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By Sharifa Al Badi
If you haven’t experienced the picturesque beauty, diverse culture and rich history of the majestic Oman first hand, one can argue that photographs do not do it justice. Yet today, with the emergence and popularity of digital technology in the Gulf region, more and more young photographers are stealing the screens with their unique work and point of view.
Social media and smart phones have become a creative outlet for many, and a way for them to express themselves. Below is a list of young Omani photographers we think you should be following on Instagram. Their ability to capture moments of time is uncanny, recreating reality in their own special way.
1. The Ghost of the Opera
Photography by Khalid Albusaidi.
Photographs captured by rising Omani photographer Khalid Albusaidi have been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, BBC, GQ and National Geographic. In fact, the famous Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir once chose a photograph he captured as his official portrait for media use . If you have not previously been mesmerised by his ability to stunningly capture performances on the stage of the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM), you will be now.
The 28-year-old Chief Photographer at the ROHM holds a Diploma in Photography from the Higher College of Technology in Muscat, and underwent an exchange program in professional photography, new media, and journalism at Washington State University. When he is not busy taking photographs in the region’s royal hub of the arts, you can occasionally find him giving lectures on photography at Sultan Qaboos University.
2. The Innovative Reflector
Photography by Meyyan Shihab Al Said.
She knows how to transform a space and knows what to capture with her lens. Her love of photography, illustrations and art galleries led her to pursue her passion in her studies. 29-year-old Meyyan Shihab Al Said holds a BA in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, and an MA in Design Strategy and Innovation Management from the University of Brunel London.
Meyyan got her first digital camera from her father when she was just a teenager and started experimenting with her classmates and on Oman’s breathtaking landscapes. She went around the country, capturing the beauty of its various terrains, and continues to do so today, later adding her own editorial touches on photos she takes in Oman and around the world, that make them worthy of becoming your surreal phone and desktop backgrounds.
Visit Meyyan’s page on Instagram to see more of her work.
3. The Rhapsodic Film Photographer
The “Rejuvenation of Past” series by Tariq Al Hajri.
Despite past regional media coverage of his unique photo series “Rejuvenation of Past” and “Westernized Omani”, 24-year-old Tariq Al Hajri feels that he has not done enough in the world of visual arts. The young and hungry film photographer took a break from his Business studies at the University of Louisiana in the United States just to focus on his photography work, and is ready to take on more campaigns around the world.
Tariq was inspired by his father, the family photographer, and has always looked up to him. Wanting to be like him, Tariq grabbed the camera at a young age, and with the curiosity of a child, started documenting his environment through photos.
The “Westernized Omani” series by Tariq Al Hajri.
Visit Tariq’s page on Instagram to see more of his work.
4. Moments of Colourful Spontaneity
Photography by Sami Al Guzili.
Vibrant colours and sincere emotions of everyday life are captured through Sami Al Guzili’s lens. One of the characteristics that distinguishes the 30-year-old from his counterparts are the geographic locations of most his photos: Oman and India. The two ancient civilisations have similarities, which can be noted in the pictures.
Photography by Sami Al Guzili.
A self-taught and award-winning photographer today, Sami actually started off in Arabic calligraphy and abstract drawing. He got into photography in 2012, out of his love and passion for visual arts. He practiced photography via observing other photographers, his hard work and determination got him involved in competitions around the world, including in India and Serbia. Now, he considers photography a part of his everyday life.
Sami enjoys documenting the lives of people in a spontaneous manner; catching them off guard. He hopes his work will reach a wider international audience and will be remembered in the Sultanate.
Visit Sami’s page on Instagram to see more of his work.
Sharifa Al Badi is a published writer and author from the magical lands of Oman. She has written for Esquire ME, Khaleejesque and The Culture Trip. She is also the author of “Themis Aella & The Magical Forest” and “50 Things To Know As An Adult.”