100 years old bulb at Prophet’s Mosque creates online buzz

The photo shows a 100-year-old electric bulb, first used in the Holy Mosque in Madinah in 1325H.
Updated 13 June 2016

100 years old bulb at Prophet’s Mosque creates online buzz

JEDDAH: The social media is abuzz with a photo of an electric bulb used in the Holy Mosque in Madinah in 1325H, more than 100 years ago.
According to information inscribed on the bulb, the date of its installation was the same date when electricity entered the Arabian Peninsula, about 112 years ago.
According a Madinah Municipality website, the mosque’s construction and its expansion during the era of Ottoman ruler Sultan Abdul Majid took place between 1265 and 1277H. Oil lamps were used at that time. Electricity was introduced by Sultan Abdul Majid and the electric bulb was lit inside the Holy Mosque of Madinah for the first time on Shaban 25, 1326H.
The expansion work during King Abdul Aziz’s times took place between 1370H and 1375H. During this period, a special power station was established for lighting the Holy Mosque of Madinah when the number of bulbs or lamps reached 2,427.
Mohammad Al-Sayyid Al-Wakeel wrote in his book, “The Holy Mosque of Madinah,” that the mosque was originally lit by palm fronds. When Tameem Al-Dari came from Palestine in 9H, he changed to oil lamps as was narrated by Abu Nuaim referring to Abu Hurairah who said that the one who first lit a lamp in the mosque was Tameem Al-Dari.
Some historians say that the one who first lit lamps in the mosque was Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab when people gathered there for Taraweeh prayer. The lamps were then lit by oil.


Snap happy: Every face tells a story for Saudi photographer

Updated 54 min 17 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