#unseenDXB Photo Trail
The Ramadan experience in the old neighbourhood of Naif, behind the souks, is one that is inextricably tied to the spirit of prayer, fortitude and togetherness.
Join us for a soulful Iftar adventure that encompasses photography, a discussion of Ramadan traditions and a down-to-earth Iftar at one of the local eateries in the area. We will experience and capture theIftar (Breaking of the Fast) of people who fully embrace the hardship of abstinence, their lives and manual work demanding a level of undisputed devotion that sustains them through the day.
Naif is one of the most congested areas of the city. But right before sunset in Ramadan, it assumes an uncanny cloak of pin-drop silence. The everyday worker settles down amongst his fellow men on achaddar spread out by the road or cross-legged on the floor of his shop. The ground becomes that humble place where he breaks his fast with dates and water in the manner of the Prophet fourteen centuries ago. The anticipation in the air is palpable. Whether it is hunger, fatigue or the religious importance of the moment before sunset, every soul in the area silently tunes in to one channel: theAdhan, or call to prayer.
Sunset during Ramadan is magical in Naif, because the area has the most number of mosques compared to any other part of Old Dubai. We’ll experience the air exploding with the resounding call to prayer from minarets all around us, chanting out to the hot sky in religious unison. Within minutes, Naif transforms from a quiet neighbourhood back into one that is suddenly full of life, full of smells and full of photo opportunities itching to happen.
Our goal as photographers will be to capture the authentic Ramadan experience – both before and after sunset. We’ll learn to tread that nerve-wracking fine line between photographing the people discreetly and respecting the religious significance of the occasion. We’ll learn to blend in with the moment, so we can focus our lens as thoughtful insiders rather than the ‘mile-away’ observer. We’ll learn to record images that don’t just capture a moment in time, but revive the story of a month whose significance has become muddled with extravagant five-star hotel Iftar buffets. We’ll learn to move from photography to photojournalism.
Join us to appreciate those magical minutes when the city’s toiling hands are uniformly raised to the mouth with a simple date to end a day without food, without water, without temptation. To end a day with so little, yet so much. This is the food of spiritual fulfilment.