say “Ali”

By | photography

Just saw part 10 of the “The Road to Mecca” by Belgian t.v. documentary-maker Jan Leyers, in which he meets Saudi Arabian female (the first ever!) photographer Susan Baaghil, who asks to travel with the t.v. crew. We see her taking innocent shots of colorful windows in a street and a woman making ornaments on the market, who willingly poses: “shukran” . She has studied in the U.S.A., but prefers to adapt to certain rules at home. Her doubts about her own profession possibly being a sin according to her religion become clear when she tells that she checked with a scholar during her hadj to Mecca. The answer was that photography is permitted because you don’t create anything new, it is only a reflection. Of which we all take notice!…

In her office (entrance sign: “women only”) we saw that Susan Baaghil had taken the necessary precautions, all the large portraits of brides had their faces covered with business cards of the photographer! One funny aspect, when we saw her taking some more happy-go-lucky pictures of a family on the beach, she asked them to yell “Ali” instead of cheese.