What is to Give Light by Yahia Lababidi

Egyptian poet Yahia Lababidi, a Facebook contact, shared the text of his poem at The Idler just after I discovered that Al Jazeera has a cache of Creative Commons-licensed videos available for remix. So with Lababidi’s blessing I pulled this videopoem together, using some of that Egyptian street poetry for a soundtrack. I did the reading myself because he was having internet-connection problems and wasn’t able to send me his own reading.

Videos in the film/animation category at YouTube don’t seem to attract too many views, so I identified it as “News & Politics” instead. We’ll see if that makes a difference. In any case, it needs to be watched by people with an interest in the uprising.


  1. Reply
    Brenda 4 February, 2011

    Wow. Left me a little shaken – powerful footage, poetry. Egypt is on all our minds, in all our prayers at this time. What you have collaboratively produced is far more than a newscast.

  2. Reply
    LaKlop 7 February, 2011

    Hello. Lovely piece. Great use of Creative Commons-licensed footage. I didn’t realise Al-Jazeera had this archive. You’ve made me realise there is a world of possibilities out there with the use of CCLicense stuff. All the best.

  3. Reply
    Dave Bonta 7 February, 2011

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, I often use CC-licensed music from http://jamendo.com or http://dig.ccmixter.org/ for soundtracks, but up until now, the only free film footage I’ve used has been old U.S. government documentary material at http://archive.org.

  4. Reply
    Yahia Lababidi 9 February, 2011

    Thank you, Brenda, LaKlop and, of course, Dave for your heart-warming responses and warm wishes. Egypt and the Egyptians are one step closer to Freedom and Human Dignity with such sympathy and good will on their side.

  5. Reply
    James 10 February, 2011

    Wow. What a terrific poem and well-put together video. Truly haunting.

  6. Reply
    Dave Bonta 10 February, 2011

    Thanks, James. I’m glad the video stands up to scrutiny by your more knowledgable eye.

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