Street photography from around the Arab world

Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) in Dubai recently ran the second edition of its ‘The Arab Street’ exhibition. (Supplied)
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Updated 06 February 2020

Street photography from around the Arab world

  • Selected highlights from ‘The Arab Street, Vol. II,’ curated by Gulf Photo Plus

DUBAI: Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) in Dubai recently ran the second edition of its ‘The Arab Street’ exhibition. Unlike the first edition in December 2017, whose contributors were mostly established photographers, this time around the center put out an open call for entries. The results, the center says on its website, ranged from “poignant to playful, and everything in between, and employ a variety of techniques.” GPP also stresses that “street” photography is not limited to the actual street, but “is possible wherever life unfolds … Street photography can apply to a historical moment, such as the first papal visit to the Middle East, and to everyday life, such as a morning commute or an unabashed selfie pose.”

Here, we present some of the work on display at the exhibition, which ran from September 18 to January 20 at GPP in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. The exhibition was divided into several categories, including “Conceptual,” “Light/Shadow,” “Double Take,” “Humor Me,” Engage,” and “Observe.” Contributors came from across the region, with photographers based in or from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan and Yemen taking part.

“We Work, Eat and Swim Together”

Ebrahim Elmoly

Egyptian photographer Elmoly captured a young man swimming with the horses he also works with. 

“Bouznika, Morocco, 2017”

Khalil Lamrabet

The Moroccan photographer and aviation professional had this eye-catching image featured in the “Double Take” section of the exhibition. 

“Giza, Egypt, 2018”

Laith Majali

Majali — a  Jordanian photographer, film producer and film editor — describes himself as “a nomadic visual storyteller.” This joyful image featured in the exhibition’s “Humor Me” section.

“Pope Francis, 2019”

Katarina Premfors

The Dubai-based freelance photographer, who was born in Sweden, captured this picture of the pope on his visit to the region last year.

“Where The Lights Fall”

Sreeranj Sreedhar

Indian documentary photographer Sreedhar lived in Dubai for 28 years and has only been practicing photography “seriously” since 2011. This image was featured in the “Light/Shadow” section of the exhibition.

“Chevy Impala”

Abdullah Althawab

Saudi Arabian photographer Althawab contributed this shot of a classic Chevrolet car on the Saudi streets. 

“Crossing the 311”

Duncan Chard

The UAE-based British photographer captured Dubai’s alternative rush-hour traffic in this shot of workers ascending (and descending) a pedestrian bridge over a busy road between International City and the Ras Al-Khor industrial area.


Mohamed Mahdy

The young Alexandria-based Egyptian photographer contributed this atmospheric shot of kids playing football on one of the city’s rooftops (complete with spectators’ legs). 

‘On the Rocks’ — Bill Murray is a steal in this dad-daughter outing

Updated 25 October 2020

‘On the Rocks’ — Bill Murray is a steal in this dad-daughter outing

CHENNAI: Bill Murray is the most endearing aspect from “On the Rocks,” Sofia Coppola’s seventh film as writer-director. Behind his trademark deadpan expression, Murray still has twinkle and mischief in his eyes. And he brings out the same kind of lonely wistfulness we saw in his earlier association with Coppola in 2003’s “Lost in Translation,” in which he and Scarlett Johansson meet in a Tokyo hotel and find comfort in each other. There was no romance there, as there is none in his latest outing as Felix. Daughter Laura (played by Rashida Jones, who has starred in “I Love You, Man” and “The Social Network”) is troubled thinking that her life is about to go into a tailspin. 

“On the Rocks” is now on Apple TV+. Supplied

“On the Rocks” — on Apple TV+ and set in New York — is just as sentimental and sweet as “Lost in Translation.” As Coppola’s latest adventure begins, we see Felix, who has made his millions as an art dealer, in the lap of luxury with a chauffeured Mercedes, first-class hotels and sensational magic in his persona. But having divorced his wife many moons ago, he longs to nurture the relationship with his daughter Laura, who is married to the very successful Dean (Marlon Wayans) with two lovely daughters. 

However, in a kind of mid-marriage crisis, Laura begins to have doubts about Dean’s fidelity, especially after he gets busy with his new professional venture that takes him away on frequent trips. His “leggy” assistant, Fiona, accompanies him, and Laura confides this to her dad, who weaves stories of all that could be happening between Dean and his assistant. Felix suggests that they follow the possibly philandering husband, and a troubled Laura gets talked into it.

“On the Rocks” has great moments, and is compelling to a great extent. Supplied

All this leads to hilarious situations with Felix always being in command, even when cops catch him speeding as he is trying to tail Dean’s cab. Wittily calm and composed, he is the sort of guy who will unabashedly say to a passing stranger that she looks ravishing and get away with it, much to his daughter’s consternation.

“On the Rocks” has great moments, and is compelling to a great extent, with Murray engaging us with full-of-life banter. Jones matches up to him, a nervous wife tottering on the edge of what has been a great marriage. She hides her angst with remarkable alacrity, trying to play a good mother to her kids, while her dad leads her up the garden path. “On the Rocks” is happily no weepy tale, and Coppola spices it up.