Al-Jubeir attends Christchurch memorial to honor victims of mosque attack

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Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir at the Christchurch memorial. (Supplied)
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Al-Jubeir with families of fallen victims and those who were injured. (Supplied)
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The March 15 attacks killed 50 people. (Supplied)
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Al-Jubeir with families of fallen victims and those who were injured. (Supplied)
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The March 15 attacks killed 50 people. (Supplied)
Updated 29 March 2019

Al-Jubeir attends Christchurch memorial to honor victims of mosque attack

  • Some 20,000 people attended the high-security event
  • Al-Jubeir met with families of victims and injured Saudi nationals

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir attended a national memorial service in Christchurch to honor the 50 victims of the March 15 mosque terrorist attack.

Some 20,000 people attended the high-security event at the city’s Hagley Park, including dozens of Islamic leaders, government representatives and Australian prime minister Scott Morison.

At the service, Al-Jubeir met with some family members of the victims, as well as the two injured Saudi nationals Khalid Al-Shadukhi and Aseel Al-Ansari.

Al-Jubeir also met with New Zealand officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters, and Governor-General Patsy Reddy.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed thousands of the memorial attendees, who gave her a warm standing ovation.

“Our challenge now is to make the very best of us a daily reality. Because we are not immune to the viruses of hate, of fear, of other. We never have been,” Ardern said, in a native Maori cloak known as kakahu.




New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (AFP)


“But we can be the nation that discovers the cure. And so to each of us as we go from here, we have work to do,” she said, while also adding the world had to end the vicious cycle of extremism and that it needed a global effort.
“The answer to them lies in a simple concept that is not bound by domestic borders, that isn't based on ethnicity, power-base or even forms of governance. The answer lies in our humanity,” she said.

(With Reuters)

 


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 27 min 35 sec ago

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