Shooting for the big time: Regional snappers in Nat Geo photography show

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Contestants of “I am a Nat Geo Photographer”
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Contestants of “I am a Nat Geo Photographer”
Updated 20 March 2018
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Shooting for the big time: Regional snappers in Nat Geo photography show

DUBAI: National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) launched the latest season of “I am a Nat Geo Photographer” last night. The four-part reality show pits four amateur photographers from the region against each other as they strive to capture a shot worthy of publication in “National Geographic Al Arabiya” magazine. The 2018 season is based in the United Arab Emirates.
Emirati artist Obaid Al Budoor, Saudi Hesham Al Humaid — a Dammam-based health-management technician, Lebanese artist Cynthia Ghousoub, and Egyptian freelance photographer Amina Sabry will face off in a series of challenges throughout the show.
The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Tanzania worth over $10,000, during which they will receive guidance from Nat Geo experts, in addition to $7,500 worth of Nikon equipment.
Saudi media personality Tariq Edrees hosts the show, and main judge Marwa Abu Laila — founder of Photobia and publisher of “Photo Egypt — is joined on the judging panel by award-winning Saudi Nat Geo photographer Tasneem Sultan; Iraqi photographer Mohamed Al Daou, head of research and development at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award; Red Bull photographer Naim Chidiac; and photojournalist Jack Dabaghian. Each episode will also feature celebrity guests, including martial arts expert Rio Altaie, fashion designer Faissal El-Malak and Los Angeles-trained actor Deepak Venugopal.
Al Humaid is, understandably, thrilled to be taking part. “To be a National Geographic photographer is a huge thing,” he said in a statement. “It’s a dream for me. A NatGeo photographer, in my view, has unique characteristics; he is a person that can handle tough circumstances and can adapt to any situation.”
He believes his “love for adventure” will be a benefit, but admitted: “My weakness is my shyness, which limits my abilities.”
Appearing in front of, potentially, millions on a pan-Arab TV show should help cure that.


Meet the Palestinian sisters keeping the art of embroidery alive

Updated 15 July 2018
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Meet the Palestinian sisters keeping the art of embroidery alive

LONDON: Among the eight striking works currently on display at the London-based Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jameel Prize 5 exhibition, a piece entitled “Shawl,” by Palestinian sisters Nisreen and Nermeen Abudail of the Naqsh Collective, makes a powerful impression.
“For this artwork, my sister and I thought about the significance of precious embroidered pieces made by Palestinian women and put them in the context of what is happening today in Palestine,” explained Nisreen.
“For a Palestinian woman, a shawl has a lot of meaning. It’s a piece she carries with her always. She might use it to collect olives, to protect her from the wind or cover her baby. It witnesses her life story — her joy, laughter and sadness.
“These women should be doing embroidery and celebrating life. But instead, most of them are struggling to live, raise their children, find water, food and shelter. Embroidery is… a luxury. Not like before, when it was done in the spirit of joy and community. Nowadays, in these harsh times, the priority is just to survive,” she said.

A detailed shot of a “Shawl” showing the Palestinian embroidery pattern Eyes of Cows “عيون البقر" from Hebron. الخليل (خليل الرحمن) : يمتد تاريخ الخليل إلى 5500 عام وقد سماها الملك الكنعاني أربع بإسم (قرية أربع) . وكانت موطن إبراهيم الخليل ولذلك سُميت بإسمه. وبها الحرم الإبراهيمي الذي يُجلّه المسلمون واليهود. وللخليل تاريخ طويل في مقاومة الأعداء والغزاة. احتلتها إسرائيل عام 1967 وأسكنت فيها مستوطنين يهود. ورغم أن عددهم لا يتجاوز 1% من مجموع السكان، إلا أنهم يسيطرون على المدينة القديمة تحت حماية جيش الاحتلال الإسرائيلي. أطلس فلسطين - سلمان أبو ستة ( صفحة 79 ). #naqshcollective #nisreenabudail #nermeenabudail #palestinian #embroidery #pattern #art #design #stitich #unit #palestine #jordan

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The sisters, based in Jordan and Dubai, fuse their backgrounds in architecture and graphic design to create their highly original, sculptural work.
“We think these creative women would be happy to see that their art is ‘living’ and not simply being looked at as a museum exhibit. This craft is in our DNA: It reminds us of our grandmothers, our history and culture,” she said.
Created in their studio in Amman, “Shawl” transmits both delicacy and strength. It is made of solid walnut wood and brass to emphasize the durability of the craft. A variety of machines and manual tools were used to achieve the final result.
“We are determined that this craft is going to remain with us and live on through the generations,” Nisreen said.
The Jameel Prize, founded in partnership with Art Jameel, is for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition.
This year, the $33,000 prize was jointly awarded to artist Mehdi Moutashar and architect Marina Tabassum.
The exhibition is set to run until Nov. 25.