Daily Archives: February 6, 2012
This was a special day. We spent time seeing the other side of Dubai. The traditional side, that is calm and unassuming. Bumbling out to the desert in the back of a 4WD with three valuable birds sitting patiently just behind me, we then spent time watching as gentle Nasser and his colleague Sam talked to their birds and nestled them in the dunes ready for action. Actually, there was no action as this was purely a set up for us to take photographs, but nevertheless it was ritualistic and somewhat spiritual.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but I think I have found another subject matter that I’m definitely keen to revisit. We didn’t really scratch the surface of the culture or traditions that accompany falconry, but I believe that in time we will learn more about that and the art of the game. The passion for animals here in the UAE is quite remarkable, I have to say. Not ALL animals, but significant ones, historically-speaking.
And there it was….a two day window in which we chose to escape Dubai and head east to explore. Leaving City life behind, we ventured through the striking mountains of eastern UAE toward Fujeirah, camping overnight near Dibba, just south of the Musandan Peninsula, and again in Kalba, south of Fujeirah, by the beautiful mangroves.
I won’t mention the petrolheads who came and disturbed the peace whilst we were trying to sleep, because them aside, this really was a magical escape and a well-needed distraction from all that is occupying my mind. I even left my laptop behind…
Within two days of arriving here in Dubai, where I have now been for a month nearly, I was running around the dunes at the most private and prestigious of horse farms in the emirate of Ajman, under an hour’s drive from Dubai, through Sharjah and beyond into the wilderness.
Not only did I get to meet some of the most prized and beautiful ‘beauty’ Arabians, but I also got to dune bash across a private reserve with several Oryx and Gazelle. In hot pursuit of me were two cameramen and their director, Haidar, who was very sensitive and kind in the post-action interview. It felt good talking about my work and explaining my methodology and giving a little insight into the making of the book.
This set the tone of my trip, and since this piece was documented, there have been two other TV interviews and two magazine interviews along with a photographic workshop, led by me, and a modest but striking photographic exhibition of a small collection of images from the book – more information on those to come and links to my 15 minutes of fame…