Tag Archives manama

Why 56? Why?

Why 56? Why?

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To anyone who has spent even a little time in Bahrain recently, they would probably be familiar with, or have been taken to the now pretty famous closed shop in the old Manama souq to stand against it and take some pictures.

The abandoned shop’s door was taken over by Bahraini artist Ahmed Anan as an art installation. In the artist’s mind, he was asking the question “why” the shop was closed? The artist artfully depicts various characters tying to get the open the closed and shuttered shop; from one scaling the door to the air conditioning opening, to another trying to unlock the padlock.

This shop has become a landmark in the souq and many people make a point to try to find it to enjoy its art and take some pictures.

If you haven’t seen it, this is what it looks like:

I fell in love with the work the moment I stumbled across it a few of years ago. I had since taken many of my friends and visitors to that door to enjoy and take some pictures with it as a background.

I only recently discovered that the artist who painted it was Mr Ahmed Anan. However, I never had the pleasure of meeting him.

Mahmood Al-Yousif (l) and Ahmed Anan (r)
Artist Ahmed Anan who painted “Why 56” with me at my photography exhibition at Mashq Art Space on 15.4.’18

Lo and behold, he gets introduce to me at my photography exhibition at Mashq Art Space while he was admiring my picture of his door which is placed in the centre of my installation! That was such a nice surprise.

I wanted to know more about his work and asked him a few questions. I soon got immersed in his story and wanted to archive it for posterity. So I quickly whipped out my iPhone to video the interview. And here it is, enjoy:

You can buy my limited edition print of “Why 56” from artprints.me. Click here to get a framed and signed limited edition high quality art print.



Manama Panorama

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Manama Panorama

Manama Panorama, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I took this panorama from the NBB Tower. It’s 41 images stitched together to produce this vista. If you look closely on the left, you will see the base of what promises to be iconic set of buildings in Manama in Bahrain Bay.


Seef Mall extension panorama

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Seef mall extension panorama

Seef mall extension panorama, originally uploaded by malyousif.

They’ve just opened the new extension at the Seef Mall in Manama. This extension cost around $40 million!

I went for a quick visit this morning and I was impressed with the newly created spaces. There are hardly any shops open at the new extension other than a couple of coffee shops, but just walking along naturally lit marble and clean and spacious areas make me want to shop!

This mall, by the way, is 30% owned by Bahraini needy (poor) families. They were granted that ownership shares by the king, because of the number of families involved, they don’t receive much dividends, but for a poor family, any money is good money.

Anyway, see that guy (guard) who is coming out of the main gate? (You might need to see the full sized picture to see him) He wasn’t happy about me taking pictures and walked with determination toward me (whistling and shouting “hello hello”) I completely ignored him and continued to take the pictures. When he came next to me he told me that it wasn’t allowed to take pictures. I politely told him to bugger off. He can’t stop me from taking pictures of a bloody building. The ready excuse that it was an instruction from management came out, to which I told him to gather all his managers and bring them down to take a nice cooling dip in the nice fountain they’ve just built and that I am not ready to respect such a law.

He was utterly confused, but smirked in understanding and left me alone. I can understand if they did not allow teens obviously taking pictures of girls as they might have ulterior motives, but banning people from simple snapping pictures of buildings they admire is a bit, well, dead-headed.

Regardless, I’ll wait a couple of months for the shops to actually open, and then I might go and take permission from them to shoot a vlog inside the new extension.

For the technically inclined; I’ve shot a series of 6 pictures on my Sony Ericsson K810i mobile phone and then stitched them on my MacBook using a program called AutoPano.