After welcoming two Turkish photographers in Qatar earlier this month, Qatar Turkey 2015: Year of Culture has sent two Qatari photographers, Sara al-Obaidly and Saleh al-Marri, on an expedition in Turkey to capture its landscapes and people.
Following the success of last year’s photographic exchange programme, “Qatar Brazil: A Journey from the Amazon to the Desert”, the Qatar Turkey 2015 exchange programme continues to build on a legacy of connecting people through cultural activities.
The photographers are challenged to capture the essence of Turkey through Qatari eyes and vice-versa. The two Qatari photographers began their exploration of the picturesque, historic and unique landscapes of Turkey on Monday.
Immersed in the day-to-day lives of families and artisans, the photographers will enjoy a rare opportunity to photograph the essence of Turkey, among its ethnic and geographic diversity.
From the vibrant quarters of Istanbul to the cave houses of Cappadocia, from bustling bazaars to peaceful mosques and sumptuous palaces, they will go behind the scenes to interpret in images Turkey’s rich culture and history as it is in the heart of its people.
In September, an exhibition in Qatar will showcase the journeys of the Qatari and Turkish photographers. The opportunity for photographers to participate in Qatar Turkey 2015: Year of Culture is organised in collaboration with the Qatar Photographic Society and the Ministries of Culture of Qatar and Turkey, and with the support of platinum sponsor ExxonMobil, official airline Qatar Airways and hospitality sponsor W Doha Hotel.
Sara, a portrait and documentary photographer from Doha, completed her education in England, where she received her BA and MA at the University of Brighton.
Recently commissioned by Qatar Museums, Sara’s work “Qatar: Old Hearts, New World” was showcased in an exhibition of Qatari and Brazilian artists - “Huna Hunak” (Here There) as part of Qatar Brazil 2014: Year of Culture at the Al Riwaq Exhibition Space, Doha.
Sara has been shortlisted for the prestigious Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Award in 2014 and her piece, “Together We Stand”, was on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, London, until February. Her works were also shortlisted for the Association of Photographers Award and the Al Thani Award.
Saleh graduated from Qatar University with a degree in Media in 2008. He is currently studying for a Masters at Cairo University in the Role of Visual Culture in Social Development.
Employed full-time as a civil servant in the Qatari government, Saleh was introduced to the world of photography in 2007 during a university photo-journalism project for local Arabic daily Arrayah. He felt he was able to express people’s lives and tackle social issues.
After university, Saleh took more of an interest in portrait photography and then branched out into landscape and cityscape photography. Saleh has won awards from the traditional dhow competition in Qatar, the Sheikh Sultan festival in UAE, and a commission by Abu Dhabi TV, which created a mosaic sculpture of Saleh’s photographs, unveiled in April at a popular square in Abu Dhabi.
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