It was my first time visiting not only the Arabian Peninsula, but also the Middle East. Portrait is my new passion, and it is a great way to look through the culture I’m in. But I wasn’t sure if I could get much since I couldn’t speak Arabic and this was a totally new culture that I didn’t know much about. I knew especially it could be sensitive with women when it came to photography. With the help of wonderful Oman in Focus local team, we were able to get some great portraits through out the tour.
As I mentioned on my First Impressions of Oman post, Omani people surprised me with their wonderful hospitality and generosity. Most of the people we encountered welcomed us with big smiles and cheerful “Ah-salaam alaykum”. Different than other countries I’ve been, most of the people I met were men, at the market, at the beach, and at the stores. Markets full of elderly men; it is definitely a new culture.
But my favorite was capturing Omani women and their lives. It was such a privilege to even had a chance to photograph women in their traditional clothes. I asked many women and girls in the villages, but the opportunity was quite limiting with the language barrier and the character of the culture. We met most of the women at the welcome festival at Bait al Sarah (a village in Al Hamra), and Wahiba Sands.