Windy Dubai

Yesterday ... wind ... cold... even snow in some part of the UAE. I took my camera for an hour and roamed around my neighbourhood, and ... 

People of Tate

Tate modern is a gallery of contemporary art in London. During my last brief visit, I enjoyed watching people interaction with art objects. Whether they were staff or visitors, it was just compelling moments to me. The below is a series of photos of some of these moments.   

Mr Baktibek


Mr Baktibek: my host in Kyrgyzstan for 5 days.

Age: 52 yo.

Occupation: Tourist driver, loving husband, caring father and grandfather too.

Passion: Farming.

Address: Chyrak, a little village with no paved roads, 420km away from Bichkek the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Wife: Ms. Janneh. Primary School teacher and housewife, loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Children: A medical student, a biochemistry graduate, a physiculture trainer, and fraternal twins (one soon to become a high-school student in mathematics science and the other a soccer player who loves Suarez.)

"The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, Someone to love, and Something to hope for"

Alexander Chalmers

Global Village and the Joy sellers

Global Village is an entertainment and cultural site in Dubai where many countries are represented by their dedicated pavilion. Beside the shopping, entertainment and international cuisine experience, the thousands daily visitors are frequently approached by one of the many balloon sellers that are dispersed everywhere. Below is a collection of photos from the place paying also homage to the Joy Sellers.

Jeepneys of Manila

Jeepneys are the most common form of public transportation in Manila. Known for their crowded seating and colorful decorations. It is said that they are originally made of US Military jeeps left over from WW2. 

I had the chance to spend a one day photowalk in Manila (Philippines) and the beautiful Jeepneys are what striked me the most in the city. 

Kushti: a glance at an early morning training session.

The 3,000 year old martial art is not only a sport or a tradition but it is also a subculture with rich moral and philosophical heritage. The wrestlers follow strict set of rules; the akhara is considered a holy space where prayers take place and the master who trains the wrestlers is a guru, a holy man.

The below photo collection has been taken during one of the early morning training sessions in one of the oldest akharas in Varanasi: Tulsi Ghat Akhara.

I arrived very early with my photo partner on that day: Stefan Groenveld.  An old man arrived few minutes after us and started sweeping the floor for about 10 min, while a young man was turning the soil of the arena. Wrestlers started arriving one after the other, and all of them bent down to touch the old man's feet. He was their master! The guru of Tulsi Ghat Akhara, a government employee who spent every morning of the last 50 years practicing and teaching the art of Kushti. 

PS. The photos were taken during Maciej Dakowicz Street Photography Workshop. Please click here for higher resolution version. 

Bomb Girls

Ok something different just for fun. 

A lot of festivals in India are celebrated with firecrackers. It reminds me of my childhood in Morocco. My father used to buy some for the day of Ashura and I used to re-sell most of it to my friends :) I understood at a very early age that enjoying the sound of their explosion and sometimes, lighting them up as well, could be a free experience, and I could above that make some money out of it. Anyways, I was fortunate to be in Varanasi during the Chhath Puja  Festival which is celebrated the sixth day after Diwali. Firecrackers, of course, are on the menu and especially during the eve of the last day. While roaming the streets after the last day, I noticed something very interesting and amusing. I decided then to make a photo series out of it ... just for fun. Enjoy! 


Varanassi: A Crossroads City!

The American author Mark Twain, said of Varanasi: "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together." His description is spot-on, however what caught my attention in Varanasi (during a 7 days street photography workshop with Maciej Dakowicz) is the number of diverging paths that converge so well in this mystic and culturally rich city: Past & Present, Old & Young, One & Many, Calm & Noisy, Lines & Curves, Blue&Reds, Yoga & Kushti, Vivid colours vs Muted, Tradition & Modernity and the list is long. It seemed like a city where many roads meet: A crossroads city.

I wanted to subtly illustrate this aspect in the below collection of pictures that were taken during my brief stay in Varanasi. I tried to avoid Clichés but I know that I m not giving justice to its beauty... Other visits are definitely a must.

And ah ... the workshop with Maciej was a blast. It's exactly what I needed to tweak my photography. Strongly recommended to anyone at any level. We were a small group of 4 enthusiastic photgraphers (David Saunders, Stefan Goenveld, Steve and myself) all with different interests and different style. Lovely experience with great company indeed!

(Link to higher res pictures.)