beginnings of time.

And I loved it so much.

I look back at these photos and truly see those ghosts.

Some of these ghosts are more present than others, light and fleeting, just passing through.

Others haunt me, eyes that gaze, stinging like a burn that just won’t shake.

I imagine these streets destroyed, crawling with fears, paranoia, regret.

I wish, more than anything, that these ghosts would move on, that they would rest in peace.

 Yumna Al-Arashi - All Rights Reserved, 2018