Riyadh book fair starts 10-day run

The exhibition will also include a pavilion dedicated to Saudi Vision 2030 and displays for the NEOM, Red Sea and Qiddiya mega-projects. (AN file photo)
Updated 13 March 2019

Riyadh book fair starts 10-day run

  • Bahrain guest of honor at the event
  • More than 500,000 books and publications will be displayed at the fair, which attracts over a million visitors every year

RIYADH: The Riyadh International Book Fair, one of the region’s largest cultural events, will open on Wednesday with more than 900 Arab and global publishing houses taking part.
Bahrain is the guest of honor at the international cultural fair. More than 30 countries will be represented at the 10-day event, Mohammed Al-Marzouqi, chairman of the book fair’s media committee, told Arab News.
The fair will honor seven leading Saudi filmmakers — Saad Khadr, Ibrahim Al-Qadi, Khalil Al-Rawaf, Saad Al-Freih, Abdullah Al-Muhaisen, Haifa Al-Mansour and Ibrahim Al-Hasawi.
The annual book fair will also celebrate the life of Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, the Saudi politician, diplomat, poet and novelist who died in 2010.
After the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the book fair will be open to visitors on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The fair, held under the patronage of King Salman at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, will provide a cultural bridge between the Arab region and the wider world, and serve as a networking platform for publishers, writers, scholars and academic institutions.
More than 500,000 books and publications will be displayed at the fair, which attracts over a million visitors every year.
The exhibition will also include a pavilion dedicated to Saudi Vision 2030 and displays for the NEOM, Red Sea and Qiddiya megaprojects.
The book fair, which started over a decade ago, features a large number of books on Islam, Arab culture, history, medicine, law, science and technology, mass media and communication, besides biographical accounts, fiction and novels available in popular languages including Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Urdu and Spanish.


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 20 February 2020

Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

  • “There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” says Abdullah Al-Joghiman

DHAHRAN: Saudi portrait photographer Abdullah Al-Joghiman has a message for everybody: You are beautiful just the way you are.

If you don’t believe him, let him take your picture.

“Even if you’re not photogenic, or think you look bad in pictures, I can always turn your frown upside down,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is a full-time financial analyst for the Saudi Electricity Co., but allows plenty of time for his work as a freelance portrait and event photographer on the side.

“I started off doing landscape photography, but I love portrait photography more. Landscape photographers have to travel a lot, and I wasn’t able to commit to that lifestyle for many reasons. But since I was a child I’ve always loved taking pictures of people. There is something majestic about people’s faces, their expressions,” he told Arab News.

The 34-year-old was born in Al-Hofuf and now lives in Dammam, but his passion for photography has taken him all over the Kingdom and to other areas of the world.

Al-Joghiman at the 2018 Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai. (Supplied)

Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

“It was amazing, I met people from around 20 countries who came to take part,” he said. “It was a great experience.”

Completely self-taught, Al-Joghiman caught the photography bug at college and has been training himself ever since. “I’ve been dabbling in photography since high school, but I started taking it more seriously in college. I’ve been shooting professionally since 2012 or 2013,” he said.

Al-Joghiman started off humbly, with a camera-centric smartphone, but has since expanded his collection significantly, and now shoots with a variety of high-tech cameras from Sony. Now he is attracting interest from both local and international sponsors, especially in the gaming and cosplay areas.

“Cosplayers are kind of difficult to shoot because they can be perfectionists, but I love seeing the joy on their faces when they see the final pictures. That makes it worthwhile,” he said.

Al-Joghiman is happy that social restrictions on photography in Saudi Arabia are easing, allowing him to find more opportunities to do the work he loves.

“It’s difficult to take pictures of people here, especially strangers, but I can’t really blame them, considering that they are not really used to that in our culture. But things are changing and it’s much easier to be a photographer in Saudi Arabia now,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Abdullah Al-Joghiman has been asked to shoot for local events such as Gamers’ Con and internationally at conventions in Kuwait, Singapore and the UAE. In 2019, he was commissioned to photograph the World Cosplay Summit in Japan, traveling with a Saudi team competing at the event for the first time.

He is grateful for the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to revive the Kingdom’s art scene, and has long hoped that photography will become more regulated in the country.

“The market for photography and videography really needs to be regulated. It’s hard enough putting a price on one’s work without scoping out the competition and finding that someone else is charging thousands for just a headshot when I’m doing shoots for two or three hundred,” he said.

“I love my work, and I’d love to be able to do it for free, but at the end of the day I still need to eat,” he said.

Al-Joghiman doesn’t want to limit anyone else’s opportunities but simply wants the playing field evened out a little.

“As a photographer, I just want a fair chance for everyone. More importantly, a client should know exactly what they are paying for,” he said.

His advice to young Saudis looking to become photographers is this: “If you pursue photography, don’t worry. Just do what you love, and if people tell you that they don’t look good in pictures, convince them by taking a picture of them.”

AlJoghiman’s work can be found on Instagram and Twitter (@finalecco), and on his website, https://www.eccofantasyph.com