Jordanian photographer says photobook on Jerusalem in the works

[07-07-2022 10:18 AM]

Ammon News - After many visits to Jerusalem capturing its landmarks on camera, a Jordanian photographer is now on a mission to record the city in a photobook.

“I’ve been in love with Jerusalem since first visiting it over a decade ago. Ever since, I’ve repeatedly visited the city and photographed many of its landmarks,” said photographer Bashar Tabbah.

In 2019, while working on a project in which he was documenting the daily interaction between the Noble Sanctuary and its visitors, Tabbah started searching for a book that covered the site’s history and its many landmarks.

“To my surprise there were almost no books in English that covered the Noble Sanctuary. I realised that I was in the perfect position, as a multicultural author, to tackle the project. I also had the experience of publishing a book under my belt,” he said.

The political and security situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank presented an obstacle in Tabbah’s journey, he said, adding that despite the challenges he continued to work on his project.

“On the ground, the obstacle was how to plan visits avoiding major events and religious holidays which are mostly critical from the security point of view,” he noted

The other obstacle was accessing the complex with a large camera, he added.

“Depending on the Israeli forces moods”, they would sometimes tell him that the camera was not allowed and would turn him away, he said.

Tabbah said that after conducting research about the site, he realised that “the project was so sensitive” that the project needed to be executed professionally.

“To make sure that there was no room for error, I commissioned a professor and historian with over 40 years of experience on Islamic Jerusalem to research and write the book’s text,” he said.

“The professor played an incredible role in helping me understand the complex and its 120-plus landmarks,” Tabbah said.

He noted that photobooks can be very costly, so Tabbah opted to crowdfund the project, which also “helped raise awareness of the project”.

“Once the campaign is complete, I will spend the next six months developing the book to publish this winter. When that’s done, I plan to do a launch event in Amman and Jerusalem as well as a few international talks to promote the site as well as the book,” he said.

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