6 The film won the Science and Learning Award at the Madrid Film Festival, the Best Documentary Short film at the Northern Europe International Film Festival in London, and the South European International Film Festival in Valencia, Spain, for Best Short Documentary film. (This is what my film Assem will address).
One September night, whilst browsing the newspapers, I was shocked by an article about a famine in Aslam, a village of Yemen, which drove people to eat tree leaves. The pictures were horrible, so I decided to go there and see things as they were. I left for Yemen from Queen Alia Airport, Amman. Then headed to Sadaa from Addan airport, on 30th September. I crossed over 40 security checkpoints, some for legitimate forces, others for Ansar Allah-Alhouthi, who controlled Sadaa, the capital, by force and resourcefulness. Since 21st of September 2014,Yemen did not experience either stability nor security. The president of Yemen fled Sadaa to Addan and declared it as a temporary capital. When the Houthi and their allies started moving towards Addan, the president appealed to the World and Arab countries for military intervention, which led to the formation of the Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia. Arriving at Saada, I started the procedures to extract a permit from the Houthi minister of information. I obtained the permit along with a representative from the ministry to accompany us and monitor us at the same time. On 14th October I left for Aslam, 244Km from Sadaa, in Al-Hajjah governorate. I went through more than 10 security checkpoints for the Houthi forces. It wasnâ€™t easy to cross all of these check point, in spite of the fact that I had the permit and the representative. The camera crew and I were stopped many times. Once, at one checkpoint we were detained for more than an hour, they only allowed us to pass after many calls which were made with operation rooms at Sadaa and Hajjah. Reaching Aslam, at the last security checkpoint, the members prevented us from entering he village, despite the representativeâ€™s relentless & strenuous efforts. We were only allowed to enter Aslam, after the interference of members of Ansar Allah, from Hajjah, who introduced themselves as military media journalists, working at Al-Masirah channel affiliated with Ansar Allah, they accompanied us to Aslam. The people of the village welcomed us but very sadly, the effects of famine were clear on their faces. I wondered in the village searching for a corner to install my camera. I found out that each corner needs to be shot and each person needs a camera to tell the world the amount of pain, misery, hunger, poverty and helplessness they suffer. At first glance, you realize that famine here has many sources, the most severe of which is the harsh nature and ignorance of its nearly 60,000 inhabitants.