In 2013, photographers from the Arab World joined the Wiki Loves Monuments photo upload competition for the first time. Volunteers from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Tunisia uploaded tons of photos that reflect the beauty and significance of historic monuments in their countries. Last month, a jury with one member from each of the five participating countries awarded the best photographers for their work.
I talked to Mohammad Faraheed from Jordan. Mohammad’s photo of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”; Arabic: الخزنة), one of the most elaborate temples in the ancient city of Petra won the third prize in this special Wiki Loves Monuments category. The temple was carved out of a sandstone during the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction.
Tell me about how you discovered photography as a hobby.
I started photographing with a Canon PowerShot five years ago. The beautiful Jordan landscape as well as my family and friends motivated me to proceed with photography. So I searched the internet for a heavy duty camera. And ended up with a Pentax K-5 II that I bought on eBay. My work as an aircraft maintenance engineer and my masters degree courses limit the time that I can spend on my hobby. But last year I gave photography a priority over my other weekly activities. As I get to travel for free as part of my job, I am planning to do some overseas photography trips this year.
If you’re going on a photography trip like the one when you shot the ancient temple of Al Khazneh in Petra, what’s in your photography bag?
My tripod, my camera, water and food. I am planning to buy a fisheye lens, a telephoto lens, a set of filters and a powerful high speed flash in a few months. Because those items are a must to carry with you.
Jordan is an amazing place to photograph. Do you have a favorite story about shooting in your country?
Camping in Wadi Rum for three nights, shooting the milky way, starting a fire. BBQ party, taking some light painting pictures in bulb mode. It was one of my best trips of my life.
What can you tell us about the photography community in Jordan?
The photography community here in Jordan is mostly interested in financial profit, in marketing photography courses, and in doing commercial work for some camera brands.
How did you find out about Wiki Loves Monuments and what did participating in the contest mean to you?
An active member of the Wikimedia community saw one of my pictures. She encouraged me to participate in Wikimedia projects. Special thanks to Mervat 🙂
What are you planning to photograph next? Do you have a specific project that you will be working on over the next couple of months?
I am planning to start my life project (3d panorama tour). I will also be a guide for the monuments in my country.
Thanks a lot, Mohammad!