Arts & Culture The Folklore Issue

Behind the photos: Arabi, the Scarecrowd

We delve into the inspiration behind this work.


By Sekka Editorial

Arabi, the Scarecrowd. Images: Courtesy of Osamah Al-Shubbar.

Arabi, the Scarecrowd is a collaborative effort between Saudi photographer Osamah Al-Shubbar and Saudi artist Rakan Hamad, who use their cultural backgrounds and traditional stories to make characters come to life. The concept behind this photography series, which was originally shot for Halloween, “was that the Arabic traditional style can trigger fear in some people’s minds as a result of ignorance and misinformation about Arabs in the media. It is as if the Arab person is used as a ‘scarecrowd’ by the Western media,” says 29-year-old Osamah, unpacking the clever wordplay of the series’ title.

Saudi photographer Osamah Al-Shubbar. Image: Courtesy of Osamah Al-Shubbar.

It was Rakan who came up with the idea of the costume, which was entirely styled and made by Rakan says Osamah, and which comprised of a thoub, ghutra, a belt holding corn and a mask. Osamah scouted the location in Safwa, Saudi Arabia, “In order to achieve the effect of the scarecrow, I knew I needed a location that looked like a field, but was also deserted and abandoned. So, I scouted my city and found this empty land with one big tree in it which was perfect for the shoot.”

To find out more about Osamah Al-Shubbar, visit his page on Instagram .

To find out more about Rakan Hamad, visit his page on Instagram .

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