Saudi Arabia: A Family Living in a Cemetery

Away from the political scene and on a more human level, a short movie shot by young Saudi filmmaker Bader AlHomoud named “Almagbarah,” which translates to cemetery in Arabic, has changed the life of a Saudi family. Bader describes the montage phase in his tweet [ar]:

#ma8barah اليوم أصبت باكتئاب وانا اعمل مونتاج لفلم سيصيبكم بالكابة سترونه قريبا
Today I got depressed while editing a movie that will make you all depressed too

The three-minute movie, posted below from YouTube, shows a Saudi family living in a cemetery. It has no script, nor a dialog. It features members of the family and their children playing around the cemetery and the abject poverty they live in.

Saudi tweeps were emotionally touched by the movie and below are some of their reactions under the hashtag #ma8barah.

@MarwanAlrouqi describes the logic behind the location [ar]:

عزيزي المواطن : من اجل رفاهيتك اخترنا لك سكن بعيد عن الازعاج وقريبً من الاخره ! #ma8barah
Dear Saudi citizen, for your convince we picked you a residence that is far away from the noise and close to your resting place!
A screen shot from the movie

A screen shot from the movie

@hayaalshatti asks [ar]:

هل أصبحت خيارات الحياة تقف عند أنني يجب أن أفضح ملامحي وأنشر فقري في فلم .. حتى أحصل على كرامة .. تباً لمن سلبهم كرامتهم ! #ma8barah #KSA

Did we reach the point in which I have to expose my life in order to get some dignity? Woe to those who robbed them of their dignity!

And in reaction to the video, which has been watched more than 148,000 times on YouTube, smartman7779 says [ar]:

شي محزن فبكت عيوني من هذا الحال احمد ربي ع حالتي
This is sad, I cried watching it! Thank God for my circumstances

Three hours after publishing the movie, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, who is Vice-Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees and Head of the Executive Committee of the Al-Waleed bin Talal Foundations, announced on her Twitter [ar] account:

الحمد لله، ستقوم مؤسسة الوليد بن طلال الخيرية بتأمين سكن دائم لهذه العائلة وتم التواصل مع بدر الحمود وسنبدأ من الغد إن شاء الله #ma8barah

Al-Waleed bin Talal Charity Foundation will provide the family with a permanent residence, we are currently contacting Bader AlHomoud

@malsahli [ar] comments:

لو لم يقم شاب مبدع يدعى بدر الحمود بتسليط الضوء على عائله سعوديه تسكن مقبره..لماظهر المنقذون ولبقيت الأسره مهمشه خلف ناطحات السحاب #ma8barah
If the creative Bader did not shed light on this family they would have been still living behind the skyscrapers and forgotten!

and @essamz stresses on the power of the social media:

فيلم مدته 3 دقائق يؤدي لحل مشكلة عائلة خلال 3 ساعات من نشره. إنها قوة الإعلام الجديد. #ma8barah

A three minute movie solves a problem in three hours.. that is the power of the new media!

Two days later, @BaderAlHomoud announces:

#ma8barah الحمدلله حتى سيارة وصلت لأبو شريفة من فاعلة خير
The family received a car from an anonymous donor


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