Progress in Photography

Well, six months have passed since my last post. I guess I’m in hibernation from blogging, but only because I delved more deeply into other interests, among them photography.

Following my last post– in which I related my discomfort with the local photography group– I studied their images of that railroad station, and I gained a decent respect for their knowledge and talent. I learned from them, without having to speak a word. Just studying their images taught me so much that I decided to walk with them again.

I not only walked with them again, I actually volunteered to organize one of the walks, which attracted quite a few people and yielded a wonderful variety of images. I met many new people, as each walk attracts people that did not attend the previous walk, and they accepted me as part of the group.

I still learn from them by studying their images, and my own work has improved as a result. I haven’t formed any new friendships, however– perhaps that’s asking too much– but I am eager to continue the activity.

Photography is a passion I couldn’t indulge when I lived in Riyadh. Back in the eighties, photography was considered “haraam”– forbidden!– and may still be considered forbidden by many Muslims. I didn’t dare take pictures of buildings or even landscapes, much less people, and I miss those photos I never took. We didn’t even have cell phones that could take the surreptitious image, and no Interenet on which to post the nonexistent pictures.

Bloggers, however, have taken up the slack, and have enhanced their blogs with lovely images of the places and people of the Middle East. I can only surmise that photography is somewhat allowed these days. Even Flickr offers quite a few groups dedicated to Middle Eastern and Muslim photography. I adore perusing these sights, and I send a silent, “Thank you,” to all people who are now allowed to photograph the scenes I was not allowed to photograph when I lived there.

My bucket list includes another trip to the Middle East, next time with my camera.


About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
This entry was posted in art, Creative Image Manipulation, Digital Imaging, photography, Saudi Arabia. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Progress in Photography

  1. Issam says:

    Welcome back!

  2. susanne430 says:

    Great to read an update from you! How wonderful that you have continued with the photo walks, and organized one yourself. Perhaps over time a true friendship will emerge. And I do hope you get back to the ME to photograph it. I’d love to see some of your pictures.

    • Marahm says:

      Thank you, Susanne! Thanks for your generous comments; you can access my photo-stream by scrolling down the blog. Three of my most recent images are always posted on the right side.

  3. I’d love to be in a photography group here, but that would involve gender mixing, so the only groups I’ve heard of are for males only! I’m glad you’ve been able to learn from them even though they aren’t the warm and fuzzy types.

    • Marahm says:

      Susie, yours is one of the blogs for which I am thankful. I don’t comment much– actually not at all recently– but I love your photos. I really appreciate your variety and how nicely they portray scenes from the Kingdom.

  4. mak says:

    assalamu alaikum if u r still a muslim.
    peace be upon you,if u left islam.
    nice post.

    • Marahm says:

      Waaleikum Assalaam, mak, and thank you for your comment. No, I have not left Islam, and I don’t intend to do so, but living in the United States has affected the way I practice and the way I perceive religion, in general. Perhaps I will post about that sometime, but I still love Islam, and still feel good in it, even though I am not so observant as I once was.

  5. WM says:

    It’s nice to hear from you again.

  6. Marahm says:

    Thank you, WM. Nice to hear from you, too!

  7. Safiyyah says:

    Salaams dear friend, and wonderful to see you writing again. I’ve checked in often, and have been patient 🙂 If you want, Muslim Female Photographers (Flickr) has started a FB page where we are having wonderful conversations about photography. I’d love for you to join us!

    • Marahm says:

      Salaams, ya Safiyyah! I check on you, too, from time to time. I tend to swing back and forth with all my activities. If I’m not blogging, I’m doing something else, and I’ll be back sooner or later. Thanks for being patient with me.

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