x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Photographer who clicked with Al Ain wants to pay city back

Jordanian to exhibit 40 of his images for National Day.

Amro Abu Kuhail has been taking pictures of Al Ain for the past six years. He is exhibiting 40 of his photographs for National Day. Satish Kumar / The National
Amro Abu Kuhail has been taking pictures of Al Ain for the past six years. He is exhibiting 40 of his photographs for National Day. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // An award-winning photographer inspired by his home town of Al Ain is paying homage to the Garden City with an exhibition of 40 images to mark National Day.

Amro Abu Kuhail, an Al Ain-born Jordanian, has taken more than 10,000 photographs since seriously taking up the pursuit six years ago.

To mark National Day, he will showcase 40 images of the Garden City in the Al Ain Heritage and Culture photography exhibition at Jimi Mall.

"Being an expat here my whole life made me think I should do something to show my appreciation for the only city that I have ever known," said Mr Kuhail, 25.

"To me, everybody really has something to celebrate. I feel very honoured and excited about witnessing the UAE National Day: 40 years of development, 40 years of improvements, and 40 years of uniqueness."

Talal Jodah, one of the oldest photographers in Al Ain, is to be thanked for kicking Mr Kuhail's photography into high gear six years ago. The veteran photographer gives free lessons to the public at his studio, Kawkab Al Sharq, which he opened in 1970.

Mr Kuhail said meeting Mr Jodah changed his life "180 degrees".

"When I first taught him he was a beginner, but he had passion," said Mr Jodah. "Anyone can take a picture, but it's only a photographic eye that can take a shot of a story. Amro has great shots with content."

Around the same time, Mr Kuhail joined the Al Ain Chapter of the Emirates Natural History group so he could see and experience more of his home.

"I was amazed by the history and culture of Al Ain.

"My photographs specialise in anything related to Al Ain - from its wildlife to its attractions, history and culture."

Brigitte Howarth, the chairman of Al Ain Emirates Natural History Group and assistant professor at the Department of Natural Science and Public Health in Dubai, described Mr Kuhail's work as moving.

"Amro is quite artistic," she said. "He does not just capture animals, planets or wildlife; he captures an aspect of their life that people would otherwise not know about. His pictures have moved a lot of people."

His work has already won him seven awards and is entered in two continuing contests: Al Ain Photographia Award and Emirates International Date Palm Festival Photo Contest.

"It's really sad to see all the development going on in Al Ain, and yet you can't see any pictures or books about Al Ain," said Mr Kuhail.

 

aalhaddad@thenational.ae

Al Ain Heritage and Culture Photography Exhibition will be open between 10am and 10pm at Jimi Mall until December 3.