Arts & Culture COVID-19

What is a photographer’s role in the COVID-19 crisis?

Award-winning Omani photographer Haitham Al Farsi tells us.

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By Sekka Editorial

A sanitation specialist in Muscat, Oman. Photo by Haitham Al Farsi.

What is the role of a photographer during the COVID-19 crisis? For professional Omani photographer Haitham Al Farsi the answer is straightforward, “ To share what we are going through, whether at home or in the outside world, from efforts to combat this pandemic.”

Over the past few weeks, the 32-year-old photographer has been doing exactly that. After taking the proper precautions, Haitham has been capturing Muscat, Oman’s capital city, under quarantine through his lens.  Given his passion for photographing people and telling their stories, his focus has particularly been on those in the front lines, from doctors to EMTs to policemen to sanitation specialists. But he has also captured other essential workers as they navigate a new normal.

Award-winning Omani photographer Haitham Al Farsi. Photo: courtesy.

What has emerged is a collection of serene photos skillfully taken by the predominantly self-taught photographer in the midst of global chaos. Haitham only picked up a camera a mere six years ago, but in this short time, he has earned himself a whopping 320 local and international prizes, he tells us, and15 featured photos in National Geographic Magazine.

Frontline and essential workers in Muscat, Oman. Photos by Haitham Al Farsi. Click on each photo to enlarge it.

Speaking of his experience as one of the few photographers who has been able to capture these historical moments at this scale, Haitham describes it as “different, but exciting” in its own way.

Scenes from Muscat, Oman. Photos by Haitham Al Farsi. Click on each photo to enlarge it.

What can you do as a photography enthusiast during this time period, we hear you ask?  Haitham says, “First and foremost, safeguard your own health and the health of your family. And if the opportunity arises, share uplifting photos, or document history.”  At a safe distance and after following all the relevant regulations, of course.


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