Saudi Arabia. Mecca, The Holiest Shrine for Muslims

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Photo ID: 318
Gallery ID: 55 - Assaoudia XXIe s. = XVe h.
Photo Title: Saudi Arabia. Mecca, The Holiest Shrine for Muslims
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Photographer/Artist:
Samer Mohdad | View this photographers information and photos
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Photographer and visual artist Samer Mohdad was born in Bzebdine, Lebanon, in 1964. After finishing studies in photography at St-Luc in Liège, Belgium, he started working for the Agence Vu in Paris in 1988. He was commissioned in 1990 by the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne to photograph the Swiss army for the book and exhibition "Voir la Suisse Autrement”. In 1991, he produced a photographic essay on Lebanon after the civil war. After obtaining the Belgian citizenship, he was able to travel freely to accomplish his visions about the Arabs mutating societies.
In his following project, "War Children, Lebanon 1985-1992”, he examined childhood during the Lebanese civil war. He then moved on to the Palestinian issue in "Return to Gaza”, a dual portrait of 415 Palestinians deported to south Lebanon in 1992 and their return to the Gaza Strip in 1994. In 1997, he co-founded the "Association for the Preservation of Arab Photography” along with fellow photographers Fouad el-Khoury and Akram Zaatari. He curated photography exhibitions at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles in 1998, and won in 1999 the Mother Jones Award in San Francisco for his book Mes Arabies, first in his ongoing "The Arabs” trilogy, whose photographs were exhibited at the IFA galleries in Stuttgart, Bonn, and Berlin.
From 2001 to 2003, he set up and directed the Center for Images at the King Abdullaziz Public Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In 2004 he returned living in Lebanon and start up the "Arab Images Foundation”. Photography was still prohibited by fatwa in Saudi Arabia when he created the images for the second part of The Arabs trilogy, "Assaoudia”, published in 2005. The same year, he elaborated the project "Mes Ententes” on the return of displaced families to Mount Lebanon. In 2007, he started "Menassat”, a website focusing on news, trends and events in the media in the MENA region. In 2009, he exhibited at the Doha Festival for Arts and Free Expression. Samer Mohdad received the 2011 Pioneer Photographer Award from the National Geographic All Roads Photography program.
Samer Mohdad currently lives in Lebanon, he recently published his sixth book "Beirut Mutations” with Actes Sud in France, it was launched first in Lebanon at the French Book Fair of Beirut and the exhibition was started at the French Institute of Lebanon last fall 2012. His latest exhibition, "Accomplished Visions: the Arabs” has been presented during springtime 2013 at the submarine base in Bordeaux in the cycle "Photographers for the History” and the same show has moved on to les "Rencontres d’Arles in Black” during summer.

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