Minute 22

Sowar Magazine is a bi-monthly journalistic and documentary photography magazine that focuses on Lebanon, the Middle East and the Gulf. Back in July the magazine announced an interesting project called Minute 22. The project was about taking a single photo at the exact same time in the Arab world, the objective was to document, through pictures, what everyone else is doing during Minute 22, and the time was on Friday 22 August 2008 at exactly 2:22 PM Lebanon local time.

I’m not much of a photographer, but those who know me know that I don’t leave the house without my camera. So I decided to participate at Minute 22 and told others they should participate too. I wished I could be in Riyadh to take such picture, but I was going to be in Beirut. I did take some pictures anyway, not thinking any of them was good enough to make it to special issue of the magazine. After I came back home I sent them one of the pictures, and much to my surprise they liked it!

Now here’s the sad part. When the magazine came out this week I received an email from the magazine congratulating me that my picture was published, and that I can purchase my copy online from anywhere except Saudi Arabia. When I asked them why, they said they have tried to send issues in the past to Saudi Arabia but every time they bounced back! I guess the Ministry of (dis)Infromation don’t like photography that much.

However, someone from the magazine was nice enough (thanks Maisaa!) and sent me a scan of the page where my picture is featured:

me_ahmed-al-omran-spread

The picture, shown here in the upper left corner, was taken at Zico House in Beirut during the first Arab Bloggers Meeting that I attended last August. In the picture you can see my friend Alex, a Swedish journalist, speaking with her Lebanese colleague Sassine. They both work for Menassat, and they were probably talking about the interview they were going to do with me and other fellow bloggers later that day.

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10 thoughts on “Minute 22

  1. Ahmad I have to THANK U !
    I knew about it from u by twitter of course and I sent a picture and they liked it too !
    it’s included now in Minute 22
    but NOW I don’t wanna to even take a second look at it :(
    that’s why it’s not big matter for me to not have it here in KSA( for this issue only )
    مش عايزه افتكرها
    i wrote ATROPHY instead of weakness ! aaah
    thank u sooooooo much

  2. Why is everyone becoming a photographer all of a sudden? I’m not speaking about you SJ, but seriously everyone’s an expert. Is it the quicket way to being an artist these days? If so, I want in.

  3. The tragedy is that by so abridging the ability of those in the Kingdom to even receive a documentary photography magazine, the ulemaa are steadily eroding the vitality of society.

    Why would anyone with any type of interest in becoming an artist remain in the Kingdom?
    And what will become of a society with no trained artists?

    And how can one respond to those from abroad who describe islam as a religion that suppresses all freedom to think for oneself, when the ulemaa do in fact, in the name of religion, try to suppress all such freedom?

  4. because blogs are a great forum for media convergance.. so we’re not just photgraphers but were cinematographers script writers directors analysts etc etc etc

    :)

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